Media Contacts

  • Meghan Jordan, The American Chestnut Foundation, 828-281-0047 x301
  • Margot Emery, University of Tennessee, 865-974-7141
  • Teresa Jackson, U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station, 828-259-0516
  • Stephanie Neal Johnson, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Region, 404-895-1709

News Releases

Social Media Release


Alternative content

• Media Annoucement: A Radio Bridge Between the Partners and the Media
This podcast is a conversation between the partners and various
media sources regarding the public announcement of this project.
[Sept. 23, 2009]  "" Transcript

What the Media Are Saying About the American Chestnut




Photo of Bryan Burhans

Bryan Burhans
President and CEO
The American Chestnut Foundation
Asheville, NC

Burhans received an Associate of Science degree in Wildlife Technology and a B.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Pennsylvania State University. Bryan received his M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Frostburg State University working out of the University of Maryland's Appalachian Environmental Laboratory in Frostburg, MD.
Prior to becoming President and CEO of TACF, Burhans served as director of land management programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), working nationally on programs to help private landowners better manage their land for wildlife. During his tenure, Burhans developed the largest membership-based private landowner program in the nation, the Hunting Heritage Club. He also initiated numerous partnerships with state and federal agencies and private corporations that helped the NWTF deliver its mission.

Photo of Roger Williams

Roger Williams
Director of Forest Management
U.S. Forest Service
Regional Office, Atlanta, GA

Roger Williams currently serves as the Director of Forest Management for the Southern Region in Atlanta.  He has been a Forester with the Forest Service for nearly 35 years.  Prior to moving to the South in 2006, he worked extensively in the Pacific Northwest where he served in many capacities including Forest Supervisor of the Malheur National Forest.  He has a very strong, diverse, and broad background in most resource and administrative disciplines.  Roger has a B.S. in Forest Management and an MBA, both from Oregon State University.

Photo of Stacy Clark

Stacy Clark
Research Forester
U.S. Forest Service
Southern Research Station, Asheville NC

Stacy Clark has been a research forester with the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service since 2005. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Science from Oklahoma State University in 2003, her M.S. in Forestry in 1999, and B.S. in Forest Resource Management from University of Tennessee in 1996. Her primary research interests are American chestnut restoration, artificial regeneration of oak, fire ecology research, and forest stand dynamics.

Photo of Barbara Crane

Barbara Crane
Regional Geneticist
U.S. Forest Service
Regional Office, Atlanta GA

Barbara has been a forester in the south for 29 years. She has degrees in Forest Management, Forest Genetics, and Tree Physiology. Prior to joining the U.S. Forest Service in 2003, she spent 23 years working in forest management and research, both in academia and forest private industry. Barbara is currently the Regional Geneticist and Program Manager for the Southern Region's Genetic Resource Management Program. The mission of the genetics program is reforestation and restoration, tree conservation, and partnerships. The genetics program collaborates closely with the silviculture group, working with many different tree species, including American Chestnut, on southern national forests.

Photo of Scott Schlarbaum

Scott Schlarbaum
James R. Cox Professor of Forest Genetics
Dept. of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
University of Tennessee

Scott E. Schlarbaum joined the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries in 1984 currently a James R. Cox Professor of Forest Genetics.   Professor Schlarbaum  is responsible for teaching several undergraduate courses and for the leadership of the University of Tennessee's Tree Improvement Program, which is in its 50th year.  He is the author of numerous articles on forest genetics and improvement, forest health, and plant cytogenetics and currently an Associate Editor for Silvae Genetica.  He has served for many years on the USDA Crop Germplasm Advisory Committee for Woody Landscape Plants.  Professor Schlarbaum has testified as an expert witness on forestry and forest health issues before various subcommittees and committees of the U. S. House of Representatives.  He is currently Science Advisor for exotic forest pests to the National Park Service.

Historical Photos of the Mighty American Chestnut

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Courtesy of the Forest Historical Society.

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Courtesy of The American Chestnut Foundation.

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Courtesy of The American Chestnut Foundation.

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Courtesy of the The American Chestnut Foundation.

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Photos of the First Plantings

Note:The term "backcross" means you take a hybrid of a Chinese x American Chestnut and backcross that hybrid with another American Chestnut.

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Third (final) Backcross and 3rd Generation

Blight-resistant test planting. Approx. 4 feet tall; good condition and no indication of deer browsing.
(94% American Chestnut)

Second Backcross and
3rd Generation

TACF expects a high level of blight resistance and American traits to be present.  This tree is approximately 5.5 ft. tall. ( 88% American Chestnut)

First Backcross and
3rd Generation

This planting is approximately 5 feet tall (75% American Chestnut)

Pure Chinese





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Note: these downloadable images are in .tiff format with a general file size of 13 MB.