Over the past five months the Board of the Connecticut Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (CT-TACF) has been involved with drafting a long-term Strategic Plan with the goal of helping us focus our efforts on productive activities and provide a means to measure our success in meeting our goals. We present this document to the chapter membership while still in draft form, to solicit your feedback, concerns and criticisms. Our goal is to adopt a Strategic Document at the Spring 2006 meeting of the Board of Directors. It is expected that this document will be evaluated annually both to assess progress as well as identify where changes may be required to better reflect our mission.
This Strategic Plan is an extension and complement to both the national strategic plan of TACF and the statement of Mission in the Connecticut Charter. Please help us with your review of this Strategic Plan. We value all constructive inputs – both regarding development of the plan and how to implement successfully.
Below is a high-level synopsis of the approach taken.
Every member of The American Chestnut Foundation is committed to the mission of our organization: to restore the tree to its native forests through breeding and research. The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to translate the general goals of TACF into a specific action plan and to establish a time line for completion by creating a detailed list of the tasks needed to achieve all the goals.
Our mission with regard to American chestnut restoration can be described in terms of Primary Program Goals:
- Protect, conserve, preserve, and propagate trees from diverse remaining native Connecticut American chestnut populations in the state.
- Make blight-resistant American chestnuts derived from Connecticut genetic stocks available to the people of Connecticut.
- Establish self-propagating blight-resistant forest clusters or groves of Connecticut derived American chestnuts within selected forest study sites in cooperation with Connecticut private and public forest landholders.
- Restore American chestnuts to a place of ecological and economic importance and self-sustainability throughout the forests in Connecticut.
- Build an organizational structure to support a long-range vision and commitment to sustained effort enduring many decades.
In order to accomplish these Primary Program Goals, we need to focus our work toward these key Implementation Steps:
- Find and catalog remaining populations of native American chestnuts in Connecticut, with an emphasis on locating blooming trees and trees that can be released for bloom.
- Preserve, conserve, and propagate genetic material from widely diverse populations in the state.
- Harvest and distribute native viable chestnut seeds.
- Breed genetically diverse, blight-resistant native Connecticut American chestnuts, based on the remaining populations of native Connecticut trees (incorporating blight resistance derived from Asian chestnut genes).
- Establish a tree nursery system in Connecticut to allow for American chestnut propagation.
- Reintroduce blight-resistant American chestnut trees into the Connecticut forest in an ecologically acceptable manner.
- Develop affiliations with important ?end-users? of blight resistant chestnuts stocks, both in the forestry industry and in the state conservation community, and share information and resources with other organizations with common goals.
- Diversify and strengthen our board and the leadership it provides, including ability to facilitate the organizational roles required.
- Educate members and the public about the American chestnut tree and about the place of the American chestnut in forest ecology, and increase public awareness of TACF-CT programs and projects.
- Keep current members and secure new ones, and increase active participation of members.
- Develop funds and acquire assets from a variety of sources.
- Disseminate scientific knowledge by promoting research, and fostering science-based learning, including at the elementary and secondary level.
Please download and review this the plan and send questions or comments to me or any other Director. You may also just post your questions or comments in the comments of the artile below.