Thursday, May 24, 2018

McMahan to lead forestry association

Mike McMahan of rural Johnson County was recently elected President of the Illinois Forestry Association, a statewide non-profit organization that helps people improve their trees and forests. He will serve a one-year term.

Mike is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Following his military career he enjoyed a second career as a math teacher and high school administrator. His last and favorite post-Air Force job was with a St. Louis charter high school that prepares urban students to enter the construction trades.

Mike and his wife Lynn started a brand new chapter when they relocated from Waterloo to their 80-acre farm, dubbed “Banberry”, near Vienna. They had already owned the land for several years, having planted almost 1000 cherry and walnut trees to improve the property.

The need for technical guidance in caring for the trees and forests on their farm prompted Mike to search out the Illinois Forestry Association (IFA).

“I wanted to gain a better understanding of forests and how to help my trees grow to full healthy maturity and sustain the tremendous wildlife we are so fortunate to have here in Johnson County” McMahan said. “I ended up getting involved in IFA because it was obvious to me that I needed to connect with forestry/wildlife experts in order to even begin to be successful. I quickly learned that IFA is all about helping landowners like me. I hope more people who really care about their ground, woodlands and/or wildlife realize this kind of help is easily available.”

Soon after joining, Mike was elected to the IFA Board. He served multiple terms as Regional Director and Treasurer of the organization before stepping up to President during the 9th Annual Meeting held a few weeks ago in Springfield.

For more information about the Illinois Forestry Association, visit, or give Mike a call at 618/977-3415.  Mike says, “I will try my best to answer any questions you might have but be assured, if I don’t know, I will tell you and then get you in touch with someone who can.”

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