With funding donated specifically for the purpose, the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society (RGS & AWS) have moved forward with a new Forest Conservation Director position in the Southern Appalachian Region. The generous gift, from a donor who wished to remain anonymous, was placed in a restricted account late in 2019 as recruitment ensued. The Society announced today that Nick Biemiller was selected for the role from a highly qualified group of applicants. In the newly developed position, Biemiller will build and manage a network to achieve forest wildlife goals across several states. The region includes northern Georgia and South Carolina, western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, and Kentucky.
“Having a dedicated person in the southern Appalachians has been a priority since my first day at RGS/AWS. Ruffed grouse are hanging on by a thread and we have to put our best foot forward. With his deep understanding of forestry and wildlife conservation, Nick is the right person for the job,” said Ben Jones, RGS/AWS President & CEO.
In his most recent role, Biemiller served as Southeast Region Director for the Forest Stewards Guild for three years, where he promoted forest stewardship across the southeast, including several projects with a wildlife forestry focus. Biemiller earned his bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson College and a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Nick has been immersed in working forests and the diverse goods and services that they provide, including clean air and water, recreation, wildlife habitat, and forest products.
“The Southern Appalachians have been home for about nine years and I have a strong passion for forest and wildlife conservation in this region,” said Biemiller. “I believe that good forestry should be performed in a way that enhances wildlife habitat and the ecological integrity of forests. In the Southern Appalachian context, this is especially true for disturbance-dependent forest types. My approach to forestry is rooted in a strong conservation ethic and I feel it is my professional life’s calling to integrate conservation impact and forest management.”
As a Forest Conservation Director, Biemiller will draw on a diverse forestry and wildlife background to promote the RGS & AWS mission and increase habitat impact on private and public land in the Southern Appalachian region.
When he’s not working in the woods, Biemiller can most often be found with a fly rod in his hand on a trout stream, tying flies on a bench, gardening, or on a trail with his dog. “I am excited to build our model of working forests in the Southern Appalachians and build capacity for scientifically-supported forest management to improve habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock, and all forest wildlife.”
Founded in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is a leading proponent of science-based forest and wildlife management. Together with the American Woodcock Society (founded in 2014), RGS & AWS unites conservationists to improve wildlife habitat and forest health.