State Chapters

The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) is comprised of 16 chapters located throughout the native range of this iconic tree. Chapter volunteers contribute time and energy in support of regional breeding programs, independent research, local education programs, and member recruitment activities. Our chapter system continues to expand in proportion to the increasing level of local enthusiasm to restore this iconic species.

TACF’s chapter system helps preserve the regional diversity of the American chestnut throughout its original range, which spanned from Maine to Georgia, and possibly even to Florida, and west to the Mississippi River. Each tree had a genetic make up that evolved to enhance its survival. From flowering early in the south, to cold-weather resistance in the north, each region was unique. Preserving the genetic material of the American chestnut is crucial to TACF’s effort to breed a blight-resistant tree. TACF volunteers and members work diligently toward this effort. They pollinate and harvest surviving trees and plant regional orchards of backcrossed seedlings. Chapters maximize resources at the local level, develop programs uniquely designed to each region, and promote our mission – to restore the American chestnut to its native woodlands along the eastern United States.

Regional Science Coordinators (RSCs)

TACF’s 16 state chapters are divided into four regions. Each region has a has its own regional science coordinator and office that serves as home base for our regional science teams and staff.

North Central Regional Office:

(Indiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania/New Jersey)

Sara Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration; (814) 404-6013 (cell); Email:
Jean Najjar, Administrative Assistant, PA/NJ-TACF; Email:
Pennsylvania State University
206 Forest Resources Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-7192
Fax: (814) 863-3600

New England Regional Office:

(Connecticut, Massachusetts/Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont/New Hampshire)

Kendra Collins, New England RSC; (802) 999-8706 (cell); Email:
Northern Research Station
Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
705 Spear Street
South Burlington, VT 05403

Mid-Atlantic Regional Office:

(Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky)

Tom Saielli, Mid-Atlantic RSC; (828) 450-9100 (cell); Email:
Virginia Department of Forestry Central Office
900 Natural Resources Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Southern Regional Office:

(Alabama, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee)

Jamie Van Clief,  Southern RSC; (814) 880-2288 (cell); Email:
The American Chestnut Foundation
50 North Merrimon Avenue, Suite 115
Asheville, NC 28804
Phone: (828) 281-0047 ext. 1107