Former Kansas Forest Service leader honored by Arbor Day Foundation

Biles recognized for work that includes planting 2.5M trees in Kansas 

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Larry Biles, the longtime state forester for the Kansas Forest Service who retired late last year, has received the Lifetime Stewardship Award from the Arbor Day Foundation

According to a release from the foundation, the award honors an individual’s lifelong commitment to tree planting and conservation. 

Biles served as state forester from 2008 to 2019, culminating a 52-year that spanned a military career and appointments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Southern Forestry Research Partnership in Athens, Georgia. 

As state forester in Kansas, his key accomplishments include overseeing the Conservation Tree Planting program, which planted more than 2.5 million trees across the state; and securing a $13 million Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant for the Kansas Forest Service – the largest grant ever received by the organization. 

“The State of Kansas greatly benefitted from Larry’s career-long commitment to forestry,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “His leadership resulted in the conservation of millions of trees, the improvement of water quality throughout the state, and the improvement of industry-wide best practices.” 

Biles is one of five individuals honored during September for their contributions to tree planting, conservation and stewardship. More information on the honorees is available online. 

Since 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has recognized life-changing work of leading environmental stewards and tree planters. Past award winners include Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, the United States Forest Service, and Procter & Gamble. 

Learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation at

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