- Associated Press - Friday, December 6, 2019

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Northern Arizona University says a top forest restoration pioneer is retiring.

The university says Wally Covington will retire in January after 45 years there as a professor of forestry and executive director of the Ecological Restoration Institute.

The university says Covington’s contributions have had a big impact on current forest management policy in the United States, including the use of controlled burns and reforestation to keep forests healthy.

Covington joined the university in 1975 as an assistant professor of forestry after completing a doctoral program at Yale University. As wildfires across the West grew in size and intensity, he became a vocal advocate for the need to step up forest restoration efforts.

Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng says Covington is among the school’s “most distinguished researchers.”

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