Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Community, Forest Management, Innovation, People

Adapting forests for a changing climate in the Adirondacks

An Interview with Forester Mike Federice

By Tony Mazza, Natural Resources Policy Specialist, SAF.

In late September 2022, I had the pleasure of visiting Huntington Forest at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). The higher peaks in the area were already displaying picturesque fall foliage, setting the scene for a pleasant weekend. I was invited by Dr. Marianne Patinelli-Dubay, who is the Environmental Philosophy Program Coordinator at ESF and SAF Adirondack’s Chapter Chair. During my weekend at Huntington, I had the immense pleasure of spending an afternoon with forester Mike Federice, who manages ESF’s forest properties in the Adirondacks. He is also SAF Adirondack’s Chapter Chair Elect. Federice gave me a generous tour of Huntington, which included a black bear sighting, local trivia, splendid vistas, and most impressively, a walk through the forest’s demonstration and research sites.

The back-to-back demonstration sites brought to life textbook silviculture treatments, some serving as important research projects attempting to address challenges forests face in northern latitudes. I was inspired by Federice’s knowledge, insight, and optimism around the future of the forest sector, and so I invited him to share more about his work with ESF.

Tony Mazza (TM): Hi Mike. To begin, would you introduce yourself?

Mike Federice (MF): I’m Mike Federice, a Forester with SUNY ESF Forest Properties. I manage ESF’s Adirondack Forest Properties in northern New York. Prior to working with ESF, I worked in industrial forestry and procurement in upstate New York and New England. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, which is what led me to become a forester.

TM: Can you tell us a bit more about ESF’s properties in the Adirondacks and the type of work carried out there?

MF: SUNY ESF maintains 20,000 acres of forest land in the Adirondacks, in addition to 4,000 acres in central New York. There are four different properties spread across the Adirondacks, each with their own defining characteristics and specific uses which make them unique. The primary purpose of the Forest Properties is to promote opportunities for teaching, research, and demonstration.

The properties are regularly used as an outdoor classroom, which is an indispensable learning tool for hands-on teaching. The properties also provide a setting for long- and short-term research across a multitude of topics like forestry, ecology, wildlife, biogeochemistry, and beyond. There are various examples of forest management techniques as a means of demonstration on some of the properties as well. Public recreation is currently permitted in some capacity on portions of three of the four Adirondack properties.

 TM: During our tour of the Huntington Forest, you discussed how your research plots are addressing some of the leading threats to forests in the Adirondacks. Can you discuss some of the challenges you’re addressing and what your research suggests so far?

MF: The primary challenge we are facing at this time is associated with the effects of beech bark disease. Beech saplings are prolific throughout the understory across the majority of our hardwood stands. These saplings have little—if any—opportunity to develop beyond small diameter pulpwood. Since the saplings are already established in the understory, they impede regeneration of desirable species (i.e., sugar maple, yellow birch, red oak, white pine, hemlock, red spruce). In our more recent timber harvesting, we found it necessary to remove the beech saplings from the understory during harvesting in order to open the understory for desirable regeneration. This has been accomplished during logging using a feller buncher and a prescribed threshold for cutting beech saplings (i.e., 1” DBH or > 5 ft. tall). Timber harvest areas employed with this level of beech sapling removal are still in the early stages of regeneration and are being closely monitored as regeneration begins to appear. We have also seen that heavier cutting intensities help initiate a competitive advantage for regeneration of desirable species over beech.

Another challenge we are facing is climate change. Shorter and milder winters pose major concerns for winter logging. This is especially important here in the Adirondacks where many areas can only be accessed during frozen conditions. The cost of constructing a road only for winter use is considerably cheaper than a summer access road; this is particularly important in areas with low timber value. A long-term concern associated with climate change is the transition of tree species ranges. The Adaptive Capacity Through Silviculture (ACTS) study at Huntington Forest is intended to evaluate strategies for managing forest stands for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The ACTS study also includes a “Transition” area. Within the Transition blocks, tree species more characteristic of warmer sites will be planted and monitored for success. In many cases these species' current range does not include Huntington Forest, however, given temperature projection models, it is expected their ranges will shift to higher latitudes and elevations.


Other challenges the Adirondack properties are facing include white pine decline, forest tent caterpillar, and spongy moth. There have been recent management activities in areas affected by all three of the above concerns. Hemlock wooly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and beech leaf disease are also knocking on our door with anticipated management challenges that may facilitate additional research and demonstration projects for us. Another concern of mine is having an adequate contractor base of loggers and truckers in the future. The general trend in recent years has been a decrease in the number of crews available for logging, which may pose a challenge for us to successfully complete forest management projects.


TM: Given the research you’re doing, it’s clear you are thinking about what the future holds for the forest sector. What opportunities do you think are in store for forestry and forest management?

MF: I think there are more opportunities than ever for forestry and forest management. As a society, we are beginning to focus on sustainability and renewable resources. To me, this should mean a growing demand for forest-based products over traditional plastics, fossil fuels, steel, and concrete. I’m hopeful that forestry is recognized by our youth as an avenue for sustainability to help increase recruitment into the field.

TM: ESF is first and foremost a school and a research institution—and a strong one at that. On the topic of the future, can you talk to us about the work you do with students?

 MF: On the Adirondack properties, we provide opportunities for field trips and tours of research projects and demonstration areas for ESF classes, as well as groups from other institutions. We are also able to facilitate research areas for students looking for specific sites on the properties with relevant data; we maintain extensive records going back many years that are often used by researchers. Last but certainly not least, Forest Properties often employs a summer crew to help with field work. This is a phenomenal opportunity for students and recent college graduates to gain boots-on-the-ground experience through a variety of forest and natural resources management projects.

In a time when our forests face such grand challenges and opportunities, it’s critical to have forestry professionals who are thinking creatively and strategically about the future of the sector. Central to that task is fostering a new generation of forestry professionals who are passionate and adaptive. We are grateful to Mike Federice and Dr. Marianne Patinelli-Dubay for their forward-thinking service to SAF and the profession. 

Original article for the Forestry Source, January 2023 edition



Careers, Community, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation, People

North Country is Calling

The Northern Forest Center and Northern Woodlands magazine collaborated to produce North Country Calling, a video series profiling young professionals who have chosen the Northern Forest as their home. The future of this region hinges on young people like these.

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Careers, Community, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation, People

Seeing the Forest for the Tweets

Meet forest professionals who call social media home
Lacey Rose, professional forester + movie star
Alex Ashby #1 Tree Friend

Social media, including online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more, has rapidly transformed how we interact. While forestry may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘social media’, our field is not exempt from this phenomenon, as many forestry professionals are now turning to social media as a tool for information, communication, and connection.

(Pro tip: join the conversation with #forestproud on a platform of your choice!)

Meet seven professionals who use social media in a forestry context. These professionals are several of many foresters, educators, and scientists across public and private sectors who are talking trees. Together they explore how social media is used by forestry professionals, the engagement and benefits that come with this content creation, and advice for anyone interested in joining the digital forestry conversation.

This article and all supporting interviews were done by Jenna Zukswert - a PhD Candidate in sustainable resources management at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry - originally for the SAF June Forestry Source! 

Posting Professionals

A few of the many types of content that the interviewees have produced on social media include short videos on seed tree versus shelterwood harvests, how to identify invasive species, different types of plant parasites, photos of buds from different tree species, wildlife and fish in Maine, and the contents of a forester’s vest have all been welcome. Written posts explaining silvicultural prescriptions and outcomes, comparing two Gleditsia species’ bark and occurrence, and sharing methodology from a forest climate change study at Hubbard Brook have also been well received. The primary reason these professionals use social media is to share information and experiences.

While Emily Dolhansky (@emilydolhansky), a forester for the Bureau of Land Management, had a Twitter account in graduate school that she would occasionally use to share content from SAF meetings, she started gaining traction in social media sharing information about wildfires in 2020. As a GIS technician for the US Forest Service at the time, Dolhansky discovered that many people were getting updates about the California wildfires directly from Twitter because it was easy to use and understand. She then began to share more about her job as a forester; she finds it important to share success stories and “small victories.” This sentiment is echoed by Lacey Rose (@foresterlacey), a registered professional forester in Ontario, who joined Twitter in part because she was “seeing so many good things out there in the forest” and wondering “why aren’t more people sharing these good news stories?”

Dr. Tom Kimmerer (@tomkimmerer), a forest scientist, educator, and writer, uses social media to share information about tree physiology and natural history in Kentucky. In addition to sharing information from his own work, he uses Twitter to talk to and learn from people in forestry and other related disciplines, such as physiology, biochemistry, and forest genetics. This exchange of information has been rewarding. “I get about two or three ideas a week from Twitter that are going to wind up in the next book”, he says, “so I think it’s very valuable.”

Also an educator, Dr. Neil Thompson (@forestryprof) shares short, viral videos on TikTok primarily about silviculture and dendrochronology, leveraging his skills and passion as an educator. Encouraged by his students at the University of Maine at Fort Kent to join TikTok, Thompson will often gain hundreds of followers from posting a new video on content he considers to be fairly basic, such as that knots and branches are connected, but is novel and interesting to many. “We have to remember that as much as we gain knowledge… it is brand new to so many people, and they can be fascinated by things that we take for granted as essential,” he says.

Chelsi Abbott (@hemlock__holmes), scientific advisor for Davey Tree and adjunct professor at College of DuPage in Illinois, was also encouraged to join TikTok from her students and, like Thompson, was surprised at how receptive others were to her niche interests related to tree health. Abbott was initially hesitant to join TikTok. “I was like, ‘Who would want to know about mushrooms? Nobody!’, but it turns out, it’s a lot of people!”

TikTok is also used by Alex Ashby (@number1treefriend), a forester for the Albany Water Department in New York. Ashby started making instructional videos and filming day-to-day depictions of their forester job during the pandemic. Their videos include before and after shots of silvicultural prescriptions with explanations, water management advice for logging roads, and plant identification. As Ashby says of their involvement in social media, “I just really like talking about trees–constantly and always–so it works out great.”

Nearly all interviewees mentioned using their social media accounts to depict a “Day in the Life.” They use the social media channels to show others, particularly young people, what it is like to be a forester or scientist. While Dr. Lindsey Rustad (@LindseyRustad), Research Ecologist for the USDA Forest Service has a professional Twitter account she uses to share “news on people, places, things, and events”, she has a personal Instagram account that depicts a day in the life of her job. On Rustad’s Instagram account, she refrains from posting news and employs more storytelling. “In both accounts”, reflects Rustad, “I also try to always share something… that may be of interest to the audience, like a fun fact, a reflection, an overall message, or conversation.”

From 60 Minutes to 60 Seconds

Social media is known for its restrictions on content length, and nearly all interviewees talked about this. Lacey Rose found Twitter’s character limit to be a challenge where she had also to refrain from using technical jargon and “speak in ‘real people’ language about forestry.” Tom Kimmerer indicated that communicating without jargon is “a skill we have to develop over time,” adding “I think it’s critically important…we’re using social media as a way of broadening the audience for forestry-related subjects, and the only way of doing this is to speak in relatively simple terms.”

Abbott and Thompson, who engage with their students in both traditional lectures and now on social media, find the short time limit of TikTok to be a rewarding challenge – as Thompson puts it, trying to “summarize a 60-minute lecture into just 60 seconds.” In Abbott’s words, “If making a two-minute video on something you could talk about for hours isn’t good practice on how to really be concise with information, I don’t know what is.” Both claim that this challenge has made them better educators, helping them consolidate their thoughts and condense their content to convey what is most important.

Despite the need to be concise, Dolhansky encourages forestry professionals to refrain from oversimplifying, or using just the “nice talking points”, and instead dive into complex issues. “You can be an ambassador and still talk about things with nuance and explain complexities, without just [saying] ‘Everything’s great!’ or ‘Everything’s awful!’… I think being able to speak openly and engage in meaningful ways… people really connect with that.”

Online Watercooler

Interviewees described a range of communities with which they engage online. One community is their colleagues; as Rose put it, “preaching to the choir.” Kimmerer started using Twitter in part to connect with participants from his outreach programs. Rustad also enjoys learning more about what her colleagues are up to. “I think of [social media] a little bit is that it’s the watercooler or coffee room: you can choose not to talk to people there, but you might miss some things that are happening on a professional and also personal [level].”

Rose and Dolhansky also spoke to the value of connecting with others in forestry from other states or locations. Rose appreciates that she can “get to know other people in forestry that I would never have the opportunity to meet in real life” and Dolhansky likes learning about activities and projects that “people several states over from me are doing.” Kimmerer extends this, reflecting on benefits of international connections. “Forestry always has been a very international discipline, even though we work in our own local forests and social media really enhances that ability to speak with people from different backgrounds.” Twitter can help connect researchers and practitioners within forestry, as it is popular among academics; Dolhansky has conversations on Twitter with academics about their research and what is happening on the ground.

They also engage with people outside of forestry. Other followers of Ashby, Abbott, and Thompson include students, people generally interested in nature, and as Abbott puts it, “Fun Fact-ers” such as the comment Ashby received, “’I didn’t know that porcupines could climb.”

On the other end of the spectrum, interviewees mentioned engaging with those who think poorly of forestry. Many of our interviewees tend to not engage with negative comments. Dolhansky tends to get a lot of interaction from people who are critical of forestry, particularly the timber industry, and challenge or disagree with what she is saying. “A lot of times I can have constructive conversations with these people,” but she notes that there are others whose minds she cannot change, “so I’ve just kind of learned where to expend my energy and where not to.”

A Tool for Good

Many benefits of using social media came to light. Perhaps the most basic: social media provides a way to educate and communicate with others, which was important to all of the participants.

“The more people we have educating, the more people we have engaging, the better. What’s the worst if more people know about trees and all the fun stuff about forests?” asks Abbott. Exchange of information with students and colleagues, between researchers and foresters, across disciplines, and with those new to forestry are positive benefits of social media use. Rustad cites social media as “another way to communicate about what I do so I can spread the word about publications, about events, about what we’re doing in the world of forest science”, and she benefits from “learning so much about what other people are doing out there.” This connection can sometimes result in unanticipated opportunities offline, such as invitations to speak at events, awareness of professional programs, and in Ashby’s case, an informal Zoom book club with woodworkers.

Another benefit of social media use is representation. Ashby aims “to get people who might not otherwise be interested in forestry or realize that forest ecology or field work or any of this is an option in life… to see that this is something you can do, and this is something that you can start really small doing” and they note comments from queer forestry students who feel less alone after seeing their content. Awareness of forestry as a career option was also important for Thompson. “The benefit, I hope, is [that] people realize that forestry is a profession that’s available to them…. I’m not saying you must do this… I would like people to make a considered, informed decision… but I think what the whole forestry network on TikTok is doing is showing pretty well the range of things that you can do.”

As a member of initiatives to increase representation of women in science, Rustad says she tries to “post images of, not always myself, but other women, women in forestry, women in the outdoors… so that girls, particularly middle-school girls, can see that women can be out there, they can be scientists, they can be ‘fisher people,’ they can be engaging in the outdoors.” Rose considers social media to be “the best outreach we can do to recruit for future foresters,” enthusing “imagine if every forester was putting out one message every three months, even. Inevitably, some people are going to see that and be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was a career option.’” She adds, “If other people can see people that look like them doing these jobs, then they might consider it for themselves.”

Representation is important not only for recruitment, but for public perception of forestry. Dolhansky says, “We need more people with boots on the ground and field perspectives to add to this chorus of people promoting good forestry practices and being an ambassador of the field.” In her experience, “it’s a lot more appealing for someone to interact with another person than a brand or company…actual people seem to get more engagement.” Rose echoes this sentiment, stating “I would like to try to change the public’s perception about forestry whenever I have the opportunity to do that… I think it’s critical for us to tell the real story… There will always be some folks out that there still don’t think it’s OK to cut down trees, but the benefit is we can make sure they know all the steps that have to happen before a tree can be harvested.” She adds, “When people can put a friendly face to someone that is caring for their forest, I think it has the potential to change perceptions.”

“It’s not just a little extracurricular activity that doesn’t mean something,” says Dolhansky. “I think it can be really used as a tool for good.”

Advice for Aspiring Social Media Users

Choose the Platform

Many social media platforms exist, and they differ in types of content, character length, and user demographics. Younger generations may be more active on TikTok, while older may be more active on Twitter and Facebook. Consider the content you want to produce and consume, and the communities with which you would like to engage. “I do think deciding what platform you want to be on and focusing on that is an important choice that you have to make as a professional. Where can you have the most impact; not necessarily where you have the largest audience?” advises Kimmerer.

Stay in Your Lane

Several interviewees spoke of considering what subjects you want to post on and recommend sticking to what you know. Thompson prefers to focus on “something I’ve done, something that’s in progress, something that I can see, touch, feel, show,” and directs anyone who asks about topics he doesn’t cover to others who specialize in that area, which further builds community. “I’m sure that there are pressures for creating a certain type of content or swaying with what other people might expect, but where I come at it is if I think it’s interesting and I think it’s fun, that’s probably what I’m going to post about, and hopefully people enjoy it,” says Abbott. “And if they don’t, they don’t; there are plenty of other areas in the world that they can get their information from.”

Act Like You’re in Public, Because You Are

While social media accounts can be private, and this can be ideal for more personal accounts, the accounts discussed in this article are public. “Assume the highest-ranking person in your organization will watch your videos,” cautions Thompson. “Always, always, always think before you post. You can go back and delete a post, but once someone has seen it, you can never make it unseen,” warns Rustad.

Start Small

“It doesn’t have to be overwhelming,” says Rustad. “Choose a platform, start following a few people you admire, think about what you want to share, and engage when you have the time. It doesn’t have to be all the time.” In Ashby’s words, “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just because you are starting a new account doesn’t mean there isn’t help.” They mention several groups and movements such as Women in Wood and Forest Proud that you can join to connect with others. “Just dip a toe in and see what other people are doing” recommends Rose, “…and then you will just probably start thinking of ideas when you’re doing your job.”

Share Comfortably

You get to decide what and how much, or little, you would like to share – whatever feels comfortable for you. “Social media isn’t always about gaining a following,” Abbott reminds us. Many of the interviewees recommend being aware and intentional about how personal you would like to be. “It’s important to figure out for yourself where that happy medium is before you start making [posting] things,” notes Ashby. Recommending moderation, they describe a happy medium “between being yourself and being outgoing with that and honest about it….and also not telling people exactly where you live and how to find you.”

Be Accessible

Thompson recommends closed captioning for videos. For TikTok, this is now an automatic feature; in the past, it was a manual addition. For image-based social media, you may explore the addition of “alt text” to your captions to describe your photographs and images.

Have Fun!

Above all, our interviewees recommend staying positive and having fun with social media. “Enjoy it and have fun with it,” advises Rustad. “It is meant as another way to engage and communicate with our colleagues.”

Original article written by Jenna Zukswert - a PhD Candidate in sustainable resources management at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry - for the SAF June Forestry Source


Reimagining Our Cities
Mass Timber

Forest Champion Spotlight | Susan Jones

Susan Jones designed some of the first Mass Timber buildings in the U.S. - including her own home. Today, Susan and her team continue to pave the way for Mass Timber buildings in North America by showing the world that there is no reason a building can't also be a climate change solution.

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Community, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation

Lacey Rose, Canadian Forester, hosts Volvo Penta’s “Mighty Jobs” series

machinery improves efficiency + the world around us

Spectacular machines in dramatic working environments, and entertaining and informative demonstrations of power and precision; the ‘Mighty Jobs’ series will take viewers to several fascinating locations where Volvo Penta’s industrial engine and machinery range is making a vast difference to the lives of customers and ultimately to daily life.

With more than a decade working in forestry, Canadian presenter Lacey Rose is ideally equipped to show what the machines are capable of. “I have a passion for natural resources and am really looking forward to shining a light on people not normally in the public eye,” she says. “We want to show how this innovative machinery can improve not only efficiency but the world around us, and also how customers can benefit from an increased focus on sustainability. There’s no better way to do this than to experience it hands-on in real working environments.”

Read the full press release + check out the series on YouTube as Volvo Penta’s machinery is put to the test on applications as diverse as harvesters, haulers, fire trucks and reach stackers.


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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products

FOREST TO OCEAN | Grain Surfboards

Grain Surfboards has been crafting one-of-a-kind wooden surfboards from sustainably managed Maine forests since 2005. With an emphasis on quality and sincere commitment to sustainable practices, each board is made one at a time, by hand, to create a product that has a soul and tells a story.

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Community, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation

Changing the Face of Forestry

Positive changes are leveling the playing field in forestry.

The forest sector is a great career choice. I feel very fortunate to have spent 15 years in forestry—every day is different, the people are amazing and I get paid to be outside. What’s not to love?

When I attended the University of New Brunswick’s forestry program in 2006, about 25% of my classmates were women. In my first few summer forestry jobs, I worked with women and my first mentors were women upon graduation. I didn’t realize there was a gender imbalance until I started working for industry, spending more time in the woods and attending meetings and conferences. In fact, as of 2016, just 17% of Canada’s forestry workforce was made up of women, an increase of only 3% since 1996. While I hope that the census data more recently collected will show a dramatic increase of women in forestry, there is still progress to be made. In 2015, I cofounded Women in Wood, a network for women who work in, with and for the woods. Since then, I have learned a lot from women working in Canada’s forests about their experiences. It seems there are challenges at all stages of their careers—but there are also solutions.

First jobs are tough. Difficult to secure because of a likely blank resume, and oftentimes, they can be challenging to survive because you may not have anyone to ask hard questions. This was my experience; I had difficulty getting my first forestry job, and I faced stiff competition against my male peers who came from forestry families and had experience, and more stereotypical “field-work-ready” statures than mine. I am still grateful to the person who took a chance on the underdog and gave me my first job—if hiring is your responsibility, perhaps you can be that person for someone else.

Once I did secure a forestry job—working in remote, isolated conditions—I spent every day being afraid I would be eaten by a bear. Imagine my surprise, 10 years later, to have that same concern raised in the WIW group by a woman in her first job. The number of women commenting with the same experience—with many solutions—was amazing. Personally, what helped was the passage of time and eventual development of confidence and knowledge (plus, a healthy amount of stubbornness that didn’t allow me to quit from fear). I believe a better solution now exists through openness, increased training and education, and support networks like WIW to help build confidence through shared experiences.

Planning for a family can be stressful for women, whether it is planning to take time off or integrating back into the workforce. It can be difficult finding childcare with flexible or extended hours, to do camp work, or balance home and work life. Women looking for employment or working contract positions are hesitant or worried about how pregnancy could impact their ability to be hired. The key here seems to be flexibility by employers, both with hours and strategic onboarding after maternity leave. Also, an increasing number of men taking paternity leave and breaking down gender roles in the household goes a long way toward changing stereotypes associated with “mom in the workforce.”

As women enter the mid-career phase of their forestry careers, many hope to advance into management and leadership roles. However, many women don’t have leadership role models to look to in their workplace. It is difficult to imagine you can be it, if you can’t see it. The fact that we’re only recently seeing “firsts”such as first female chief forester, first female mill manager, is somewhat telling. It’s very encouraging that these occurrences are happening at an accelerated pace in recent years, and hopefully soon, we won’t have to remark on or celebrate “firsts” anymore. The solution to this one is in the hands of women themselves, and employers. Women must identify the skills and experience they need to advance their careers and seek mentors or training to help them get there. Employers must ensure that women are given equal opportunities to become qualified and compete on a level playing field as their male counterparts and mentoring men and women in the same way.

Today, there are many success stories for women in Canada’s forest sector. The number of companies and organizations engaging in diversity and inclusion initiatives is remarkable, and the fact that we’re having this conversation is a definite win. But let’s not take the foot off the gas—it’s in the hands of every person working in the sector to challenge behaviors and create change that will lead to a more welcoming environment for all employees. We’re an industry with an aging workforce primed for a continued post-pandemic boom. Attracting and retaining good employees is the only way to sustain that momentum—let’s make sure we consider 48% of the available labor force in building the future of our sector.

Authors: Lacey Rose
County Forester and Cofounder, Women in Wood

Original Article: Biomass Magazine

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products

FOREST TO OCEAN | Grain Surfboards

Grain Surfboards has been crafting one-of-a-kind wooden surfboards from sustainably managed Maine forests since 2005. With an emphasis on quality and sincere commitment to sustainable practices, each board is made one at a time, by hand, to create a product that has a soul and tells a story.

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Lacey Rose | OFIA Profile

A tree-hugger was born.

I love forests. As a child growing up in an isolated, northern mining town, I spent a lot of time in the woods. Berry picking, ski-dooing, fishing, mosquito-swatting: it was home. Ironically, I had no concept of what forest management was, and my initial perceptions were formed entirely by media. Popular media taught me that cutting trees was bad and forests should be protected. A tree-hugger was born.

Luckily, life led me to people who encouraged me to ask questions and to not always believe what you read or hear.  I took the time to learn more about forest management, and through my completion of a Bachelor of Science in Forestry at UNB, became intrigued and impressed by the complexity and problem-solving nature of working in the field.  And one of the first things I figured out was – trees grow back!  Imagine if we could get that message to everyone in Canada. We are legally and professionally required to ensure that managed forests successfully regenerate.  Most often, we couldn’t stop them if we tried because forestry doesn’t equal deforestation.  Some tree species need a little help to grow, and that’s part of our job as forestry professionals.

In my current position as Forester for the County of Renfrew, I am constantly encouraged by the dedication of the family-run businesses in this area, the operators in the woods, and all others in the tight-knit forestry community in central Ontario. All of these people truly care about the well-being of our forests, and every action they take is with the intention of making sure their children (and children’s children) have the opportunity to make a living from the forest.  I feel lucky in my job to be able to talk the public about the great work that is done in our forests, and show it off whenever I get the chance. The best way to change someone’s mind about forestry is to allow them to see it with their own eyes.

"I still believe that forests should be protected, and I am definitely still a tree-hugger.  The difference is, I no longer equate “protect” with “don’t touch”."

To me, protecting our forests means we manage them sustainably and encourage a vibrant forest industry so that land does not become more valuable as a solar farm, sub-division or corn field.   We can recreate in the woods, provide habitat for all of nature’s wonders, and have a roof over our heads: today, tomorrow and always. This is because of the intensive amount of science, research, planning and care that goes into ensuring that there will always be diverse, healthy forests that can provide for all forest values. Sustainable forest management is a really good example of being able to have your cake and eat it too.

I plan on spending the rest of my career working in the forest, and I feel good about telling kids on the verge of choosing their career path that there’s something in the forest industry for them too. We manage our forests to the highest standards in the world, and I’m proud to be a small part of that. That’s why I stand up for forestry.

- Lacey Rose, RPF
Original post: OFIA Profile
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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products

FOREST TO OCEAN | Grain Surfboards

Grain Surfboards has been crafting one-of-a-kind wooden surfboards from sustainably managed Maine forests since 2005. With an emphasis on quality and sincere commitment to sustainable practices, each board is made one at a time, by hand, to create a product that has a soul and tells a story.

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