Forestry career: Seven years
I manage the Stevens Lumber Mill plantation where we strive to produce the best quality saw timber with minimal knots. Part of my role is to ensure that operations are completed at the required standard and on time, both by our own employees and the contractors who work with us. Silviculture operations involve ordering seedlings, land preparation, planting, pruning, slashing, chemical weed control, tree enumeration, plantation mapping and firebreak preparation. We also respond to controlled and uncontrolled fires. An average day varies with the seasons.
WHY I LOVE WORKING IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
I love being able to protect my farms from fire. During fire season, I wait for my radio to sound — just one call and I’m up. I want to get to where a fire has been spotted as quickly and as safely as possible. When I get there, I’m calm and start thinking of a way to control the fire and what resources I need. The satisfaction I get when everyone is safe and there has been minimal damage to a plantation or property is huge. I also enjoy learning new things and testing machines before my employees can use them. It is really rewarding to teach people something you already know.
MY ADVICE TO THOSE EXPLORING A CAREER IN FORESTRY
Forestry develops legends! You must love it to do it as your work becomes your life. It’s hard to separate them, because you plant trees and it becomes your mission to protect them against natural disaster, fire and diseases. You must be dedicated, hands on and willing to do things on your own. To women who love a challenge, join the industry — every day feels like a huge accomplishment.