I have been earning a living as a forester for just over twenty years now, but since I was twelve years old I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I have been fortunate enough to learn from people who have been practicing forestry for fifty years, and I have been lucky enough to pass along some of what I have learned to the next generation of foresters.
The latest chapter in my forestry learning experience happened earlier in 2010, as Woodridge Forestry LLC, opened its doors for business.
The largest joy I receive from being a forester is meeting people who care about the land, assisting them with defining their goals and objectives, and finally implementing those goals on their project. Whether the project is a several hundred acre property that has been in the family for sixty years, or it is a twenty acre parcel that a young couple just bought to build a home on, I enjoy developing the relationship with the landowners and working towards a common goal.
Projects that Woodridge Forestry works on are as diverse as our landowners. Clients that I work with include family forest owners, industrial land owners, State government, county government, conservation organizations, and other non-governmental organizations. In addition, continued participation with WSU and the DNR occur through Coached Planning Workshops and Family Forest Owner Field Days.
I am a member of the Association of Consulting Foresters and the Society of American Foresters.
A brief summation of my experience:
I graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Business.
My first full-time job was as a forestry technician with the DNR in Forks, WA. (This was long before Twilight made the place famous.)
After a short time I promoted to the Okanogan. This was the same place where as a wide-eyed twelve year old I told my Dad and Grandpa I wanted to work as a forester and drive one of those red trucks in the woods. The funny thing is the guy who visited our deer camp was the same guy I was working side-by-side with twelve years later.
A few years later, I promoted to North Bend as the Unit Forester for Tiger Mountain State Forest. In this position with the Department of Natural Resources I was able to develop many practical and applicable skills regarding the emotional side of forest management. Tiger Mountain enlightened me to the diverse array of opinions which exist regarding the management of the DNR trust lands, in particular, and forests in general. Meeting with environmental groups, conducting public meetings, and meeting with property owners who were adjacent to a proposed management activity allowed me to develop the ability to listen to people’s concerns, and effectively communicate my understanding of those concerns.
It was during these years that I become involved with the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Program. I was a member of Class 19 and graduated from this program in May, 1997.
My final three years with the DNR as the Northeast Washington Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator provided many skills which I utilize to this day. One of the main functions of this position was to educate NIPF owners regarding forest health, wildfire, and wildlife management. Meeting with people one on one was rewarding, especially when your technical and educational advice translated into good forestry occurring on the ground. Often education was accomplished by partnering with the WSU extension forester to conduct workshops or other educational events, something I still volunteer doing as a private consulting forester.
The second half of my career to date has been as a private forest consultant. In 2000, I opened an office for my previous employer in Northeast Washington with no clients and within a year had exceeded company expectations for revenue, services provided, and growth. The office grew in services provided, personnel, and gross revenue. The last three years (2008-2010), I also managed the offices in North Idaho and Montana, assisting the personnel in those locations with planning, scheduling, project implementation, and personnel management. In April, 2010, I resigned my position and embarked a new adventure.
I look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your project.