Over the past year and a half that I have been working for Sundre Forest Products, I have received an incredible amount of career development support. The internal West Fraser courses provide networking opportunities, while also contributing to my supervisory knowledge and understanding of the company’s values. Also, colleagues have played an active role in my development through mentorship and taking time to pass on their knowledge. I am hoping to reciprocate through a long forestry career with West Fraser.
I started my career in the forestry industry as a planning summer student with a licensee in the Cariboo region of BC, working several terms up to my graduation from the University of British Columbia (UBC). While at UBC, I worked part-time in First Nations policy research and recreational planning. After completing my Bachelor of Science in Forestry, I started as an Assistant Forester with Sundre Forest Products in Alberta, gaining valuable experience in both the planning and operations divisions. I am currently supervising harvest operations while in the process of transitioning to a Planning Supervisor role.
To me, a working forest contributes equally to the environmental, economic, and social pillars of sustainable forest management. It provides long-term jobs and recreational opportunities to local communities, while also maintaining functional ecosystems. Sundre Forest Products meets these standards by harvesting stands in a way that emulates natural disturbance regimes representative of the forests we operate in, engaging with recreational and community stakeholders to reduce impact, and meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements.
If you are a person that likes to spend time in the bush and would like to contribute ideas to the areas you value the most, the best thing to do is take an active role in the long-term management of these landscapes. Foresters hold a unique role that requires individuals that can combine the use of cutting-edge technology and boots-on-the-ground experience. People that can blend these competing values will be invaluable to the long-term success of the industry.
I spend most of my free time hiking, camping, and mountain biking in the same areas that Sundre Forest Products operates, a perfect example of the benefits of a working forest! Banff National Park, west of Sundre, provides ample opportunities for both backcountry and lift-accessible skiing in the winter. I am an active member on the local Search and Rescue team, mountain bike clubs, and alpine club, keeping me quite active outside of work.