Melissa's story

I enjoy working in the natural resource sector and have always been passionate about sustainable forest management.

I’ve been in the industry for 12 years. I started as a summer student at Blue Ride Lumber near Whitecourt, Alberta looking after the manual tending program for 8 months. From there I spent 4 years in Fort McMurray working for the Government of Alberta’s wildfire branch. I felt I needed to get back into forestry and moved to North Vancouver Island, where I worked in tenure development and road construction. After 3 years, I accepted a position in BC Timber Sales in Williams Lake. After 5 years, I came back to West Fraser as a Planning Coordinator.

After moving for years, working in many different offices, and then returning to West Fraser, I can honestly say the work atmosphere in the Williams Lake office is extremely positive, friendly, and professional. There is a sense of pride and appreciation felt for employees. At the end of the day, everyone is a team. I also notice that many West Fraser employees have positive attitudes and carry an appreciation for the work and roles they fill.

I find the interaction between forest professionals, licenses, tenure and stakeholders to be unique and interesting. In my role, I am constantly learning and engaging with these groups. One of the greatest aspects of my job is being in the forest itself; on the ground and managing the challenges our province is currently facing.

A working forest means that it supports as many user groups as possible and supports a wide range of biodiversity, all while ensuring sustainable resource opportunities exist into the future. In my current position, I engage with First Nations, ranchers, guide outfitters, trappers, recreational users, the public, and government agencies. All of which have a vested interest when it comes to sustainable forest management, including West Fraser. 

I live in a small community outside of Williams Lake, that is very rural. Williams Lake and its surrounding communities of the Cariboo are very involved in forestry. This area has also become very progressive and interested when it comes to initiating government-funded enhancement programs, Community Forests, and expanding recreation/conservation areas. I think it is important for community members to engage and participate in these forestry programs to become part of the progress. 

Picture caption: the view from under the canopy of an older aged Fir stand that has been managed for Fir Bark Beetle Salvage targeting single stem infestation removal. Note the clearing/opening from prior years entry and the visible regeneration vs the younger healthy and vigorous stand adjacent for future harvesting opportunities. All of which help contribute to biodiversity on the landscape.

- Melissa Planning Coordinator

All Testimonials