Forest Restoration Crew Member at City of Boulder in Boulder, CO, USA
This co-op term, I am working as a sawyer on the City of Boulder’s Forest Restoration Crew where we cut trees for fire mitigation in Boulder, Colorado. Fire is natural and important for many fire-adapted forests, but in the past, we have been suppressing fire from their ecosystem. While it is good that the city has been protected, these forests are now overgrown and will create extreme fire behavior which is much more dangerous to the city below. My job is to open up these now homogenous and overgrown canopies, to not only create a healthier environment for these trees to grow big, but also to create a fire break where a fire will stop or lower in intensity. My job also entails responding to local and regional wildfires as a sawyer. After completing training, I was certified my red card, the wildland firefighter certification. This means I will have the opportunity to soon be sent out on a wildfire in the Northern Rocky region for 14 days. This co-op has provided an insurmountable amount of experience and passion for narrowing down my interests for a potential career. I have had the opportunity to learn and teach, as well as have certification in heavy equipment like tractors and trailers. Not only am I learning everyday, but I am also making new connections with the people and getting to better explore the area. I definitely recommend co-op to anyone who is excited about their degree and wants to start experimenting on what sort of jobs they are the most passionate for.