Student Intern at Lower North Thompson Community Forest in Vancouver, BC, Canada
For my first co-op work term, I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a forest technician at the Lower North Thompson Community Forest located in Barriere, BC. During my time here I was exposed to all aspects of sustainable forest management, as well as planning meetings involving community stakeholders. I gained hands-on experiences in every stage of timber management. My main tasks included tree-planting, fertilizer application, mechanical brushing, boundary layout, post-harvest assessments, and wildlife habitat installation.
I also worked alongside Forsite Consultants to conduct fuel management prescriptions, which involved assessing ground fuel in the community forest to proactively mitigate wildfires. I learned that small-scale community forest tenures allow local stakeholders governance and flexibility in the variety of socio-economic benefits derived from their forest resources.
These benefits included job creation at the mill, industry-related training, grants towards education, and many other streams to bring revenue back to local communities.
I would like to thank UBC Co-op and my supervisor Mike Francis for this amazing experience. It is truly fulfilling to transfer classroom knowledge into the field and observe how forest management is performed in a community forest setting. This position has not only provided me many valuable skills and insights for my future career, but also supplements my current studies in urban forestry.