Cheslatta Carrier First Nation Community Forest, Burns Lake, BC
Traversing the Sierra Madres in Wyoming, USA, climbing trees with a chainsaw in White Rock, BC, and working for two different community forests as a co-op student! Having completed five different work terms allows for such a breadth of experiences and I would encourage anyone to set themselves on such an adventure! I’ve been particularly fortunate to have set an early goal of working for a community forest and was fortunate to have that dream come true twice in a row. I continue to believe that community-based tenure has the greatest potential for the highest integrity in stewardship. I have experienced first-hand how unique communities are compared to one another – how they adapt to their particular ecosystems and economies (the Discovery Islands on the Coast versus northern interior BC) – and therefore how unique their respective practices and principles can be. I have watched myself grow into a senior technician, having helped train other students in layout, GIS, vehicular operations, and safety. During my last co-op work term I gained greater knowledge of the silvicultural aspects of forestry, including planted tree quality assessments/supervision and free-growing surveys. In both community forest positions, I have been a part of additional projects such as helping to provide free veterinary care for feral and/or orphaned pets. I am happy and grateful to be working with both the land and people, as it becomes more and more apparent that the two are truly aspects of the same whole.