6/20- Collins Pine Co. and PCREW talked trees, timber, and forest management techniques with triple bottom line objectives.
This was my 2nd year leading the Sustainable FOrest Management Tour with Collins Pine on behalf of Sierra Institute. Our typical tour attendee is retired and somewhat in the know about timber and forest management. At the end of tour season last year I had a vision of bringing younger people, high school age students on the Sustainable Forest Management Tour.
Last week, my vision came true. Planning, prep and loading the 2 PCREW crews went really well. We arrived to the Collins Museum on time and ready to learn. Terry Collins, our tree to timber expert, welcomed us right away with a brief on Ponderosa Pine versus Jeffery Pine. We then spilt into 3 groups. Terry talked Collins Pine history, practices and mill operations. The museum section featured the famous carbon cycle film highlighting trees as the ultimate sustainable resource. The third group was outside with me arriving in the Feather River Watershed and talking about the current philosophies in forest restoration. Each group got a turn and before we broke up for lunch we had a quick debrief. During the debrief, I learned that many of the students were hard core environmentalists but were now exposed to industry practices that are not harmful to the environment or communities surrounding them. Our tour prepared the crews to learn more about Triple Bottom Line objectives, rural communities interconnected and interdependent on natural resource industries and what they-PCREW- were doing in the forest anyway. After the morning tour I think the crews were more understanding of trees, timber and had ecology eyes ready for forest restoration.
We ate lunch just outside of Park 40 before walking the Park 40 Loop. Terry told us tales of oldin times when non-indigenous settlers first came and accounted this region. Resources were then and are still abundant here. While walking, Terry asked us “how would we harvest the forest?” Posing different options before us and giving more context he was still the expert and we all took away some new timber knowledge.
One of the students signed the thank you card, “Terry, I learned more with you than in school. I want to be a lumberjack now. Thanks so much.” While this crew member might not actually know how hard a life of lumber-jacking is, he is now out in the field using some of those concepts he learned during our Sustainable Management Tour.
As we left the tour that day Terry mentioned how fun it was to have younger people attend. I agree so much that I want to tour with high school aged students every year. Stay tuned for the announcement next year.
I was so happy when I came back to my office. My vision came true and I learned a lot as usual. My major take away was learning that many of the students didn’t know which watershed they came from. I think I was 19 when I understood what a watershed really was although I had grown up playing in the creeks and drainages of the Santa Clara River my whole childhood. Being with PCREW reminded me how young we are and the grandeur of learning before us all.
If you would like to learn more about the watershed you grew up in or learn more about Sustainable Forest Management, call me. I lead people on tours of all kinds and I would be excited to learn with you.