Future Foresters celebrate one year on
Friday 12 Jul 2019
"For our 1st birthday celebration I thought I would share with you all something a little bit personal, something a little bit emotive, a piece I wrote towards the end of last year more for myself than for anyone else but hey here it is! The question I posed to myself was this: What was the motivation behind Future Foresters?
I am forestry biased to the extreme. I love forestry. I love trees, I love landscapes, I love the outdoors, and I love wood as a product. However, when I began my job in forestry it soon dawned on me that I was missing a certain social connection. I knew there were likeminded and passionate young foresters in Aotearoa but they just didn’t happen to be in my town, or I just hadn’t had the chance to meet them yet. I had forestry friends throughout NZ so I knew they were out there. I knew there were others too, I’d heard rumours of them – like the local Taniwha; talked about but never seen - but I had no means to connect with them.
Surely, I wasn’t the anomaly. Surely, I wasn’t the only one who felt this social connection was missing. I loved my job but one of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – community; a sense of belonging –was missing.
To me, forestry brings a sense of community like no other. Consistently I am impressed by my manager, my boss, my previous employers, all seeming to know each other from some forestry heyday. Some mystical heyday at Fletchers, or Carters, or some Forest Service camp or training. This comradery, these shared adventures have stuck with them and impacted their careers and their personal lives through meaningful work and social connections.
These historic forestry connections and networks are perhaps not unique to forestry but are one of our collective industry superpowers. The forestry community is one of our ultimate strengths that we need to cultivate and draw upon.
And so, through an admittedly selfish realisation, it dawned on me that I would not be able to make important early career connections just because I didn’t work for a large company and because there wasn’t a forestry community for people to interact.
As we look to a more wellness centric approach to work and life, the importance of sound social connection cannot be overstated. If we truly care about the wellbeing of all those in the industry then we need to promote connection and promote this forestry sense of community.
Future Foresters is an avenue to form our own forestry centric community – I am so damn proud, like a dad whose children go off logging or head to forestry school, I’m so proud that a tear threatens to pass the border of my eyelids.
Future Foresters, as a collective, want to be the catalyst for career-long, and life-long, connections. We are here to provide connection and community for the betterment of all of us. Yes, we have ambitious goals of changing public perception, of encouraging more youth into all aspects of forestry, and of providing a millennial perspective. However, the inner core and purpose is to get forestry people together with the realisation that we are all part of a national community. Hey, you could even suggest we are part of an international community (did someone say Future Foresters International?...).
At Future Foresters we want to do more than simply get together, however, at the heart of it all, it’s this very simple concept that has made it work, and I hope will make it work from now into the future, as we progress from seedling to silviculture, from mid-rotation to harvest.
These are my personal motivations and my own thoughts. Everyone is different, everyone has their own perspective of the industry, of problems we face, of solutions to those problems, but at its core we cannot expect to come up with a cohesive and sustainable way of managing our forests in the future if we do not look to make the connections and relationships now and learn from the past and the present to guide us into the unknown.
So, I leave you with my thoughts. I am striving for a forestry community. At Future Foresters, we are striving for a forestry community and with a forestry community we will have the ability to be resilient, to be sustainable and rewarding, and to be world leading.
Kia Kaha!! Any feedback, thoughts, or ideas? Get in touch via the website or simply email: email@example.com"
Source: Future Foresters
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