A forester is a professional who gets entrusted with the duty to manage forests and is usually part of a forester association. Their job is regarded to be both science and art. All in all, it is a rewarding career where you get to protect the future of our next generations.
The first thing you need to make it in the forestry profession is to have a lot of passion for natural resources. Without this, you can quickly flunk out of school. Secondly, you must be ready to focus on your education as you will spend four years in college to get an undergraduate degree. If you have both these areas covered, you can go ahead and consider the career. You can enroll for a degree in forestry in either a university or college as long as the program offered is accredited. Forest technicians spend two years in school to get an associate degree, so depending on what you want; you are looking at two to four years in college.
A professional forester
You will learn a lot about duties performed by both foresters and forest technicians. Your skills will also extend to the creation of management plans which is a process that requires you to have a clear understanding of biological activities as well as how forests can get restored to their original nature. You also get taught how to go about managing the operations of other foresters and technicians, should you ever become a supervisor.
If you choose this line of work, you will operate under the supervision of a forester. Your tasks will mainly include taking measurements of resources in the forest, keeping track of operations regarding the harvesting of any natural resources as well as surveying the land from time to time.
Foresters belong to professional organizations based in their localities where they get to debate on issues affecting them as they find better ways to conserve the environment.
Duties of a forester
As a forester, you get tasked with responsibilities that relate to the managing of forests for their various uses. You also get to keep track on how much timber there is in the woods and its worth. Natural habitats become your priority as you have to ensure that they do not get interfered with by the people accessing the forests.
Government regulations - You will get held liable for any illegal activities that take place under your watch and as such, it is a good idea to protect yourself from being culpable. Making sure that all contracts drawn up comply with the law is an excellent way to start. Also, ensure that all activities that occur in the forest are not in violation of any laws.
Plans - For the forest to continue serving the needs of the people for the centuries to come, you need to ensure that it gets well managed. You do this by creating both strategic and long-term plans which show how the land and the resources will get handled. Short-term goals should get achieved within a span of one year whereas long-term aims can take up to five years. Creation of such plans allows you to check whether the ongoing activities are in line with your goals.
Supervision - As a forester, you will have many people working for you, and you must ensure that they are efficient in their operations for the good of the forest.
New trees - You need to select where trees will be planted to replace the old ones as well as the harvested ones. You also have to prepare these sites adequately. Ensure that the practices used in clearing bushes and weeds are environmentally-friendly.
Projects - Foresters are in charge of deciding on the next plans and their scope. You get to monitor the planting of new seedlings, their amount and their location - which region or the exact forest as there are plenty. Making wise decisions when it comes to new projects will have a positive effect on the forest.
Contracts - All agreements relating to harvesting, the leasing of land or the management of the forests will go through you, and you have to ensure that the terms stipulated are ideal.
Forest fires - In the case where a forest fire starts, it is your job to conduct the suppression with the help of your team by giving orders on the courses of action. Your duties will also extend to conducting inspections on the trees, procuring timber from private contractors and spreading information on the importance of trees.
What`s it like working as a forester
Forestry is like any other profession with its ups and downs.
Ups - You get to dress in the manner you desire as you need not have a suit to go about your activities. Spending time outdoors is refreshing, and you get to have peace of mind. In addition to this, you get to educate people on the importance of forests as you interact with people with similar interests as yours.
Downs - Not everyone cares about forests as you do and you will come across people who wish to cut down trees for their selfish gains. You will also be in situations where forests get destroyed by natural causes such as fire an insects.