Last week we celebrated National Forest Products Week. Held the third week of October each year, this week-long celebration is a way to honor “working forests” where trees are grown, harvested and re-grown for the future. Accounting for 2.4 million jobs nationwide, the United States is lucky to have millions of acres of forested lands. No one knows the value of our industry better than our members. We’ll let a few of our recent Wood Basics graduates speak to the impact the industry has had on their livelihood and the effects it has on their day-to-day life.
I had very little idea about how pervasive the use of forest products is. As a distributor, our customer base is a huge array of industries, from home builders to cabinet makers to custom window companies, to the entertainment industry. Everyone is using some form of forest product in their craft. I never really stopped to consider what a wide variety of items we create, produce, and use from forest products. It has really opened my eyes to the importance of maintaining the sustainability of forest products. So many livelihoods hinge on our ability to keep the forests vibrant and stable.
Hoss Peterson, Cedar Creek, LLC
It is very important to educate people on the importance of forest management. So many people do not understand that by not cutting and clearing, it leaves more fuel for fires to burn out of control, do more damage and put lives at risk, as opposed to controlled forest management. Saving the forests involves clearing forest lands, replanting and maintaining a healthy level of undergrowth and healthy trees, and getting rid of trees that are past their lifespan.
Patrick Ellis, Idaho Pacific
What an industry!
This is the only industry I know where people take you for your word and you can trust theirs in return. This business speaks to the better part of humanity by keeping the personal side of business in our transactions. It seems to be a dying art to simply have a conversation on the phone. This wonderful industry keeps that alive. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunities to serve my friends and be a part of an industry that has not let go of good old fashioned values.
Melody Konecny, Spokane Forest Products
Growing up in Northern BC in the “big” city of Smithers, it was a mill city, we not only had West Fraser but my driveway was literally shared with a cedar mill. Now being in the industry myself for the past few months, it is massively evident how large and important this industry is in North America. It employs people in so many capacities and it seems everyone I know is connected in some regard, from tree planters to renovators, and mill employees to lumber traders. I’m excited to be a part of an industry that is sustainable, ever-growing and full of individuals who still value and utilize the skill of human connection, versus the world that hides behind a keyboard.
Haleigh Callison, Olympic Industries Inc.
Understanding how important it is during the harvesting process is a key factor in the growth of forest products. Versatility is displayed in how resourceful one log can output many different dimensions. This is a very sustainable way of maximizing production.
Lydia Huber, International Wood Products LLC
NAWLA celebrates its members and the industry year round, but we’re thrilled to share these perspectives with you from our members during National Forest Products Week.