Oregon’s forests are filled with hardworking people who love taking care of one of Oregon’s best resources: our thriving trees. Over the next few months we’ll be sharing their voices with you for a glimpse of what it’s like working in and for the forests.
This week we’re sharing Whitney Henneman’s story, a forester with Silver Butte Timber Company:
I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my story about timber and why I’m proud of my industry.
I am a third generation forester. I am an Oregon transplant, and a Roseburg local. I’m married to a forester. And I have pitch in my veins.
Forestry is more than loggers, truck drivers, and foresters. My industry is made up of forest engineers, geneticists, nurserymen; blue collar and white collar jobs all united for the common goal: forests forever. I work for a 6th generation family-owned company that has a sawmill and 45,000 acres of timberland spread throughout Coos, Douglas, and Jackson Counties.
I am in charge of the reforestation program at my company and spend years collecting the best seed to deploy, months writing the perfect prescription, and endless days seeing the fruits of my labor unfold. I have been in the business long enough to have seen my plantations grow, the wildlife thrive, and clean water flow through the well managed forests that I get to work and play in.
Foresters are the original environmentalists; we get up at 3 AM to drive to the tree cooler or the landing, we sweat through our rain gear and have perpetual poison oak. The days are long and often hard, but the inspiration is unbound. I see first hand the healthy forests I contribute to, I see the renewable resource we create, I see the jobs we maintain, I see the ecosystem thrive, and I see the future forests I grow that will benefit my grandchildren. You see, forests have my vision. My grandfather planted trees that my generation gets to utilize, that’s full circle!
I am so proud of my industry. I’m so proud of the resilient people who are passionate about renewable resources that pour their soul into forests for us to enjoy and utilize. I am so proud of the work I do everyday to ensure forests forever. I am so proud of the mills that are evolving and creating wood products that store carbon for centuries; of the science based decisions we make on the ground, and the impact we get to make for the benefits of entire ecosystems. I get to enjoy opportunities to hunt and fish on our managed forest, I get to take my family to the creeks in our managed forests to play, and I get to steward Oregon’s greatest resource.
Thank you for bringing my voice and the work forest managers do, and the voices of many others, into the public view. It is a needed and important part of what makes this state truly Oregon.
– Whitney Henneman