Careers in Reforestation Planning & Management
As with any other field, reforestation is complex and much is required beyond simply jobs planting trees. Many support positions are responsible for the logistical and planning services required to maintain a healthy forest.
Job titles falling into this classification include forest planners, planning assistants or industry coordinators. There is slightly different terminology depending on whether the position is in Canada or the United States.
There are many items that logistically must be managed for proper environmental reforestation techniques. A site designated for reforestation must be carefully planned, evaluated and prepared to maximize cost efficiencies. Selecting the proper seedlings to plant in the first place can be critical to successful reforestation, beginning with proper tree species. Different species grow best in certain climates, soils and elevations. Natural seeding may work, but large treeplanting operations often require transplanting wild seedlings or purchasing nursery-grown seedlings.
Conditions such as native vegetation, soil, slope and wildlife must be taken into account. Characteristics such as rainfall, watershed, sunlight, temperature and climate must be understood to maximize treeplanting efficiency.
There are also a number of roles managing the administrative work behind the scenes in reforestation activities. Organizing planting crews, managing relationships between government entities and private firms or supervising work operations are just a few examples.
A forest planner in the United States focuses on relationships between government agencies, charity and community organizations to ensure their forestry activities adhere to federal regulations. A forest planner must be proficient in data management to assure an organization’s record-keeping is accurate. Necessary education is a bachelor’s degree, preferably in forestry, but similar disciplines are usually considered. A talent with Geographic Information System (GIS) software and computers is beneficial. The position is typically salaried and includes benefits.
The planning assistant supports foresters or other supervisory positions in roles such as timber pricing appraisals, ensuring various applications are properly documented or assuring consultant work is followed per contract. The position requires registration as a Forest Professional and familiarity with local forest legislation.
Positions titled industry coordinators are common in the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure private businesses adhere to forest policies and legislation. The position requires a good knowledge of all aspects of forest resource management. Due to the high frequency interactions with various businesses, the position requires a person with excellent diplomacy skills.
This position also involves travel to many regions across the continent. Salary expectations should center around $60,000 per year.