Brogan Waldner – What is a registered professional forester technologist?
By Martin Charlton Communications
Brogan Waldner knows she chose the right career.
“I knew I wanted to get into forestry, so I’m lucky to be where I am now. I absolutely love what I do,” she said.
What exactly does a registered professional forest technologist do on a daily or weekly basis?
As you might expect, Brogan does spend some of her time navigating her way through Saskatchewan’s forests. However, she admitted the majority of her working days are spent in an office setting or meeting with stakeholders and users of the forests.
Stakeholders include trappers, berry pickers, hunters and other individuals or groups curious about a proposed tree cut that could impact their personal interests and livelihoods.
Tree cuts and harvesting is a natural progression of the forests. A lot of areas that are planned for harvest involve trees that are over-mature, diseased and starting to die falling over. As well, harvesting is essential to the mitigation of fires.
Brogan will explain these points to stakeholders, in addition to debunking myths associated with the industry. Misconceptions that there is no consultation with stakeholders prior to a tree cut is “absolutely false.”
Brogan spends several weeks hosting open houses in impacted communities and explains the proposed tree cut plan to the public. She visits face to face with concerned individuals, sometimes more than once, to offer a thorough explanation as to why certain sections are being harvested.
“I like talking to people and debunking some of the myths that are out there. A lot of people have these misconceptions about forestry, so it’s nice to meet with people one on one and show them what we’re going to do and work with them on the planning of a cut.”
Just 26 years old, Brogan believes she might be the youngest forest planner in Saskatchewan. She says what she might lack in experience she makes up for with a zest and genuine love for the work she does.
Her favourite aspect of the job? That’s easy.
“I love seeing a cut block finished,” she said. “When there are numerous moving parts involved, like stakeholder meetings, seeing all of the different things we had to account for, and when that block is finished and you go to do your final inspection and everything has been accounted for. You know you did your best to manage the economics, the social and the environmental part. That’s my favourite part of the job. Seeing it done and done right.”