An Introduction

June 25, 2020 11:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Hello! My name is Julia Hollingsworth, and I am one of this year’s silviculture interns at Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie. Recently, I finished the first year of my Master of Forestry degree at the University of Alberta. After studying Biology at UNBC, I worked in Grande Prairie for a few years, so I am very happy to be able to do an internship in the place I call home. I’m also excited to share my experience as a summer silviculture intern with you all through the Green Dream blog. 😊

Building a career in forestry has been a dream for me since the first time I set foot on a cutblock. In pop culture, logging is almost universally portrayed as negative: from machines belching oily, black, smoke in Fern Gully to the Once-ler’s unbounded greed in The Lorax. But after my first season planting trees, I couldn’t think of logging like that anymore. While cut blocks look brown and grey right after they are logged, it doesn’t take very long for a profusion of plants to grow in the mature stand’s place. Instead of devastation, I saw incredible diversity and an opportunity for change and renewal.

With that in mind, I don’t think it’s surprising that I am most drawn to silviculture. Silviculture is about more than just planting trees; it’s the way that forestry interacts with the future. Silvicultural techniques are perhaps the most important way that the forest industry can address pressing issues like climate change and herbicide use. One of the things I will be working on this year at Weyerhaeuser is helping to explore alternatives to glyphosate for competition control. I am thrilled to be working on projects that are entering new territory, as well as more standard silviculture intern tasks.

By far, my favourite part of working in the forest day-to-day is the flora and fauna that I get to see. I really love identifying and taking photos of plants and animals I get to see, so I promise to share all of the interesting ones I take.

deer in forest

I surprised this handsome whitetail deer while surveying a cutblock earlier this summer. He didn’t seem very bothered by me.

bears in forest

Don’t worry, I took this one from inside the truck.

orange flower close up

This is a Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) that I found on the FMA. Wood Lilies are one of my favourite signs of summer.

dried mushrooms

I had a pretty good black morel (Morchella esculenta) haul from one of the cutblocks I surveyed earlier this season.

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