OFIC: What’s your background?
LP: I am the Retired Superintendent of Roseburg Public Schools and the Chairman of Communities for Healthy Forests. I would want to add that I am an environmentalist who cares deeply about the health of our forests. I came to the Umpqua in the mid sixties as a Forestry major, fully intending to stake out a career in natural resource management as my forefathers had done. But, I took a different path and eventually found myself in coursework that would lead to degrees in public education. I’m a long, long time resident of Douglas County – 48 years. I’m also a 6th generation descendant of Oregon pioneers, who made their home in Oregon in the late 1840’s. I like to say that I’m a 6th generation Oregonian, born in California. My father was on active duty with the Air Force in California when I was born in 1949.
Beth Fitch is a Forester for Hampton Tree Farms/Lumber/Affiliates. She is based out of Astoria and works in Clatsop County, Oregon and Pacific County, Washington. We asked her to tell us a little bit about how she got into forestry and to describe the work she does.
OFIC: How did you decide to become a forester?
BF: As a kid, I spent a large part of the time outdoors. I grew up in the suburbs of large cities. My parents were active outdoors. Mostly we skied together during the winter and spent time in the Rocky Mountains in the summer. We ended up moving to Denver when I was in middle school and continued those outdoor adventures. Colorado State University was just 60 miles north of us and my older sister was already there so I had been to campus and I liked it. They had a forestry program so I perused the class catalog looking at the forestry classes and I found it interesting so I signed up and that was it. I landed in the right place.