Third Annual Redwood Region Resource RallyThird Annual Redwood Region Resource Rally

Students and teachers enjoy a tour of the Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) Scotia sawmill.

By Mary Bullwinkel

In an attempt to recruit and engage the next generation of natural resource professionals, more than 200 high school students, teachers, and chaperones attended the Third Annual Redwood Region Resource Rally held in late September in northern California. Students from six California counties (Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, Trinity, Lake, and Sonoma) attended the day-long gathering to learn about forestry and natural resources, as well as agriculture and related career opportunities.

Visiting Various Stations

The forestry and natural resource students were divided into groups of approximately 30 students and rotated through six stations in the small town of Scotia. Students met with industry professionals and observed live demonstrations while learning about forestry and logging, fish and wildlife, operating heavy equipment, diesel mechanics, and sawmill operations.

At the forestry and logging station located in Humboldt Redwood Company’s (HRC) Scotia Tree Farm, students heard from professional foresters and loggers, and they observed a tree felled, bucked, and skidded. The timber faller was David Walters, and HRC employee Scotty Fowler was the operator of the Caterpillar D7HXR grapple machine. Both talked to the students about their jobs and how much they enjoy their work.

Third Annual Redwood Region Resource RallyStudents and teachers lean about potential careers in the industry.

The Scotia Tree Farm was planted in the early 1980s and supports a healthy growing redwood forest with trees more than 35 years old.

Motivating for Future Careers

When students visited the heavy equipment shop in Scotia, they learned about diesel mechanics and how to become an equipment operator. To demonstrate the value of the Redwood Region Resources Rally and to highlight current employment opportunities in the industry, the students were told that two participants in a previous year’s Rally are now employed at the shop in Scotia.

Third Annual Redwood Region Resource RallyTo encourage students to become involved in the industry, CAT representatives were on hand at the shop to talk to the students about training programs offered by the construction, logging, and mining equipment manufacturer. Cat offers both online and in-classroom training.

Sandy Dale, a high school agriculture teacher and one of the coordinators of the Resource Rally said, “Making industry connections is key to career success, and this event gives students that opportunity and so much more. Students are getting to have real conversations with industry professionals in small group settings,” she added, “and it is very rewarding to see students excited about their career goals and making plans to achieve them.”

A guided tour of HRC’s Scotia sawmill showed students the many components of the milling operations. And wildlife and fisheries biologists educated students about career opportunities in those career fields.

Third Annual Redwood Region Resource RallyThe successful event introduced hundreds of students to the woods.

New Technology and Education

Educational outreach continued when all participating students, tour guides, presenters, and volunteers gathered for lunch at Fireman’s Park in Scotia. College of the Redwoods (CR) Forestry Department presented a drone demonstration and the latest application of the technology in the logging and forestry industries. A representative of the Humboldt State University forestry program also gave a presentation, the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Building Trades Trailer was on site, and students talked one-on-one with a logging truck driver.

“We could not be more proud of the opportunities that this day offered our students,” Dale said. “The commitment and enthusiasm shown by the industry folks are a testament to the industry as a whole,” she added.

The agricultural branch of the Redwood Region Resource Rally was added to the focus of the annual gathering, to give local students information about local career opportunities in that industry. The students visited three Humboldt County businesses during their day of study: the Alexandre Eco Dairy in Ferndale, the Humboldt Auction Yard in Fortuna, and Sarvinski Organic Farm in Pepperwood. There was also information presented about the College of the Redwoods agriculture program and the school’s Shively Sustainable Farm.

The rally was successful due in part to the sponsors of the annual in-the-field, career day event: Redwood Region Logging Conference, North Coast Ag Partners, Humboldt County Farm Bureau, Humboldt Redwood Company, and Green Diamond Resource Company.

TimberWest November/December 2013
November/December 2018

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Redwood Region Resource Rally
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