Sustainable Forestry Tour Hits Home Run with Educators
The concept of sustainable forestry came alive for a group of educators and counselors who invested a week of their time in an on-the-ground forest tour and learning experience. Forty-three participants including elementary, high school and A/P level teachers and school counselors participated in the Idaho Forest Products Commission’s annual “Sustainable Forestry Tour.” During the week-long hands-on, on-the-ground experience, participants were immersed in all aspects of the forest products industry from nurseries and plantations to logging and wood and paper manufacturing.
Throughout the tour, forest professionals, landowners, business owners and representatives from state and federal agencies gave presentation about their role in the ongoing cycle of sustainable forestry. “This is an experience that changes the way educators think about forests, forest products and manufacturing,” according to Michelle Youngquist, IFPC Education Coordinator. “Counselors have a new appreciation for industry jobs and opportunities. There really is nothing like seeing the entire forest cycle and meeting the real people who make it happen.” The experience doesn’t end with the tour. Participants learned how to take their experience back to the classroom and share with their students through a variety of activities, materials and teaching aids.
The tour is made possible by over 60 sponsors including and the Idaho Forest Products Commission. Learn more about the tour at www.idahoforests.org/tour.htm. For more information, contact Michelle at or 208/334-4061.
Here are a few comments from this year’s participants:
- I am much more optimistic about the future of our natural resources now than I was before taking the tour. The dedication, professionalism, and the commitment that the individuals we spent time with exhibited was very encouraging.
- My perception of what is a healthy forest has done a 180. I would have looked at an old forest and thought it was healthy, now I know better. I have always had great respect and a little envy for foresters and forestry and still do. I use the products every day and am happy to see they will be there in the future.
- I wasn’t aware how invested in sustainability the foresters and industries were. It truly takes all of the partnerships to make all the pieces come together.
- I am impressed with their dedication and love of the land. They showed me how much the land means to them. Yes economically but also emotionally.
- One of the most important things I have learned is that it is important and necessary to cut trees. Also, the thoughts and purpose that go into forest management is very aggressive for the good of all.
- I honestly knew nothing about forestry. I could say I didn’t look favorably on logging, especially clear cutting. This opinion was completely based on ignorance. I learned (more than I can remember) how important the logging process is and how certain animals can thrive after a clear cut.
- I learned forests need to be managed to sustain healthy growth. The US Forest Service has its hands tied in trying to improve the health of federal lands.