When I was elected as your President early this year, I assumed that there
were going to be many incoming challenges to our profession. Perhaps it
would be a new General Order from Water Quality, or developing legislation
from Sacramento, or maybe a new electronic Timber Harvest Plan form. No,
there was a greater dire and pressing challenge to address - one that
shakes to the very core of our Association - the number of RPFs is on
the decline – our ranks are thinning out – literally. You
see it with job postings on websites that go unfilled for months, or employees
finding a smaller pool of candidates to interview for jobs and open positions.
We have to reach across state and international borders to fill vacancies
for California jobs.
So what is CLFA doing to help with the problem? The answer is rather simple
and very common to us as Foresters. To grow a tree you must first plant
a seed. We need to reach out to our local youth; that next generation,
and plant that seed in their mind; the idea of becoming a Forester and
choosing Forestry as a career path.
At CLFA, we are doing this but we need your help,
your membership, to groom that next generation of locally grown Foresters. Some of the
programs that we are currently involved with are:
- Many of our members are assisting with the Forestry Challenge; and helping
High School students complete the intense course which teaches the fundamentals
- We are partnering with Future Farmers of America to endorse a Career
Development Event. This certification program will give High School graduates
an advantage in seeking entry level employment in the Forestry sector.
- We will be offering a third scholarship applicable to High School Graduates
or CCC participants that will be attending a two year Forestry College program.
- We will be working with Professional Foresters Registration to possibly
allow a two year Community College Associates Degree in Forestry to apply
towards the seven years of experience in forestry work for qualifying
to take the RPF exam.
- We are using our 30 Second Forester TV commercials to discover future
Foresters. Our opening line in the TV ads starts with the question “Have
you ever thought about a career in Forestry?”
I could list all the benefits of being a CLFA Member: Board of Forestry
and State Legislature Representation, Continuing Education Workshops,
Archaeology Training Courses, Breakfast Group Meetings, Monthly Newsletter,
Employment Notices on our website, and Community Outreach. All the items
listed above are meaningless if we cannot
sustain our membership. The bottom line for any organization is that you get out
of it what you put into it. Your membership in CLFA will sustain our ranks
of Foresters, now and into the future. Thank you for your support.
CLFA President 2017-2018