Protecting Our Forests

Protecting Our Forests


[Narrator] The protection of our southern
forests from wildfires, invasive plants and pests, and mismanagement of the land is the mission of the Southern Group of State Foresters and its members. Meet three forestry professionals who are
passionate about using their unique skills to protect lives and property. I have wanted to be a wildland firefighter
since I first knew about prescribed burning and control of wildfires in the United States. We have a valuable role within the ecosystem, as well as assisting the public in protecting their homes. Our jobs are dangerous, as well as rewarding. Whether it’s on our bulldozer, on our transports, in the shop with the tools that we use. We have to be aware of everything going on around us. It’s a challenging job, it’s holidays, it’s
leaving husbands, wives, children. But it’s a sacrifice that we willingly make
and will do again and again. Boots on the ground are really important but so is the technology that helps them. We used to have fire towers. Now we have drones and tablets. With the technology we’ve given firefighters, they are able to both collect and share information amongst themselves. We need them to have the most up-to-date information, whether that’s a wind shift coming, or some other weather event that could affect operations. The Simtable is a great tool to help us visualize fire behavior. In the sand, we’re able to create local topography in order to show how wildfire would spread. Forest service isn’t just about the trees,
we can protect lives and property through technology. I view the forest like a garden. You do everything you can to make it grow and grow healthy. Forest health is about how the forest reacts to natural disasters, or to human decisions. What fire does, what water does, what all
kinds of other things do to the forest. It’s all one big concept. It’s important for folks to listen to our
messages, because we are professional foresters. We’ve gone to school for this, we’ve studied the science of forestry. Even if you don’t own a forest, or you don’t
recreate in forests, forest health impacts everybody. We all need to do our part. I love my job because I feel like decisions
that I make today will have a positive impact on generations to come.

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