Following My Family’s Footsteps Into the Forest

April 08, 2020

Young man in a high vis vest, hard hat and gear stands on a hill with forest in the background.

Will Vukovic worked as a Silviculture Technician for Mosaic Forest Management last summer. This photo was taken at Jump Lake near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

By Will Vukovic

It feels like my whole family is part of the forest sector. My dad is a forester, my mum worked as one, and I have an uncle who works for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Their careers are a big part of why I pursued a Forestry Technology diploma from Vancouver Island University. Through them, I saw how hard people in the sector have worked to put environmental responsibility at the heart of the forestry. I want to keep that tradition going.

Spreading the word that forestry jobs are green jobs

I see myself and others in green jobs building on my family’s legacy and changing how the world sees forestry. More and more people are waking up to the fact that forestry jobs are green jobs.

Last summer, I worked as a Silviculture Technician for Mosaic Forest Management. I noticed first-hand how much that company values sustainability. Mosaic is committed to being carbon neutral and is SFI-certified. Organizations that are SFI-certified have to meet high sustainability standards in their operations.

As a Silviculture Technician, I helped with reforestation by surveying and flagging trees and boundaries. I also got to work with foresters and did many other things to ensure the sustainable management of the forest.

From the forest to the classroom

Being a Silviculture Technician for Mosaic included lots of responsibility. I had to make decisions on my own about how to approach my work almost every day. I was also able to gain real work experience that I could take back with me to the classroom. In my studies, I need to apply ecological concepts and understand biodiversity – the same kinds of things I got to practice while working for Mosaic.

My goal right now is to stay in school and become a Forest Engineer. Forest Engineers help to design, build, and evaluate forest operations. They do things like build new roads that meet environmental standards and design sustainable harvesting plans.

Becoming an Area Engineer would be my dream job. They get to lead teams and design and build road networks. Plus, their name gets put on all the important documents and plans—it’s real on-the-ground responsibility.  

A career pathway through the outdoors

Basically, I know that wherever my career takes me, it’s going to be outside in a green job. I really can’t do without the outdoors. When I’m not in school or working, I’m camping, fishing, hiking, skiing—anything to get me outside.

PLT Canada’s Green Jobs program is supported in large part by our employer networks at the Canadian Parks Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.


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