My name is Carol Ross, I’m a timber sale administrator.
And I work for the US Forest Service. A timber sale administrator administers a
timber sale contract that was created by all of the specialists in the Forest Service working
hand-in-hand with people who are in different special interest groups in the environmental
community, special interest groups of people who are
close to an area of impact who have concerns. Lots of people who come together to look at
the impacts that a timber harvest might have on a piece of landscape,
and to find ways to mitigate it where it’s acceptable to both parties.
Then they create a contract. When we’re done with that contract and I have
it in my hand, I’m holding their trust in my hand,
Where we’ve said in the NEPA that this is how we’re going to do this.
This is the alternative that we are putting into action.
And I’m not going to let a promise get broken. This is what I’m doing.
I’m protecting the resource, I’m protecting the money and I’m protecting
lots of things out here. I like it, it’s a big challenge.
Well, it’s different with different sales. But my typical day is, I come to work, I get
in my truck. And on my way into a timber sale, I’m looking
at the road system. Because that’s a resource I need to be protecting.
I’m looking at the safety aspects of it. And then I’m looking at the drivers as they
come out loaded with product from a timber sale.
And then I continue to look. I look at the product that they’re hauling.
I look to see if it’s identified correctly. If I can tell that it came off of a National
Forest timber sale and it meets the product accountability standards in my contract.
And when I come into the sale area, what I’m looking at are a lot of different things.
Again, I’m watching the road systems, and then I’m looking at the area that is designated
for timber harvest. Making sure that the timber harvest is only
happening there. I’m looking at how they’re treating the tree
in general. And when I’m looking at that, I’m looking
at unit boundaries. I’m making sure that they did stay withing
the confines of the unit. Once I’m done looking at that, then I’m looking
at how are they protecting the resource. Are they protecting the soils?
Are they protecting the water? Are they protecting the residual stand?
Are we taking care of every resource out there? We have a contract provision to cover them
all. I just make sure their operations are good
and clean and within the confines of the contract. I need to protect all of our resources just
the way we say they need to be in the contract. I’m not going to accept anything less and
I’m not going to ask for anything more. And that’s just what I do all day long.
And it needs to meet the standards that we’ve called for in the contract.
You need to be able to make a decision; and you need to be able to stand by it.
And you really want the assurance in your mind that the decision that you made is the
very best one for the resource and the site at the time.
It’s complicated. It’s communication.
It’s confidence and it’s knowledge. And it’s not knowledge that you gulp down
one time and you make the assumption that you know it all.
So now you’re good to go forever. That’s not how it works.
Because things change all the time. And you have to keep coming back to the trough
and learning. My most favorite jobs have always been in
timber. I love timber.
I like being in the woods. I like cruising timber.
I like the smell of it. I think logging is a necessary treatment to
manage the land. I don’t see how we can do a proper job without
it. And in order to do that,
you’ve got to cut timber. In order to cut timber,
you’ve got to quantify it. In order to quantify it, you’ve got to cruise
it. To cruise it, you’ve got to walk the ground.
You got to look at it, smell it, touch it, see it cut up, see it
standing. See it turned into boards.
I’ve seen all that through all of my jobs. And it’s been great.
I love it. Because you are traveling all through the
woods, you’re looking at every tree.
And you get to see the most wonderful things and you challenge yourself physically,
the people you work with are challenged physically. You build a good tough team.
It’s a great job. you come to work.
You work, you sweat your water out. And you go, go, go, and you feel like a million
bucks at the end of the week. It’s a good job.
And you learn the whole time. You learn all of your plant species, all of
your tree species, and you learn how it all works together.
You learn which species are threatened and endangered.
You learn to identify wildlife. If you really like the job,
you’re always leaning and you never stop. And it’s just like a puzzle that keeps gathering
pieces and gathering pieces. It’s a great job. I love it.