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Welcome Bethany, our new Urban Wood Rescue Program Manager!

By Bethany Hannah

June 28, 2017

When I first spotted the announcement for the Sacramento Tree Foundation’s Urban Wood Rescue Program Manager’s position, I instantly thought, “What an amazing job!” Not only is it a position that gets to work with wood every day (and is perfectly positioned to contribute to the larger urban wood movement), its positive environmental impacts are numerous and vital. It’s a ‘good for the heart, soul, and body’ kind of job and I’m thrilled to have been invited to serve in the position.

My love for trees and wood started young, beginning with climbing trees in the backyard and backpacking among the giants in the Pacific Northwest, to helping my dad with construction projects and learning how to use traditional woodworking hand tools from my grandfather. Put simply, I find solace while amongst trees and contentment from working with wood. On that front, I’ve recently begun creating sculptures as rookie woodcarver and tend to geek-out a bit when I see beautiful raw edge tables or furniture with well-crafted butterfly splines and finishes. The story told through the grain of wood is as fascinating to me as it is inspiring.

My professional background is broad and varied, from running a small resume writing business, to helping establish several emerging nonprofits. Critical to the Urban Wood Rescue Program, my background as a conservation worker and educator, chainsaw and timber skills instructor, as well as my nearly 20-year involvement in the wildland firefighting industry enables me to apply very practical skills to the day-to-day operations of our program. Having worked as a Hotshot firefighter for both the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, including becoming one of the only female sawyers on a Hotshot crew in the country, gives me a strong foundational understanding of general forestry practices and of the nuances of felling trees for a multitude of reasons (from disease to habitat restoration). All this is to say, I can run a chainsaw as easily as I can run a report…and I’m excited by the opportunity to do both!

Finally, the Sacramento Tree Foundation is excited to tell the last, missing piece of the full life story of trees—including what happens to a tree at the end of its life-cycle. Without a doubt, sharing the process of giving a second life to trees through the Urban Wood Rescue Program is a privilege. So, too, is working with the local community of artisans, woodworkers, arborists, and craftspeople who support and are excited to create and use products generated from the wood of our beautiful urban forests. Saving the wood from trees that need to come down in our urban areas (and would otherwise be destined for the landfill), and honoring the life of those trees by creating beautiful and functional products, is powerful and important. I’m looking forward to creating a program that helps to share that message.

I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or thoughts and am truly excited to be a part of the team.