High schoolers show love for forests on Valentine’s Day

From the Capital Press: Four Tillamook High School students plant seedlings with help from Jon Wehage from Stimson Lumber.

Four students enrolled in the Tillamook High School’s Natural Resources Advance Class spent their Valentine’s Day helping to replant 37 acres of forestland.

Oregon Forests Forever highlighted the THS Natural Resources program in a blog last fall.  And a report by the Capitol Press provides a great update.

The students are part of a project to replant and regrow on a 72-acre parcel of land owned by the Tillamook County Creamery Association. Helping the students were members from the program’s advisory board, which includes Hampton Lumber, Stimson Lumber, the Tillamook School District and the Northwest Regional Education Service District.

The collaboration between the Tillamook County Creamery Association and the high school started in the fall of 2016 after Lori Loeffler, Natural Resources Program teacher at Tillamook High School, sought more ways to give her students experience in forestry.

“The goal is to produce workers that have the skills our community partners are looking for to fill the jobs that they have,” Lori Loeffler tells the Capital Press. Her classes have allowed students to “gain hands-on practical forestry experience.”

According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, the annual wage for a forest-related job is $54,200, roughly 6 percent higher than the average wage for all Oregon employment. In Tillamook County, the average wage is 38 percent higher than the county average.

With this added experience, these students are opening up opportunities for good jobs after they graduate.