The Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) presented awards to three prominent forest professionals at a special ceremony Feb. 13 in Kelowna.
Two forest professionals were heralded for their volunteerism and one became the first-ever recipient of the newly created Climate Change Innovator Award.
“Climate change is affecting how we, as forest professionals, do our jobs,” says Christine Gelowitz, RPF, President of the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP). “We decided to create an award to highlight the work our members are doing in this important area.”
Alex Woods, MSc, RPF, is the first recipient of the Climate Change Innovator Award. Alex is a forest pathologist (someone who studies forest diseases) with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
The winners of the volunteer award are Jacque Corstanje, RPF, from Terrace and Annette van Neijenhuis, RPF, from Campbell River.
Van Neijenhuis, RPF, works for Western Forest Products in Campbell River where she is a forester specializing in forest genetics and incremental silviculture. Her contributions to the community do not stop with her paid employment.
She is an avid volunteer with several organizations including the Vancouver Island Section of the Canadian Institute of forestry, the ABCFP’s Network of Forest Professionals, the Marble River Fish Hatchery, and the North Island Invasive Species Partnership.
This past year, van Neijenhuis was a key part of a province-wide task force dedicated to increasing the profile of National Forest Week in BC.
Additionally, she was instrumental in organizing National Forest Week activities for the people of Campbell River.
“One of the fun parts of being the president of the ABCFP is recognizing great members like Alex, Annette and Jacques,” says Christine. “It was an honour to share their special moment.”