RFT Barb Drennan speaking at a convention. (Association of BC Forest Professionals photo)

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

Barb Drennan, RFT, of Port McNeill was named BC’s forest technologist of the year by the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) at its annual forestry conference in Nanaimo last week.

“Recognition as the forest technologist of the year is based on nominations submitted by other forest professionals. Peer recognition of a job well done or extended excellence over the course of a career is both humbling and extremely meaningful to the forest professionals responsible for caring for one of BC’s most treasured resources,” said ABCFP president Trevor Swan, RPF.

Drennan was the first registered forest technologist to become a woodlands supervisor at BC Timber Sales, a role that was typically held by professional foresters. At BCTS, she demonstrated strong leadership skills and technical expertise managing the entire business area’s silviculture program, delivering nearly 300,000 cubic metres per year in one of the most constrained working forests in BC.

Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals. Her focus on relationship building, collaboration, creative harvesting and innovative protection of cultural resources inspired confidence by the Heiltsuk in BC Timber Sales and, by extension, the profession.

Drennan has also been instrumental in supporting BC Public Service employees during incidents involving workplace violence, suicide, and accidents as part of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Response Team and she provided critical support during the 2018 logging-train derailment in Woss where three local forestry workers died in a horrific accident.

Other awards given out at the Nanaimo conference included honouring five professional foresters with the Distinguished Forest Professional award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the profession and furthering the association’s principles. The winners are: Dave Bedford, RPF, founder of DWB Consulting Services; John Drew, RPF, founder of Forsite Consultants; Diane Nicholls, RPF, BC’s chief forester; Cheryl Power, RPF, assistant manager and resident forester of the Malcolm Knapp research forest in Maple Ridge; and Kathryn Willis, RPF, consulting forester with Strategic Natural Resource Consultants in Campbell River.

The Association of BC Forest Professionals is responsible for registering and regulating BC’s 5,500 professional foresters and forest technologists.

– submitted article

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