Love the forest; love the people

Paul Barnum Executive Director, Retired

I love Oregon’s forests of all kinds – from freshly planted to majestic old growth – but the biggest attraction for me has always been the people.

Growing up in eastern Oregon, I spent many summers working in agriculture: bucking hay, driving pea trucks and pea combines, operating a grain elevator. And later in Astoria, I worked in fishing: on the docks tossing tuna, in canneries fileting salmon, and in rendering plants making pet food. You really haven’t smelled grossness until you’ve worked in a rendering plant.

With the realization that Oregon is dependent on natural resources, going to work in the forest sector in 1991 for Weyerhaeuser was an easy move. I never looked back.

Throughout my career, including the past 10 years as OFRI’s executive director, I’ve worked with wonderful people: folks who care about the land, its resources and the future of this state. That extends to everyone – from tree planters, to foresters, to scientists, to mill workers – all the way to the leaders in executive suites. All along the way, they have helped me to be a better communicator and ambassador for the sector.

As I turn the page to life’s next chapter, it is the people I will miss the most. Thank you all for your support over the years. I’ll see you on the trail.

For the forest – always,

– Paul Barnum

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