Lomakatsi was founded by forest workers. Lomakatsi has been built “from the ground up” by the hands of workers. The ecological restoration workforce is the backbone and foundation of Lomakatsi. The task of implementing forest and watershed restoration is a daunting one and requires strong hands that directly work to heal the land.
Restoration workers use their bodies and minds to plant the trees along the streams and clearcuts, pull the invasive weeds, thin the dense, fire-suppressed forests, stabilize the slopes, seed the native grasses back to the woodlands, stack the sticks to reduce fire hazards and carry the drip torches across the steep slopes in an effort to carefully reintroduce fire back to these landscapes.
Empowering the Green Collar Workforce and honoring the vital role these individuals play in the restoration process is highly regarded within the Lomakatsi social philosophy. The treatment of the workers is reflected in the treatment of the land. The two are inseparable. As one of our principles states “Remember the Workers- Happy respected people do the best work”.
Lomakatsi has worked to “raise the bar” for forest workers by creating social principles, and adopting polices within our organization which foster the empowerment and respectful treatment of restoration workers. We work to spread this model and idea in hopes of influencing contractors and outfits performing restoration work and service forestry to adopt policies where workers are respected and not mistreated.
Restoration work is labor intensive, often dangerous, and out of public view due to the remote nature of project locations. Lomakatsi’s founders and managers understand the difficulty and nature of this work from their own experiences. Often times, project planners are the ones who receive the praise while the inherent marginalization of workers is common. Restoration workers are the landscape artists who, with their hands are transforming these forests and watersheds toward resiliency and health — one tree at a time, one acre at a time.