Ecological Workforce Training

Training workers in ecological forestry, fire ecology, soils, wildlife habitat, plant associations, and watershed function since 1995

Since 1995, Lomakatsi has created jobs, developed the workforce, and furthered contractor capacity for the ecological restoration and stewardship forestry industry throughout southern Oregon and northern California, supported by a skilled local workforce and team of project management professionals. 

The Lomakatsi crew is a “best value,” ecologically conscious workforce. Lomakatsi’s leading saw crews comprise a specialized technical thinning team that is accustomed to carrying out detailed ecological prescriptions. Crew managers are knowledgeable in the diversity and complexity of local fire-adapted ecosystems. Crews are regularly trained in fire ecology, soils, wildlife habitat, plant associations, and watershed function and health, along with all the necessary skills to perform on-the-ground work. Lomakatsi provides its crew members with frequent educational opportunities by organizing workshops and training programs for expanding and upgrading their skills. All of our staff, crew management team, and crew members are certified and current with state and federal certifications to implement prescribed fire applications. 

Lomakatsi consistently employs an in-house restoration crew of more than 20 members from southern Oregon and northern California. The Lomakatsi workforce is multicultural, and although our crew members come from a diversity of backgrounds, they join together to form a very specific and unique restoration worker culture. Lomakatsi crew members are family people. 

In addition to our own crews, we employ forestry contractors and timber operators from the communities where we implement restoration projects.  The other contractors we hire comprise an additional workforce of up to 100 crew members during different periods of the year. During our busy season, Lomakatsi is responsible for providing employment for up to 150 personnel performing forest and watershed restoration work. 

Lomakatsi Workforce Philosophy

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 it requires strong hands that directly work to heal the land.

Restoration workers use their bodies and minds to plant trees along streams and clearcuts, pull invasive weeds, thin dense, fire-suppressed forests, stabilize slopes, seed 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 that foster the empowerment and respectful treatment of restoration workers. We work to spread this model in hopes of influencing contractors and outfits performing restoration work and service forestry to adopt policies where workers are respected.

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, project planners are the ones who receive the praise while the workers are marginalized. Yet 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.

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