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Forestry’s future leaders: meet Melissa Harborne


November 23, 2021
By CFI staff

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As more forest industry professionals reach retirement, it’s more important than ever that we highlight the next generation of leaders. CFI’s annual Top 10 Under 40 contest is our way of doing so. This year marks the ninth consecutive year we have scoured nominations from across Canada to find individuals who exemplify the best of our sector, from outstanding log haulers to sawmillers, foresters and others. The result is a list of high-performing professionals who are poised to lead the industry.

To acknowledge and highlight each winner’s contributions, CFI will feature one of 2021’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks.

This week, we introduce our readers to Melissa Harborne, forestry supervisor for Interfor in Adams Lake, B.C.

As a forestry supervisor for Interfor’s Adams Lake, B.C., division, Melissa is involved in multiple different aspects of the business. She contributes to the Adams Lake planning department’s strategic timber inventory in South Adams, is involved in stakeholder liaison and operational planning development, and oversees the development of forest management plans.

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Melissa also contributes to Interfor’s environmental program, exceeding targets for identifying environmental concerns or hazards related to operations and implementing plans with specialists, says Tara Greiner, Melissa’s co-op student.

Having obtained her Registered Professional Forester designation in 2020, the 26-year-old continues to periodically attend workshops to increase her knowledge and become a more well-rounded planning forester.

Melissa also managed the 2021 summer student program for the Adams Lake division’s planning department, where “she is extremely motivating and goes out of her way to provide a meaningful experience for her student,” Greiner says.

An active member of the Scotch Creek fire department, Melissa also attends elementary school classrooms to educate children about forest management.

“Melissa is a terrific role model for young women such as myself entering forestry. She takes her time to make everyone at the jobsite feel comfortable, she is hyper-focused on safety, and at the same time creates a positive job atmosphere. It is a pleasure to work with and be mentored by Melissa!” Greiner says.

Up next: we showcase the achievements of winner Jessica Prior.