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Meet the Forester: Erik Rantala

Q: What made you want to become a forester? 
I love being outdoors and wanted to work in the woods. I have always enjoyed the thought of improving the overall health and quality of forested land. 

Q: When did you start working at Kretz Lumber Company? 
I started with Kretz Lumber in June of 2021.

Q: What is one aspect of your job you really like?
I love the variety of the job, getting to know landowners and what their objectives are with their woodlots. 

Q: What is a common question you often receive from landowners?  
A popular question I receive from landowners is, “How do you decide which trees to remove during a harvest?” And I answer this by explaining that we are looking to improve the overall health, vigor and quality of the stand that we are managing by removing the poorest quality trees. Poorly formed, high risk, low vigor trees are a just a few of the characteristics that we look to remove in order to put growth on the most desirable trees (crop trees) that will remain in the stand. Working with the landowner’s objectives in mind, further helps guide my decisions while considering wildlife, economic and aesthetic concerns they may have. 

Q: When not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and staying involved in their activities, and also fishing and playing golf. When possible, we like to travel to new places as well.

To reach out to Erik directly, you can email him or call 715-623-5410.

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