The need for this organization has been made clear from the initial interest - the first gathering session last year (virtual, of course) attracted an impressive 600 women! Attendance at ongoing networking events remains strong. “I want to be a part of this because I believe in it,” says Rachel. “A woman’s perspective is important in an industry that typically attracts men. It allows us to think about forestry in new ways. My business partner Jenny Gulick and I are proud to be associated with this movement, with a commitment to paving the way for other women.”
The first American Forest Congress was formed in Cincinnati in1882, with over 50,000 people attending. Subsequent congresses have been held periodically to tackle the issues of the day, including the establishment of the U.S. Forest Service and major legislation like the National Forest Management Act. According to the Women’s Forestry Congress, “We build on this rich history but take a different approach – one focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion and bringing the voice of women to shape the future of our forests.”
Anyone interested in being a women’s voice in forestry is welcome to participate in the Women’s Forest Congress. “As owner of a company dedicated to the advancement of trees and the tree canopy in our urban and developed areas, it’s the perfect fit for us,” says Rachel. Other professional participants include women in state and federal government positions, nonprofits, watershed groups, those in the wood product industries and more. But the Women's Forestry Congress is more than just a professional network gathering - it is for all women interested in forests - personally or professionally.
Rachel wants the Women’s Forest Congress to be a source of support for women doing the work they love. “I naturally have a lot in common with people in this group, so we bond instantly. It’s nice to mentor others and reach out to people when I have struggles or need a second opinion. We can talk about all aspects of our professional lives. I am so energized by this group and look forward to a bright future together!”