Page 28 - Georgia Forestry - Spring 2020
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  GFC Employs
field of forest health focuses on protect- ing the resource and land conservation, and that’s important to me,” she said.
The fact that “every day is different” is a big benefit for Womack, whose days might include hanging traps for south- ern pine beetles or speaking to a group of natural resource professionals. That variety is a perk many GFC employees mention when discussing what makes their job attractive.
“It’s never cut and dry,” said Ashlee Booth, supervisor of the Central Response Center in Macon. The depart- ment processes calls from the public, which could concern anything from a hit deer in the road to the sighting of a suspected arsonist or a growing wild- fire. It also is the communication vehicle for GFC resources in the field, which respond to reports of wildfire on the ground and in the air.
“We’re here for the safety of the men and women in the field,” Booth said in her video. “GFC has given me the oppor- tunity to learn and grow as a leader and a person. I like the challenge. And I like watching others learn and grow, passing it along.” The customer service mentality is prevalent throughout GFC’s employee roster. Said Forest Management Forester Brandon Merz, “The thing I like most is meeting with landowners and figuring out how to meet their goals.”
Cost Share Coordinator Ryan Phillips concurred. “I like focusing on my land- owners, helping them with cost share options that help manage their prop- erty and ensure the forest resource for the future.”
Muscle Behind
Orenthal Sanders
Morgan-Walton- Oconee Chief Ranger
the Scenes
While wildland firefighters and foresters dominate the public face of GFC, it takes a lot of specialized employees to ensure the agency’s smooth operations. On the staff list, one will find pilots, informa- tion technology specialists, welders, law enforcement officers, mechanics, nursery workers, administrative personnel and communication professionals.
In filling vacancies, Cowart said she always seeks a diverse candidate pool and reports that the percentage of women and minorities interviewed and hired is rising. She reiterated, however, that her goal remains “a fit for the agency,” which frequently translates to “a good addition to the family.”
“GFC is like a family,” agreed Ranger 3 Tyler Harden, who works with Protec-

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