After attending the University of Kentucky from 1966 to 1968, I decided I'd like to turn my passion for the outdoors into a career, if possible. At the time, UK did not have it's forestry school up and running, but I was lucky enough to get a forestry scholarship offer from Stephen F. Austin State University,an accredited forestry school located in Nacogdoches,Texas. After several years in the longhorn state earning my degree in forest management, I was anxious to return to my home state of Kentucky. At the time I was married with one child and another on the way. I got a job offer from theKy. Division of Forestryand started a few weeks later as a service forester stationed in Madisionville.
After several years working with private woodland owners in the Green River District, I was offered an opportunity to transfer to Eastern Kentucky to be Superintendent of Lilley Cornett Woods. Lilley’s Woods, as it’s called, is a 554 acres stand of virgin timber that the state owned and managed. I spent a lot of my time building hiking trails, maintaining the property, and learning every conceivable plant that grew in and around the woods. This was necessary so I could do what turned out to be my primary job – giving guided hiking tours. It was at Lilley’s Woods that I also got the opportunity to pick the brains of professors and research scientists that were studying the flora and fauna of the woods.The two years I spent at Lilley’s Woods was a great learning experience, but I wanted to get back to working with private woodland owners doing timber management, not recreation management, as the Lilley's Woods job turned out to be. Luckily a job was open in Campbellesville as District Managment Assistant. I applied for the position and got it. The duties were similar to what I was doing in Madisonville; but I was also responsible for training new foresters, and running the forest management program. I continued this work for another 16 years until the required office work cut into my field time too deeply.
So, in 2000, after 30 years with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, I decided on a fresh challenge and started my own business as a consulting forester.
For the next several years I did consulting forestry work primarily in South Central Kentucky, trying to help landowners avoid the mistakes that are so often made in growing and selling timber.
From this point forward, I'll be taking fewer jobs and focusing more on helping people make good decisions when faced with complex problems.
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