Meet our Forest Manager...

Shawn C. Swartz


AAS Forest Management, Haywood Community College
NC Registered Forester 1691
College Forest Manager

In 1998 I left a position as a field technician for an ecological restoration firm to join a permaculture community in the Western North Carolina mountains. While there I helped form a cooperatively owned business that conducted small-scale forestry operations and constructed naturally built homes. In 2007 I took the position of Forest Manager of Warren Wilson College in order to share my knowledge of forestry and small-scale forest operations with the students of the Forestry Crew. The emphasis the college places on students performing the work of managing the College Forest, its management objectives and the emphasis on sustainability and multiple-use, and the large variety of skills the students learn while here are all things that attracted me to the program.

I believe that forests are well-cared for
when humans feel dependent on them for their well-being. Forests are protected when people understand the ecosystem services such as clean air and water they provide; are managed for products such as food, fiber, and medicine; and are used for recreation and reflection. In order for this to occur, the economies of human cultures must be oriented in such a way that people are able to derive benefit from properly managing forest lands.

I enjoy learning about all aspects of how forests can be utilized from the forest to the finished product. In addition to traditional forestry techniques such as mapping, inventory, chainsaw work and lumber production; I enjoy making medicines and producing food from the forest; carpentry and making furniture with hand tools; and recreating in the forest through hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.

In addition to supervising the Forestry Crew, I also advise the Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, and coach the Warren Wilson Timbersports Team. I have found that the relationships I have created with our students through the process of mentoring them have been incredibly rich and rewarding.


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