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Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson, Jr. recently joined kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from across the state to tour a lumber mill in Scotia.

The visit was part of the Forestry Institute for Teachers professional program, which is designed to provide K-12 teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach their students about forest ecology and sustainable forest management practices.

The program is organized by Yana Valachovic, who is the county director and forest adviser of UC Cooperative Extension and an HSU faculty member. She also brings together dozens of resource professionals and HSU faculty who help put on the program.

The annual program has institutes in four California counties — Humboldt, Plumas, Shasta and Tuolumne — and explores forestry issues unique to these regions.

Each summer for one week, teachers stay at Humboldt State University to take classes and explore redwoods, endangered species and water quality to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate interrelationship of forest ecosystems and human use of natural resources. The experience includes field trips to non-industrial and industrial forestry operations and old-growth redwoods in the State Parks.

Humboldt Redwood Company Lumber Mill was among those stops in July. On a visit led by HRC managers, forest experts, scientists and HSU alumni, Jackson and 30 teachers toured HRC milling operations. They also toured HRC’s Scotia Fisheries Exhibit, which demonstrates how HRC scientists monitor and protect the endangered and threatened species that live on HRC-owned lands.

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