Faces of Forestry is a new initiative of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) to highlight people doing great work to enhance our forests throughout British Columbia. This month, we feature John Davies, RPF, Frontline Operations Group, Principal.

Registered Professional Forester (RPF) John Davies’ forestry career germinated during his time working in a seedling nursery, which was owned by his future sponsoring forester. From there, he went timber cruising on the coast over 35 years ago. Since then, he’s worked in every corner of the province timber cruising, tree planting, fighting forest fires and practicing wildfire management.

Davies, who completed a BSc in Resource Management at the University of British Columbia, has covered a significant geographic area since 1988.

“I’ve worked everywhere from the Arctic to Montana—firefighting and forestry takes you everywhere.”

Davies was drawn to forestry through a combination of positive experiences working with other RPFs early in his career and the desire to work outside.

After ten seasons fighting wildfires, Davies established his own wildfire management consultancy in 2004, one of the first RPFs to start consulting in wildfire management after the Filmon report in 2003. Since then, he has contributed to millions of dollars in community protection projects. His career highlights are when two of his fuel management projects successfully protected homes during the 2020 and 2021 wildfire seasons in the Okanagan.  

“The landscape-level fuel breaks we planned, developed, designed, and implemented around Heritage Hills, Penticton, and Westshore Estates, North Okanagan, successfully protected those communities from the Thomas Creek fire in 2020 and White Rock Lake fire in 2021 respectively. These fuel breaks successfully reduced wildfire behaviour near the homes and allowed structural fire fighters to safely deploy suppression tactics before the approaching wildfires.

Regarding his career in wildfire management focused forestry, Davies said, “having the opportunity to practice and promote value-based management and make sound and integral decisions while protecting communities is a rewarding experience.”

“Being a forester allows you to work and live almost anywhere in BC and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a career.”