By Tammy Finwall
Bryan Rohl, his father and his grandfather all have one thing in common; they work(ed) the Oregon forests. An interview with Rohl, a Forest Management Consultant at Stuntzner’s newest location, reveals his passion for his work, his closeness with the Stuntzner work family, and his concerns for global and local forestry.
Rohl’s roots are deep in the local community and in the forest industry. He was raised in the Low Pass area and has lifelong connections with Junction City families and the community. He says, with a chuckle, “The local people were good in seeing me through my adolescent growth.” Rohl is a third generation forester. His grandfather was a timber faller out of Blodgett and his father was a mill and general manager for Swanson Superior, now Swanson Group, in Noti. Some might say Rohl’s blood runs green. “I am an Oregonian and the forest, Rohl says, is kind of in my blood.”
Rohl, a 1999 Forest Management graduate of Oregon State University. He started with Stuntnzer’s in 2002 as a part-time consultant. His first job was in Alaska, where he met his wife. After his opportunity with the Stuntzner organization, he said, “I never looked backed.” Rohl wants to be a good steward to the lands his sons, four years old and one on the way, will inherit someday.
Like something out of Thoreau’s Walden. Rohl calls himself and many in the forest industry “introverts.” He says their hours strolling the forests are spent in quiet solitude, divining ways to better the forests of the future, whether it be for betterment of the environment or improving how trees are harvested and regrown for future wood industries. Rohl says in most cases, it takes 30-75 years to’ know whether foresters’ efforts of transformation are successful.
The company who gave Rohl his start in the forestry business, Stuntzner Engineering and Forestry owns four Oregon locations: Coos Bay, Dallas, Forest Grove, and their most recent office located at 434 Ivy Street in Junction City. Rohl works with Jake Sapp, also a forestry consultant, and likes the Stuntzner organization. He says, “We are family-like. The partners are treated as though they are sons of the organization.”
Stuntzner services the community on an international scale. Rohl’s next job is in Canada, where he will examine and evaluate 140 forest acres.
Rohl says most of his work, no matter where it is, consists of timber valuation. “This includes timber cruising inventory, determining how much tree volume is available and quantifying the different tree species,” Rohl said. It also involves timber sales administration, which is the process both private owners and government use to sell their timber to lumber mills. Rohl says, “l am like a general contractor.” He knows the best methods and the best people to source your potential work to.
In current forestry concerns, Rohl talked about how the industry has changed. He said, ”It is not what it used to be. The margin is much slimmer since the 8O’s.” The government owns roughly half all the timber and there is mounting pressure on the private industries to produce a better and more affordable domestic product.
Rohl says, “Most of the two-by-fours we buy from our local lumber stores come from Canada.” According to him, it is increasingly difficult for private owners to compete in the current timber market.
Rohl also addressed the federal government’s pressure on the Oregon State Board of Forestry to increase buffers around fish bearing streams. According to Rohl, it is suggested the fish do not have proper protection from weather elements (i.e., additional trees surrounding the streams will better cool the fish in summer). Changes are in place to increase the number of trees left around streams in an effort to address this problem. “It means a decreased harvest to landowners,” Rohl said. He added, “We are not sure it will work, but forest practice rules are what drives our management. They are the rules we play by to maintain a certain standard of order and safety.”
At the time of this interview, Rohl had just returned from an Umpqua Fishing Derby in Roseburg, where many in the forest industry gather to fish, attend auctions and raise funds to improve the fishing industry.
For more information on Stuntzner Engineering and Forestry go to stuntzner.com or to speak with Bryan Rohl about your forestry concerns or a project you may have in mind, phone 541-520-2447.