Forester Friday features an Oregon forester with an interesting or unique contribution to the forestry field. This series is meant to highlight and recognize these stories.
This week’s Forester Friday isn’t about a forester, but someone who is still important to the forest sector. Fran Cafferata Coe is a Certified Wildlife Biologist® who works with foresters. She is the owner of Cafferata Consulting, a firm that specializes in helping timber companies manage wildlife in working forests. So while Fran isn’t a forester, she still plays a vital role in forestry.
Fran has been a wildlife biologist for 20 years now, and has owned her company for 10 years. Her daily responsibilities include writing and implementing wildlife management plans, conducting species surveys, and tracking wildlife policy in the state. In addition, she also helps foresters understand policies to ultimately protect wildlife and help keep forests healthy.
Along with her job experience, education has played an important role in Fran’s career. Fran attended Oregon State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife.
For this profile, Fran answered a series of questions about her forest story via email. Here are some of her responses.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Besides working in the woods by myself? I love working with foresters to make a difference for wildlife while still growing trees and keeping working forests working. I also love seeing wildlife out in the woods. I’m out at night looking for owls, so I get to see all kinds of critters like bear, cougar and elk. I especially love the woods in the springtime when the red flowering currant starts to bloom.
What drove you or why did you decide to work in your field?
I’ve always loved being in the woods. I grew up in a forestry family, which definitely influenced my decision to become a wildlife biologist. I feel strongly that working forests provide great habitat for wildlife. I’m passionate about helping foresters intentionally manage for wildlife, and I also work hard to help the public understand the value working forests provide for wildlife.
What is something you want people to know about your job and/or the impact of your job?
All ages of forests provide homes for wildlife, and the way we manage our forests makes a difference for wildlife. All of us have a responsibility to manage for healthy forests, and that includes managing for wildlife. With fairly simple but intentional actions, we can all make a difference for wildlife.
What is your favorite outdoor activity in Oregon?
My heart belongs to the mountains. I love backpacking each summer with my best friends. We find a new place to go each summer.
Fran is just one of many people who help foresters protect wildlife and keep forests healthy and safe for all.
If you know an Oregon forester with an interesting or unique story we should share, email OFRI Social Media Intern Autumn Barber at email@example.com.