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Bon Goodell, RFFI’s New Usal Redwood Forest Company’s Forest Technician

Bon Goodell
Bon Goodell
Photo by Jeff Becker

Bon S. Goodell was recently hired as a Forestry Technician for the Redwood Forest Foundation’s Usal Redwood Forest Company (URFC). RFFI has taken over direct management of the Usal Redwood Forest. Bon becomes the third member of the new URFC full-time forestry team. Bon’s fascinating personal and professional history prepares him well for this assignment. His connection to Usal Forest was fostered by continuing family camping trips to Usal Beach, Lost Coast hikes and working for URFC contractors in the forest.

Bon Goodell
Bon Goodell
Banding a Northern Spotted Owl

URFC Chief Forester, Linwood Gill, welcomes Bon Goodell to the new forestry team. “Bon not only brings the skillset we were looking for, but his firsthand knowledge of the property, having previously conducted timber cruising and spotted owl surveys on Usal, is a great asset. His commitment to advance his professional career with URFC will help provide the long term continuity the forest needs. We are glad to have him on board.”

An avid outdoorsman, Goodell’s love of nature and adventure was ignited during his childhood and cultivated by later educational and professional choices. This fourth generation Californian grew up homesteading and farming in Anderson Valley . He graduated from Anderson Valley High. He has a BA from Western Washington University in Spanish Language and Native American Studies. A world-traveler, he studied in Spain and also managed to complete university level courses in forestry and biology and obtained his Wildland Firefighter Certification. He worked in land management and forestry with the Nature Conservancy at the Dye Creek Preserve. There he worked with a team of scientists using prescription fire to study its effects on native and exotic plant species.  In 2004 he returned to the Mendocino Coast where he surveyed raptors and other species of concern on rural timberlands. In 2008 he expanded his work to include private and public lands’ tracking and banding the Northern Spotted Owl. 

Among his many duties on Usal, will be timber marking, assisting in overseeing timber operations, working with our road maintenance contractors, and updating our timber and carbon inventory. Bon is actively pursuing his Registered Professional Forester license.

Bon Goodell
Bon Goodell
Documenting Roadwork
Photo by Linwood Gill

URFC forestry requires a unique perspective that comprehends and honors the ecological, economic and cultural context of the work. RFFI emerged from the “Timber Wars” of the 1990’s. The founders were stakeholders with widely disparate points, who found ways to transcend their stark differences and gain control of the ownership and management of their local natural resources. In high-school, a
young Goodell entered and won first place in a Lion’s Club essay contest on forestry. His essay “The Land of Red Gold” depicted both sides of the then changing timber industry. After college, he participated in a South American anthropological expedition living among one of the last remaining indigenous tribes in the upper Amazon Rainforest.  These experiences, coupled with his first-hand local forestry experience uniquely prepare Mr. Goodell to forward RFFI’s complex mission.

Redwood Bark

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