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CCR Spotlight: Meet Ann Nielsen, CCR’s Silviculture Superintendent

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation (CCR) has grown tremendously in the past few years, including the addition of more large scale rehabilitation projects and experienced team members. We are thrilled to welcome Ann Nielsen, RPF, P.Ag, as the newest member of the CCR team, taking on the role of Silviculture Superintendent.


Ann's love for the great outdoors was sparked in the lush surroundings of South Burnaby and New Westminster. Growing up, her weekends and holidays were filled with hiking and camping adventures that nurtured a deep appreciation for nature. This passion guided her to pursue a degree in Forest Resource Management at the University of British Columbia.

 



“I spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid camping, boating, fishing, and hiking, so a career in the outdoors seemed like a great idea to me,” Ann shared. “Forestry really has been an amazing career to see so many remote places in the province you wouldn’t normally go, and along the way, I’ve discovered there are great people working in forestry. I have made some lifelong friends.”

 

Ann's career has been sprinkled with valuable experiences throughout the province, beginning with her academic foundation in Forest Resource Management at UBC, leading to hands-on summer roles in Vanderhoof with a major licensee in development, harvesting, and silviculture. After graduating, she returned to Vanderhoof as a log buyer, a role that expanded her professional network and deepened her industry insights. An opportunity presented itself in Williams Lake with another major licensee and Ann jumped at the chance to work in an area with such diverse ecosystems; over the years she worked in development, harvesting, and silviculture across the Cariboo Region. Ann later moved to Merritt and worked as a silviculture contractor in the Merritt and Princeton areas, where she enjoyed getting to know that area and the ecosystems and history around there. She later returned to Williams Lake to continue to work for major licensees in managing expansive silviculture programs across the Cariboo Chilcotin area.

 

Ann's diverse experiences also include operating her own consulting business, working with various contractors, sitting on the Environmental Advisory Committee for the City of New Westminster for four years, and serving in a Stewardship role with the Government of BC. Now, as the Silviculture Superintendent at CCR, she oversees reforestation efforts and is involved in a road rehabilitation project to restore the Caribou habitat.

 

“CCR has a great group of people working with and for them, and they’ve been very welcoming,” remarked Ann. “I’m fortunate to have known some of the people involved with CCR for many years, and I even worked with Chief Otis (before he was Chief) in the development end of the business when I first moved to Williams Lake! My time here has been very busy and exciting as we have a lot on the go!”

 

Ann has jumped head-first into the projects that CCR is working on, especially the rehabilitation work after the 2017 wildfire.

 

“The 2023 wildfires were devastating to the province; however, the 2017 Wildfires were worse for the Cariboo area with over 800,000 hectares burned, and we’re still reforesting these areas,” Ann explained. “It is really important to harvest and rehabilitate these dead standing forests where we are able to, so we can get this fuel off the land base, especially where there are large continuous tracts of it and where it is close to communities and infrastructure.”

 

One of the challenges of this significant rehabilitation work is navigating the complexities of funding sources and tenure authorizations in creating opportunities within certain forest stands. This is when the economic viability often proves to be a tight squeeze, compelling the team to continuously innovate and adapt.

 

“We’re a pretty innovative and persistent bunch! We believe in what we are doing on the land: rehabilitating these stands and creating new, healthy forests, working to protect the communities and provide opportunities, and trying to accelerate what we can in restoring the land as a whole,” Ann said.

 

At CCR, Ann's personal philosophy resonates with the company's focus on being Nen-centric, being connected to the land, and fostering local employment—values that reflect her belief in giving back to the community and supporting the land.

 

“I really want to do right by the land as a whole, and this aligns with CCR’s values. I am passionate about the land and need to feel like I’m contributing and doing good versus taking away and not giving back. Being in silviculture and overseeing the planting of millions of trees annually helps me feel like I’m contributing positively to the land,” explained Ann. “By the end of 2024, I will have administered contracts for and overseen the planting of roughly 100 Million trees. That feels pretty good.”

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