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Stephen Clarke can help you capitalise on the extensive benefits of trees

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Senior Private Forester Stephen Clarke is a professional Forester (BScFor (Stell) MBA MIFA RPF) with extensive experience. Zimbabwean born, Stephen studied forestry at the University of Stellenbosch, before working in New Zealand and now Tasmania. During his career, Stephen has gained considerable experience and expertise in integrated management systems and certification, tactical and operational planning, logistics, industrial engineering, nursery, establishment, maintenance, harvesting, transport, fire protection, natural ecosystem maintenance and enhancement, general estate management and security. The key take away from all his experience? The best time to plant trees was yesterday.

Stephen has been with PFT 12 months progressing projects in stakeholder engagement, landscape scale demonstration sites and a review of the Tasmanian Forest Safety Code.

Stephen says his career was born quite simply from a love of trees.

“From an aesthetic point of view, I love trees. But forestry is not necessarily about trees. It is about how trees can look after the land and simultaneously enrich the lives of people,” explains Stephen.

“Trees are a great solution to a lot of the environmental problems that we face, and that is well understood, but I also see them as an integral part of the economy, particularly the rural economy.”

According to Stephen, trees can solve a lot of problems.

“The benefits of trees have been proven time and time again all over the world. The challenge we have as foresters and farmers is to seek and find the opportunities to capitalise on these potential benefits,” he says.

Stephen explains that trees need to be incorporated into the agricultural landscape as part of the mix alongside other crops and land uses.

“Wood is an incredible material. But to gain the benefits, farmers don’t need to be planting wall to wall trees, they just have to examine the role trees can play in their overall objectives while also helping them to be good stewards of the land.

“Without question if farmers bring trees into their landscape, they will improve their overall returns. The best time to plant trees is yesterday.”

As an expert forester at PFT, Stephen says ‘We’re as much a part of the community as anyone else, and we have a real role to play.’

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping farmers find solutions to their problems and maximising opportunities, particularly helping people work productively together.”

Contact Stephen through the Private Forests Tasmania Helpline: 1300 661 009

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