Connected to the Land


Natural resources alumnus Anthony Dubisar works as a forestry technician in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

I want that job

It was the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Anthony Dubisar was in a cycle of working and getting laid-off when he decided to head to the woods and go bow hunting. Anthony grew up on a small farm outside of Prineville where spending time outside was a way of life. During his month-long hunting trip, he would watch the same U.S. Forest Service truck drive by day after day. Anthony thought, “I want that job.”

It’s nine years later — and Anthony has that job.

He works for the Forest Service in Paisley, Ore., as a forestry technician in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

His focus is timber sales preparation. He analyzes forests to determine the value of the timber. He measures diameter, height, and defects of the trees. He notes species (mostly lodge pole, ponderosa pine and white fir) and calculates merchantable volume per acre. He helps clear roads after fires and marks dangerous trees for salvage.

“I get paid to walk in the woods and see animals,” he said jokingly.

His long journey

It’s been a long journey to the Forest Service. After graduating from Crook County High School in Prineville, Anthony started at Central Oregon Community College, but left after two terms. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Months turned into years. Years turned into almost two decades. He took a job at the lumber mill in Madras like his father before him. But after getting laid-off, he wanted job security. He called the COCC forestry program.

Over the next few years Anthony worked toward an associate’s degree in forest resources technology. He learned how to operate the GPS and rangefinder equipment he now uses as a certified timber cruiser. But Anthony knew for career advancement within the Forest Service, he wanted a bachelor’s degree. He transferred to OSU-Cascades and joined the natural resources program.

A degree in Natural Resources and a job with the Forest Service

He was soon studying fire and forest ecology, soils and rangeland management. During summers he worked in the field for the National Park Service’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) as a crew leader in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. His crew cleaned up campgrounds, removed old fences and pulled invasive species. He learned how to handle a variety of cultural features the crew came across, from projectile points (arrowheads), to arborglyphs (old tree carvings on aspens), to homestead sites and can dumps.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from OSU-Cascades, Anthony applied to the Forest Service to be a forestry technician in the same district where he worked with YCC. He was offered a position and has been working and living in Paisley, Oregon. His long-term goal is to become a measurement specialist.

Whatever the future brings, Anthony doesn’t see himself at a desk job. He loves getting out there — managing our public lands for future generations. And now he’s the one driving the truck.

Learn more about the natural resources program at OSU-Cascades.