I would like to welcome the more than 65 summer workers to both the Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts and to Cook County. This includes those whom we have hired and those who will volunteer a significant part of their summer working with us. We have had several come on board these past two weeks but more will be arriving as their school year ends. I believe the furthest traveler comes from New Mexico.
Our summer staff will work in a variety of areas from greeting customers at our visitor reception desks, to working with our wilderness rangers in the BWCAW to working on our fire and fuels crews, preparing timber sales, conducting wildlife surveys, helping in our reforestation and timber stand improvement programs and taking care of our recreation areas.
One of the interesting things about Cook County is that businesses here host summer employees from across the globe. Being able to talk with folks from several different countries certainly broadens our cultural experience. At the same time it shrinks our world as we realize how much we all have in common. I bring this small fact up because I would like to encourage those of us who live up here to get to know our seasonal Forest Service employees. But then I realize that Gunflint and Tofte’s summer employees are but a small part of our County’s global workforce. There are a lot of people who travel half the world to come here to work for the summer. I’m thinking that makes this County pretty special.
If I’m lucky, by the end of the summer, I will get to know all our new employees (when our summer workers spend their days in the woods and their nights in the town, I just don’t see them all that much). However, this year I think I will also make the attempt to get to know some of those who will work at other businesses in town. My daughter has a room mate from Lebanon and getting to know her has dramatically changed my opinion of her country. Hopefully the same will happen as I get to know those who come to work with us in Cook County.