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Post: “Don’t give up!”: Q&A with Dez Jones

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“Don’t give up!”: Q&A with Dez Jones

Dez Jones loves documenting her experiences in logging. Her phone is always nearby to capture shots of the incredible mountain views on her Canadian job sites to share on her Instagram. She’s also grown quite a fanbase on TikTok, amassing nearly 24,000 followers and more than 1.4 million likes. With more than 10 years in the industry, she’s now hoping to inspire other women to get into logging by sharing what motivates her, her favorite things about the job and her dreams for the future.

How did you get started in logging?

I come from a long line of loggers. My grandpa, who we all call “Gramps,” had been in the industry for over 50 years. My mom and dad are loggers, and so is my little brother and most of my cousins. I’ve been around it my whole life, but I never imagined I would become a logger – or marry one! But shortly after high school graduation, my grandma encouraged me to give logging an honest try. So, I went to work with Gramps and discovered how much I loved working out in the woods. That was 13 years ago now!

What’s a normal day on the job like for you?

Right now, I am working for Timber Ridge Contracting, which does a lot of work for the community forest. The job site is nestled in the Kootenays surrounded by mountains and a huge lake that I take a short ferry boat ride across every morning. We’re doing wildfire mitigation, thinning out the forest and getting all the wildfire fuel out.

Do you work with other women in logging?

Not very often! When I first got into logging, my mom was running the skidder. She was a huge role model for me and showed me that women have a place in the industry. Most recently, I worked with an incredible female operator on a job about three years ago, and she was awesome. Seeing another woman out there working as hard as you, with the same passion as you is so neat to experience.

What is your advice to a young woman who wants to get into logging?

Don’t give up. There have been many times when I wanted to quit, but I’m didn’t. I am glad I stuck it out. I’ve made it through some long, hard days, and I am proud of that. My philosophy is to put my head down and do the work. You don’t have to come from a long line of loggers or marry into a logging family. You simply have to keep showing up with a positive, hardworking attitude, and be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight.

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I think more and more women will keep coming into the industry, especially when they see other women who are successful. It sends a powerful message.

What kind of equipment are you operating?

We’re running the Waratah HTH622B Series-III. Compared to every other head I’ve operated, this machine is very impressive. We can throw a big fir through it with no problem. It’s versatile, with precision measuring and speed and can handle any size job. Waratah will always be my first choice.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud to share the bonds of logging with my family. One of the best memories I have in logging is getting to process alongside my dad. I met my husband Nick through logging, and we’ve had so many adventures in our ten years together. In our last job, we worked 12-hour days and lived off the grid in our camper in the bush. After work, we’d make a fire and cook our food over it. It was actually kind of nice.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope I have a family by then! I work so hard right now, and for a while we were always on the road, living in the bush hours away from home. Now that I get to be home every day, we can think about the future.

Source: Waratah

 

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