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What is Land Management?

Talking With Soterra: Ep 1 | Tree Talk [VIDEO]

This session is an informative discussion about the life cycle of trees, focusing on the processes of planting, growing, and harvesting trees. The discussion was set against the backdrop of Soterra, a company that focuses on land resource management. The conversation revolved around the significant role of trees in the company’s operations, including carbon sequestration and the production of different tree-based products.


  • Josh Smith, Manager of the Land Resource Group at Soterra
  • David Gill, a colleague at Soterra with extensive Forestry experience


The conversation revolved around the following key points:

  • The importance of trees in Soterra’s operations
  • The process of planting and growing trees
  • The harvesting process and the various products derived from trees
  • The role of technology in forestry
  • The importance of sustainability in forestry

Takeaway 1: The importance of thorough, early planning in forestry

The segment emphasizes the importance of thorough, early planning in successful forestry operations. As Josh Smith and David Gill explained, the groundwork for planting trees starts as soon as the previous harvest is completed.

“[It] starts the minute that the Harvest is completed,” said Gill, emphasizing the strategic nature of forestry operations. “We began immediately on the planning stages for this to be planted, and it starts a year and a half, sometimes two years before it’s actually planted.”

This planning includes using technology such as drones to survey the land and create a ‘shape file’ that is used to plan the planting process. This planning stage ensures that the area is ready for successful tree planting, which is a process that is time-sensitive and requires careful management.

Takeaway 2: Trees as a renewable resource

Episode one also highlighted the importance of trees as a renewable resource and the role of forestry in environmental sustainability. David Gill stressed the significance of working with a renewable resource and the fulfillment it brings him.

“I love being outdoors,” said Gill. “The probably main thing I like about working in the forestry industry is you’re working with a renewable resource… you’re having a part in helping the environment and helping wildlife.”

Gill argued that the forest industry is entirely renewable. This sustainability aspect makes forestry an appealing career for those interested in contributing to environmental well-being.

Takeaway 3: The misconception about forestry

A key discussion point in the episode was the common misconceptions that the general public has about the forestry industry. Both Smith and Gill expressed their frustration with the belief that forestry is harmful to the environment.

“There’s misinformation that the general public gets about the forest industry,” said Gill. “The average person thinks we’re just scorching the Earth and deforesting everything down when in reality… we have 3 million more acres of Timberland in Alabama than we did 99 years ago.”

This point emphasized the importance of understanding the true nature of forestry and its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Insights surfaced

  • Trees are crucial to Soterra’s operations, including carbon sequestration and producing various tree-based products.
  • Forestry involves thorough early planning, starting as soon as the previous harvest is complete, and can take up to two years before planting.
  • Trees are a renewable resource, and forestry plays a vital role in environmental sustainability.
  • The forestry industry faces misconceptions about its environmental impact, despite its commitment to sustainability and stewardship.
  • Technology like drones and GIS play a key role in the planning and planting stages of forestry.


  • “No matter how many interesting things that we do down here at Soterra, it all revolves around trees. Trees are the foundation of Soterra.”
  • “The forest industry is totally renewable.”
  • “We have 3 million more Acres of Timberland in Alabama than we did 99 years ago.”
  • “We received an exceeds grade on our safety program within the SFI accreditation.”

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