When Kim Allan steps into a forest today, he will no longer be consumed with thoughts of work. The now former director of forestry for the District of Mission is enjoying his first day of retirement.
Allan has seen forestry operations in Mission change over the course of 24 years. After working as a forester on Vancouver Island with BC Forest Products for a decade, Allan joined the district in 1989 as director and has held the position ever since.
When Allan and his family moved to Mission, his was the only position in the forestry department. About a year later, a manager was added and it continued to grow.
At one point, in the 1970s, there was a 20-person staff, recalled Allan. The forest industry crashed in the 1980s and now there are less than seven positions.
“Mission Municipal Forest is a great way to practise forestry in a community,” said Allan, adding the industry has had its ups and downs, but the district has always found a way to make things work.
During Allan’s years at the helm, the district has earned $8 million in profits.
“I really enjoy having a community forest,” said Allan, adding it provides multiple benefits for the community, such as recreation, education and social aspects.
Allan sees a lot of promise in the future for Mission’s forests and will keep an eye on how things develop with forestry manager Bob O’Neal taking the reins.
At 60 years old, Allan says his “needs and wants to do other things in life are exceeding the needs and wants at work.”
While he doesn’t have any plans to leave the community permanently, Allan and his wife have an extensive trip planned to South America and Europe to celebrate his retirement.
Allan, who is a certified arborist, isn’t ruling out picking up contract work in the future, but for now, he is focusing on travelling and spending more time with his family.