Season 4 | Our State Foresters | Episode 5

#62 | If you aren’t getting flak, you’re not over the target”

April 10, 2018 | Peter Church

Peter Church is the Director of Forest Stewardship for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he oversees the agency’s statewide forest conservation program and the implementation of a new strategic direction for the Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry. Peter has over 29 years of experience in a variety of positions, including park ranger, park supervisor, chief park ranger, Natural Resources Director for the Division of Water Supply Protection, and South Region Director for the Division of Urban Parks and Recreation. In this episode, Peter shares key examples of what he wished he had learned sooner about leadership. Don’t miss Peter’s insight on the importance of the work we do as foresters, why we need to get better at communicating with the public, and so much more!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro about Peter’s background.

[2:45] How did Peter become interested in forestry?

[6:15] What was Peter’s school experience like?

[10:25] Peter discusses how he overcame his fear of public speaking.

[11:35] What was Peter’s first management position like?

[12:10] Peter discusses some leadership lessons he wished he’d learned sooner while he was managing a team of 75 park rangers at once!

[13:50] What’s it like managing people at the State Forester level?

[15:50] Peter shares some exciting new projects the department is taking on.

[18:00] What types of mentors has Peter had over the years?

[22:30] What kinds of challenges has Peter faced as a leader?

[25:00] Remember, you’re going to make mistakes!

[25:10] Peter discusses what he likes about the newer generation coming into the workforce.

[27:35] Peter offers some advice for those thinking about forestry or currently in school for it.

[30:25] How can people learn how to become a better leader? What resources does Peter recommend?

Mentioned in This Episode:
Soul of the Lion: A Biography of General Joshua L. Chamberlain, by Willard M. Wallace
Gettysburg (1993)


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.