A day in the life of a dryland sort and quality control supervisor: Kirstie Bradshaw

Kirstie Bradshaw

Dryland Sort and Quality Control Supervisor

Western Forest Products


In your role, what are your responsibilities? What does your typical day look like?

I manage wood flow on the dryland and in the water, supervise dryland employees, and ensure we produce a high-quality product for our mills and customers. My typical day starts around 6:00 am and often doesn’t look the same as the next. For example, today I marshalled my crew, signed some timecards, filled in for my grader, measured ends for our scaler, did a new employee assessment. I also did some quality audits on the deck and will be meeting with some other supervisors to organize next week’s work.

Next week I will be going out into the bush to do some quality audits of the processors, learn some contract management supervision for roads, check on a barge loading, and spend some time on the boat while I do a boomgear count and boom audits. Hopefully I’ll see some whales while I’m out there!

Tell us about your career path. How did you get your start in forestry and how did you end up where you are today?

I grew up with some friends that worked at the dryland, the kind that pushed me and knew I would never give up regardless of my gender or size. I don’t think the supervisor at that time held a lot of confidence that I would be able to do the labour required, so he asked the guys who worked here, which included my dad (who’s now been here for 47 years), if I could handle it and they all said “yes.” I started off hand bundling and from there, learning everything and anything I could. Now I supervise the same sort and crew that I started off with 12 years ago.

How is your work as a dryland sort production supervisor connected to the job of a logging operator?

Once the planning phase is done and the fallers/yarders/loaders are in a block, they load the logs onto a truck and that truck comes to the dryland. That’s where we process the logs by scaling and grading them, cutting them to length, sorting them by diameter, species, and quality into certain sort specs for our customers. Then we bundle them together and put them in the water where they get sorted again but this time into log booms. Those log booms get towed to Kultus Cove where a barge is loaded and transports those logs to our customers.

The view from Kirstie’s office.

Are there any accomplishments that you are really proud of?

I am really proud of all of the things I’ve learned over the years and proud that my fire for more (more challenges, more learning, more growth) has never extinguished.

What excites you about your future in this industry?

I’ll continue to learn and meet amazing people with incredible (sometimes very lucky) stories. People who want to teach you about their job and encourage your growth.

What advice would you have for someone who might be considering a career in forestry?

It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you can persevere then the skies the limit.