Meet Austin Hopfensperger
Meet Austin Hopfensperger, a Staff Forester for Steigerwaldt. Austin is responsible for setting up and administering timber sales, which includes harvest boundary delineation, timber marking and gathering inventory data.
Please provide a professional history introduction (prior and during your time at Steigerwaldt):
- I graduated from Fox Valley Technical College and then worked for a summer in Helena, MT for the US Forest Service on a trail crew. This provided a great opportunity to see beautiful parts of our country and gain extensive experience running a chainsaw. After my summer in MT, I started my education at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. During my time there, I worked for Grossman Forestry in Newberry, MI for a summer. This was my first introduction to a forest management specific job. The position was a great learning opportunity, giving me experience in timber marking and cruising. I then worked for Steigerwaldt as an LTE. I was then able to continue to work part-time for my final year of schooling. I was eventually offered a full-time position and accepted my current role as a Staff Forester.
Why are you passionate about this field?
- I enjoy that there is no one path to take in forest management. The actions we take are determined by what the landowners objectives are, and those can be as varied as the forests they own.
How do you serve our clients?
- I serve Steigerwaldt’s clients by setting up timber sales which includes timber marking and determining boundaries, performing timber cruises and inventories, collecting data on carbon inventories, and assisting any other departments that need an extra hand on a project.
Why do you enjoy working at Steigerwaldt?
- I enjoy the variety of projects that I am able to work on. As a young forester, this allows me to gain valuable experience that will be useful for the rest of my professional career.
Since you’ve worked here, how has the industry changed?
- It seems that there are new technologies available almost daily that can help us be more efficient in our jobs and manage our forests more effectively.
What industry changes are you most excited about?
- The continued technological advancement to create new ways of collecting data and managing our forests. As well as the ever changing landowner dynamic in the Lakes States area.
What’s your favorite tree and why?
- My favorite tree is White Pine. I like how they look, often towering over a hardwood stand.
Where do you like to go on vacation?
- I would either go to one of the lakes on my bucket list to fish or somewhere tropical with my wife.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
- My favorite outdoor activity is bass fishing.