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Donna Janssen: The Steward

Donna Janssen forest caretaker

Donna Janssen, a third-generation forest caretaker, remembers the moment well. She was a child walking with her mother in the forest when they came upon a section devastated by storm. While trees were snapped, trunks twisted horribly and the canopy overhead destroyed, sunlight was also reaching the forest floor in an otherwise shaded woods. It was then that she first understood the interdependence of trees and all other living things. She realized the death of one tree could make way for another to grow. It was a tangible, early lesson in sustainable forestry.

In this video, Janssen shares the story of her family’s multi-generational history of tree farming in southwestern Arkansas, her faith in the sustainable forestry practices of the Forest Stewardship Council, her close working relationship with Domtar and her pride in being a supplier for the company.

Janssen’s years of living close to the forest and serving as a forest caretaker have also given her a deeper understanding of man’s relationship to the natural world. “And truthfully, we don’t really own the land … ,” Janssen said. “The land is going to be there beyond us, and what we do with the land in the meantime is the most important thing.”

This video, created for Domtar’s Paper Made Here program, helps illustrate why buying North American paper is the most responsible social, economic, and environmental choice.