Dennis' work exemplifies the dominion mandate in Genesis 1:26.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The mandate is dominion but a gentler word is stewardship. My favorite definition of stewardship is "maximizing God's blessings for His glory and our benefit." A good forester recognizes that they do not "own" the trees in any sense of the word. But a forester who is a Christian has the added benefit of knowing the Creator. God's owns everything but allows us the immense responsibility of caring for his creation. This is true for every believer but being a forester certainly helps see the clarity of this calling.
But most people miss the "maximizing" part of the definition of stewardship. You can work in an environment and even care for something without maximizing it to its fullest potential. A forester does this through a wonderful collaboration of multiple parties. The land owner benefits by reduced taxes, the occasional sale of trees and a healthier piece of land. The State benefits by helping to promote economic growth in all areas of the timber industry (which is the second largest manufacturing employer in Wisconsin), caring for land owners and stewarding the environment.
We spent some time in our county's largest park replete with gorgeous vistas that are part of the coulee region in Wisconsin. This was Dennis' last week in Vernon County before he moves north to take a new job. He took the new job so that he can manage and care for even more land than he is doing at present. We will dearly miss Dennis and his family but I am glad that his stewardship mission will continue to be maximized to its full measure.