Doug Piirto

Doug Piirto, now retired from Cal Poly’s Forestry Department, continues his dedication to forestry. He was honored by the Society of American Foresters with a video interview, reflecting on his career, for the Oral History Project. The video is posted here,¬†

Dr. Piirto’s love of the forest shines through his quiet but firm presence. Thank you, Dr. Piirto. Recommended viewing for all who love the Monterey Pine Forest.

His points about the Spatial and Temporal view of forests helps put the forest in perspective. Spatially, we look at the forest across the landscape. Temporally, we watch the forest change over time. How is it responding to conditions 20, 30, or 40 years later.

Forestry is both an art and a science. Dr. Piirto was influenced in his career by many people. He discusses his relationship with Al Smith, who donated Swanton Pacific Ranch to Cal Poly.

Dr. Piirto is passionate about the Giant Sequoia! As he is about leadership and management. His life is an example of those principles.

“The internal flame that takes you to your future,” he said.

And I love the hats!


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