State Forests’ new harvest planning forester and dog trapper

State Forests has a new harvest planning forester and dog trapper at Tumbarumba.

Lee Blessington has arrived in Tumbarumba as the new harvest planning forester for State Forests Native Forests Division.

He has come straight from Canberra as a new recruit having recently graduated from the Australian National University.

Mr Blessington grew up at Narooma and is familiar with the State forests around that region, even working for State Forests as a casual at times during the winter.

“I love being outside and have grown up in a rural area and feel very much at home in the bush,” he said.

“I love to go bush walking, camping and fishing and Tumbarumba is the perfect spot for those outdoor pursuits.

“I have spent the first few weeks on the job getting to know the place and Peter Haenig has been a great help taking me around the forests to get acclimatised and then it will be full on harvest planning.

“I am very happy to be involved in harvest planning as it is both challenging and rewarding.”

His fiancé Ms Jean Snape will be arriving in Tumbarumba soon to join him. She is a nurse finishing her degree at the University of Canberra and will be looking for work in the region.

Mr Blessington is hoping to buy a house and is looking forward to becoming a part of the local community.

State Forests Native Division’s other new employee is Mr Mark Goldspink who is from a well-known Tumbarumba rugby league family.

Mr Goldspink’s official title is feral pest officer and he will be concentrating on trapping wild dogs.

His father is Mr Bill Goldspink who used to work for State Forests and his brother Mr Gordon Goldspink also currently works for State Forests.

Mr Mark Goldspink’s daughter Billie-Jo is studying forestry at Canberra and has accompanied him of late around the forests on work experience.

During past years, many other members of the Goldspink family have also worked for State Forests.

Mr Goldspink and his wife Sharon have three children and live on a small farm at Courabyra 11 kilometres north of Tumbarumba.

His work will involve controlling wild dogs in and around Bago, Maragle and Woomargama State Forests.

“Over the years I have had a great interest in hunting and shooting and have got to know the local area well and the habits of the wild dogs.

“I have generations of family knowledge of the local bush and that will help me trap the wild dogs,” he said.

“I am at present trapping with Andrew McDougal, a very experienced dog trapper from the Yass Rural Lands Protection Board, and am honing my skills in the finer points of dog trapping.

“I have two dogs I take out with me - a bull mastiff German white-haired pointer cross and a bully bull mastiff who are learning to pick up scent stations to assist me in the trapping of wild dogs.

“I am very pleased to have been appointed to this position as I can put my knowledge to greater use to the benefit of the local community and my employer State Forests.

Media contact: Chris Rhynehart on (02) 6948 2400. Photo available.