Helen Johnson

Helen Johnson
DCR Division of Water Supply Protection/Quabbin Watershed Forester

It’s a matter of basic decency to support ALL people in forest stewardship, including women, gay and trans people, disabled folks, people of color, etc. As a lesbian with a chronic illness, I’m a member of more than one of those categories. I’ve faced harassment, including being called a “f***ing dyke” a few times when I was enforcing regulations in my former position as a Service Forester, but nothing as vicious as was faced by women foresters who got started a generation before me. And I’ve found support and respect in surprising places, such as from a logger whose brother is gay. The Forest Stewards Guild has been a critical source of support for me in the wholeness of my identity, a place where I feel like part of the community, and do not constantly receive messages that I’m an outsider.