World Forestry Center relies on a broad community of friends and partners who donate their time, energy, and funds to advance our mission. We spoke with siblings Jan Torheim Harrington and Robert E. Torheim about their family’s connection to the organization.
Their father, Robert “Bob” H. Torheim, was a founding, charter member of World Forestry Center and a forester with the U.S. Forest Service. In 2020, the Torheim family made a meaningful donation in honor of Bob to support the pivot of our programming, amid the pandemic, to virtual platforms which has allowed us to continue our work connecting our community to the value of forests.
How long have you been involved with World Forestry Center?
“Our parents relished the woods. As a young man in Seattle, our dad spent many hours camping, hiking, and fishing in the nearby National Forests. His 30+ year career in the Forest Service took our family from isolated ranger stations to Washington D.C. He was a founding member of the World Forestry Center,
so our associations run deep!”
What about World Forestry Center’s mission speaks to you the most?
“World Forestry Center helps the public appreciate the importance of healthy forests for our present and our future. The organization brings stakeholders together to collaborate, promote research, and support forest health.”
How was your connection to forests developed?
“Our parents instilled in us an appreciation for the many ways forests are important— for wildlife, the Tribes, recreation, grazing, timber, fish, water…
We grew up knowing and living the interconnectedness of the forest. It was, and still is, visceral.”
What is your fondest memory in a forest?
“There are so many. Spending time in the forest gave us important family memories, which, as our parents have now both passed away, have helped maintain our strong bond. What a gift. We remember it most as a time to be together in the open air, usually by a quiet stream, with sandwiches and mom’s great berry pies. It was a wonderful way to grow together as a family.”
What would you say to others looking to support World Forestry Center?
“World Forestry Center is about helping us keep our forests accessible, healthy, and sustainable in a cooperative, thoughtful, engaging manner.”