different companies handle things a little differently, but yeah;
HOW WE GOT HERE:
Historically, west coast logging was done by mass rapists and bat-soup swilling degenerates. Death rates were extremely high, the trees were extremely big, and the work was extremely grueling. As time churned on, more regulation occurred, and the large trees were all logged. We now had to consider the fact that we couldn't just harvest old-growth forever, and needed to have a plan for further harvesting. In the '80s, though, there was a market crash, and many of the now management had just graduated or were starting their careers. They have spent their entire professional life with the threat of layoffs looming over their heads from the very beginning!
WHERE WE ARE NOW:
Extreme legislation restrictions, higher than anywhere else in the world. We also have some of the most profitable (per log) timber in the world through redwood. Because the work is so fucking terrible most of the time, and with the proliferation of STEM, we have a dire labour shortage in forestry. As in, private companies who start hiring for a temporary seasonal position in August will start interviews in January or December. The government essentially starts hiring in the previous season, because it's turned into an arms race of who can snatch up the few and scattered students that can actually do the work.
Now, normally you could just go pick some mexicans up at Home Depot for painting trees and clearing brush, right? WRONG. Because of the RPF certification process, doing this wouldn't do anything for your company. You actually need college graduates, and you are desperate to retain them for 3 years, and to have them make THPs for your company after you are licensed.
HOW WE ARE GOING FORWARD:
Companies are starting to restructure their new hire process, and how they push people toward getting their RPF. Wages are increasing, benefits are increasing, etc.
But you are still treated like a fucking slave.