IN STORMY WEATHER, like the North Olympic Peninsula has just endured, you can never be exactly sure what trees will lose their tops or completely blow over.
When a respectably sized tree leaves the canopy, can it be replaced?
How long will it take to fill the void?
So it is when an esteemed senior staff member leaves the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Sue Trettevick, 63, retired June 30 from her position as the Olympic region manager in DNR’s Forks office.
The Olympic region covers state trust lands in Jefferson, Clallam and the northwest portion of Grays Harbor counties.
Her position remained vacant until Mona Griswold came in mid-August from Charlottesville, Va., to take Trettevick’s place.
Trettevick’s parents raised her on their property between Sekiu and Neah Bay.
As a youngster, she went to Clallam Bay School.
She moved away before finishing high school and returned in 1982 to do clerical work for DNR, which was common for women at the time.
Barring a few years’ hiatus to work for the state elsewhere, she has worked for the Olympic region office until her recent retirement.
Trettevick recalls being the only woman at meetings throughout the years.
She feels it might have contributed to her careful preparations of presentations.
“People were very willing to share their knowledge with me, and I don’t remember feeling much resistance to my ideas,” Trettevick said.
She worked her way up through the ranks to lead the Olympic region’s office.
“I came to the DNR not expecting to stay,” she said.
“But the issues they deal with and the people I worked with made it so I felt good about the work we were doing.”
During the three years she was gone from the West End to work for the state Department of Transportation in Olympia, Trettevick decided to adopt two girls.
Because of the nurturing climate she found in the West End, she said she “made a purposeful decision” to be back living and working in Forks when the adoptions were finalized.
Now her oldest daughter, Maya, is a senior and her youngest, Kayci, is a freshman at Forks High School.
“I retired to be more available for my teenagers,” Trettevick said.
“I will miss the connections with the people and what is going on around the state,” she explained, adding, “There are a lot of good people both in the agencies and outside.”
Staff members at the Forks DNR office said they will miss her knowledge and attention to detail.
Everyone I talked to agreed that she was very thoughtful and thorough.
One longtime employee of the Forks office said she appreciated Trettevick’s “knowledge of how all the pieces fit and things came together.”
Trettevick “left things in good shape,” Griswold said.
“I appreciate that.”
Although Trettevick was already retired when Griswold arrived, Griswold said she has been helpful in answering questions.
Griswold has “a solid background in forestry, conservation, forest certification and leadership,” she said.
Her prior work includes being an auditor for both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program and the Forest Stewardship Council.
Both of these international nonprofit organizations offer independent certification standards that ensure products come from forests managed with a view toward the future.
“I love Forks,” Griswold said.
Having grown up in a small town in New York, she appreciates the West End’s welcoming ways.
Griswold is ready to sink her roots down and reach out to find her place in the canopy of the Olympic region.
Zorina Barker lives in the Sol Duc Valley with her husband, a logger, and two children she home-schools.
Submit items and ideas for the column to her at zorina [email protected], or phone her at 360-327-3702.
West End Neighbor appears in the PDN every other Tuesday. Her next column will be Nov. 1.