Forest Industry Safety & Training Alliance, Inc.


Who We Are

Located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, the Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance, Inc. is a nationally recognized, non-profit safety training and education organization for the forest industry. FISTA is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization governed by an twelve-member Board of Directors with two full-time staff members. 

In business since 1991, FISTA is committed to providing quality training at a fair cost.

What We DoMan Cutting Tree

FISTA provides safety training and education to workers in forestry-related industries to:

  • Decrease the number and severity of logging related accidents

  • Improve productivity and professionalism

  • Promote awareness and practice of environmentally sound principles

FISTA's focus, however, is not limited to the forest industry.  We are most well known for our hands-on Chain Saw Safety Training Program. This program can be conducted in any location across the country and tailored to meet your organizations specific needs. We provide training for a wide variety of groups including utility companies, landowners, highway departments, recreational organizations, correctional facilities, conservation districts, municipalities, loggers, foresters, and more.

In Wisconsin, FISTA provides training and education for forest industry personnel and maintains a database of these individuals for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®).

All SFI® training is conducted in accordance with the annual SFI® Training Standard. In Wisconsin this training includes Best Management Practices (BMP's) for Water Quality and Invasive Species as well as annual Continuing Education requirements.


We Also

Produce forestry and arboricultural safety training materials and maintain a strong working relationship with many organizations such as: 

Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA)

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)

SFI® State Implementation Committee (SIC)


Meet Our Staff

Meet Ben Parsons, Our Training Coordinator

Ben joined FISTA in November of 2011. Born and raised on his family farm in West Virginia, Ben earned his degree in Forest Resource Management from West Virginia University in 2001.

Throughout his career, Ben has had the opportunity to tackle a wide variety of assignments.  He has measured Forest Inventory and Analysis research plots in Virginia and Georgia, been involved with urban and utility forestry operations throughout the Appalachian region, procured lowland hardwood timber in the swamps of South Georgia, managed logging contracts and harvest operations in Arkansas and Oklahoma as well as specializing in water quality and harvest planning and fighting forest fires in Virginia.  Most recently, however, he filled the role of Project Forester for Oneida County, WI.

Ben has been blessed with three adorable children including a set of twins; one boy, one girl.  His oldest daughter is a Texan by birth, but loves Wisconsin winters. Most importantly, all three are HUGE Packer fans!  When he isn’t spending time with his children, Ben enjoys the great outdoors by hunting, fishing, off-roading and hiking.  While living in the Northwoods, Ben hopes to indulge in new outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.

Ben aspires to bring FISTA and the GLTPA to the next level.  By developing new class topics, offering more convenient classes, keeping information current and listening to the input of our members, membership advantages will greatly be enhanced.  “The professionals in our industry face numerous challenges every day.  I want to do everything I can in this role to make our members safer as well as more successful and profitable in the years to come”, states Ben.

Jennie Baker, Office Coordinator

Jennie became part of the FISTA family October of 2014.  A Rhinelander native, Jennie has spent most of her life right here in northern WI.  For some reason, though, she claims growing accustomed to the Northwoods winters is still a challenge.

Most of her time is spent with Mike, her husband and best friend.  Together, they enjoy motorcycle rides on and off the pavement, and when they aren’t riding, they’re watching the pro’s ride Supercross.  Of course, Jennie says, “A quiet evening walk is still best for the Baker’s to keep their life, marriage and friendship in check.”  For now, the only “Baby Baker” is Moto (Cross), Jennie’s English bulldog.  She admits most people think bulldogs are ugly, but proudly claims Moto has a face only a mother can love.  Jennie and her “fur baby” are often seen walking, playing fetch and tug-of-war.

For the last 10 years, Jennie has spent her career in customer service and satisfaction.  She is excited to accommodate to the needs of FISTA’s customers and discover what the future holds with the organization.

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