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Why would anyone want to be a logger or a forester?  That’s the question being asked of a number of loggers and foresters around Maine as the Maine TREE Foundation and the Maine Forest Products Council put together an eastern version of “This is My Office.”  Originally filmed on the west coast of the U.S., this video will encourage Maine men and women, young and older, to consider a career in our forest that shows the Maine woods and the trees that grow in them.

As everyone knows, forests in different parts of the country and the world are very different, depending on things like soils, weather and temperature to be hospitable to any given species.  As in “The Maine forest is NOT the rain forest.”  The western version of “This is My Forest” is clearly not made in Maine.  For one thing, the scenery is very different as are the trees themselves. Logger Derek Madden Tells Videographer Andy Collar why he Loves his Job

The stars of Maine’s production are the loggers and foresters being interviewed; young, older and in between, male and female, they represent skilled practitioners of these professions.  They are articulate, enthusiastic and passionate about their jobs.  Some of the topics they discuss are: how logging has changed, including new technology and machinery; jobs opening up as Baby Boomers retire; the dramatic improvement in safety; the challenge and fun of working in the woods and being part of an active team; wood is a renewable and environmentally sound material; and forest stewardship is an important element of forest practices.

The video’s primary goal is to make young Mainers aware that logging is a professional occupation that requires skills, training and a strong work ethic and that people who work in the woods love their jobs.  It’s also important to let people know that the forest products business is not only alive, but thriving. 

Maine’s video will be ready for distribution later this summer, but in the meantime, if you would like to see the west coast version, type in This is My Office - The Pacific Forest Foundation.mp4 on your search engine and enjoy.


When the weather outside is frightful....Maine Woods required reading

In this slow, dark time of year, when the days shorten and the ground begins to freeze, it can be hard to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get out and about in the woods!  Some days it feels easier, and more right with the world, to give in to hibernation and curl up in front of the woodstove with hot coffee and a good book.  Here are 6 quality tomes that illuminate our state's forestland, selected by Forest for Maine's Future writer Joe Rankin.  They're guaranteed to educate, entertain, and inspire you this winter!

1)  The Maine Woods, by Henry David Thoreau

When it comes to the Maine wilderness, this book is possibly the most loved, and the most detailed, account.  Between 1846 and 1857 Thoreau made three trips into northern Maine, where he canoed the mighty Penobscot and climbed Katahdin ("Ktaadn"), Maine's tallest mountain.  The modern-day Thoreau Wabanaki Trail traces the routes he travelled with his native Penobscot guides.  He writes in stunning, simple prose about day-to-day camp life and his reverance for the true wild.

2)  Reading the Forested Landscape:  A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels

Tom Wessels creates a perfect forest field guide with this definitive work.  It focuses not on identifying particular species, but on using trees, plants, topography, and other features to determine the history of a piece of land.  Who lived or worked in this area?  Why?  Answers to these questions exist in how the forest is growing today.

3)  We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich

This is the autobiographical account of a couple who lived in the remote woods near Lake Umbagog, Maine in the 1930s.  The Rich's are some of the original back-to-the-landers, and the book offers a refreshing down-to-earth and witty tone.

4)  The Uninterrupted Forest, A History of Maine's Wildlands by Neil Rolde

Maine has 10 million acres of unorganized territories in the northern half of the state that were never permanently settled.  This book tells the story of those lands, including the Native Americans, loggers, hunters, squatters, fisherman, and other characters who have populated them.

5)  Forest Trees of Maine by the Maine Forest Service

This guide to the trees of the northern forest is just about the best on the market.  It was first published in 1908, and is now in its 14th edition!  In these modern times the book features lots of color photos, detailed maps, and a spiral binding so it's easy to take into the woods with you.  

6) The Trees in my Forest by Bernd Heinrich

Heinrich is a University of Vermont professor emeritus who lives part of the year in a cabin near Weld, ME.  In this book he shares his many forest observations through prose and sketches, covering wide-ranging tidbits of science that emphasize the interconnectedness of nature.  The detailed examinations of biological relationships in the Maine woods are not to be missed.

With these 6 excellent books on your coffee table, you'll make it through the dark days of winter before you know it!  For even more suggestions, check out Joe Rankin's Fresh From the Woods Feature on "The Forest Bookshelf."  And if you love other forest literature that we've missed here, make suggestions on our Facebook or Twitter pages.  We hope to hear from you!