Does a logging truck ruin your north woods experience?

A new brochure, titled “Welcome to the Maine Woods” and subtitled, “Tips to enjoy your visit” may hold the answer to this question.

The brochure was created by Keeping Maine’s Forests, described in the brochure as “a proactive partnership representing large forest landowners, forest product industries, recreation, conservation, environmental, and economic development interests.”

A diverse group of groups participate in the project, from Maine Audubon to the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine and the Maine Forest Products Council. This is a collaborative process in which KMF members share information and resources, promote sustainable forest management and conservation, and look for ways to work together. The brochure is one example of this work.

The brochure is designed for tourists who find themselves in a working forest. It will be available at tourist information centers. Topics covered include “What does a working forest look like?” This section includes excellent information about how forests are professionally managed and touts projects like replacement of undersized culverts.

I particularly like the photo of a logging truck going over a small bridge. I once received a letter from a guy in New York who complained that his entire Allagash River trip was ruined when he saw a logging truck crossing the river on a bridge. At that time I was working with the forest products industry to maintain access to the Allagash region.

I also like this statement: “In Maine, well-managed forests don’t need to be replanted since they regenerate so quickly on their own.” While working on the forest referenda campaigns on behalf of the forest industry in the 1990s, I was flabbergasted by our polls showing many Mainers did not know that trees grow back after they are cut.

The KMF brochure includes sections titled, “Who owns the Maine Woods?” and “What are the traditions of the Maine Woods?”

In the latter section, tourists will read, “As more people come here to enjoy the natural beauty and adventure of the Maine Woods, it is even more important to understand how working forests and recreation can coexist.” I would add, Amen!

There is a particularly good section titled, “What can you do?” It includes suggestions from “carry out your trash” to “give loggers and heavy equipment operators a wide berth” and “If you see a logging truck approaching, pull over.” Good advice, indeed.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. George also hosts, with Harry Vanderweide, a TV talk show called Wildfire, now in its 13th year and focused on hunting, fishing, environmental, and conservation issues. The show is owned and produced by Maine Audubon and seen on its website as well as on the Time Warner cable TV station throughout the state.