Forestry Camp of Yesteryear

Forestry Camp in the Maine Woods
by Arthur G.Randall
(Compliments of Downeast Magazine, July 1956)

Fifty years ago the University of Maine’s first forestry class of four men spent a summer of field work in Indian Township, way Down East between Topsfield and Princeton.  Out of this pioneer course in practical forestry training, the University’s Forestry School, one of twenty-six accredited in the United States, has developed an eight-weeks summer training school for forestry and wildlife students.  Today, between thirty and fifty men spend the summer of their junior year in the woods, absorbing on-the-spot principles of forestry practice and management.

The greater part of the students’ training is devoted to timber cruise and growth study, with square mile areas being assigned to two-man parties for survey.  Besides the measuring of forest growth on these sample plots, projects include topographic mapping, clearing and painting boundary lines, practicing forest fire fighting methods, selective marking of pulpwood cutting, and visits to pulp and paper mills.  Some students even spend part of their free time with axe and bow saw, felling marked trees in an experimental area near the school’s permanent camp.

Training is climaxed by the completion of a large, colored map showing the various forest stands worked on during the summer.  Data from all the compartments cruised are pooled, and each man prepares a forestry management plan for the township.  This plan is designed to show the present volume of timber, anticipated growth, and the amount that may be cut during the next decade.