I won’t recount how different 2020 has been from other years, but here at Two Trees, changes have also occurred. In January Maggie Mansfield joined our team and in August Jon Doty moved on. Maggie is a recent UMaine forestry graduate, with an undergraduate degree from College of the Atlantic, grew up on a sugarbush in western Massachusetts, and recently bought a house and land in Vienna. As she has beenn getting up to speed, she’s obviously met a number of you including, quite coincidentally, a landowner with whom I just got off the phone, who volunteered, “You’re lucky to have her.” I agree. She has the people and communication skills that are so critical in our line of work. As does Jon, whose departure is a huge loss.
Jon was hired as chief land manager by a private landowner with extensive landholdings considerably farther north. And so he’s off to the part of Maine that feeds his soul best, though transitioning from the scattered woodlots of central Maine, to the big woods will be a daunting, but likely a rewarding and professional challenge. They got the right person, though obviously we will miss his energy, great humor, personal and professional network, and creativity. We won’t be looking to fill his shoes in the short-term, as we wait out this uncertain economy.
I’ll close with an even greater loss. Erik Carlson, a logger/forester from Edgecomb lost his battle with cancer this fall. We worked together on a number of projects, along the mid-coast, over the years. He always brought his smile, good humor, and expert skills. He wasn’t one to set the world on fire, but he loved the physical and mental challenge of making a living by harvesting trees. As with most loggers, he was very mechanically inclined, and with his Dad’s help, imported a small wood pellet mill from China and had a go at selling them locally, until the business was blind-sided by a change to his thoroughly researched electricity pricing system; suddenly power became too expensive. Though the experience was no doubt frustrating and challenging, to me it was a perfect illustration of his personality. He was a David, sick of getting paid next to nothing for pulpwood, and so devised a self-sufficient means to avoid the Goliaths. He is missed.