Hugging trees in the Debsconeags

You know, I nearly held back from sharing this because there is so much wrong in my photography. Wishing for thoughtful composition, elimination of hot spots, a considered foreground, no branches in faces, a normal perspective, and of course, film…  That said, the smiles and overarching sentiment makes it for me in spite of the flaws. 

I spent this past week in the Debsconeags Lakes Wilderness Area measuring forest conditions (similar to USFS FIA work for those interested) with a super enthusiastic field crew.  As you can see here, they all drank the conservation Kool-Aid.  Regardless of incessant biting insects, wet feet and clothes from rain, smashed shins as a result of my crazy map and compass navigation through the woods, general heat and humidity, and no running water or electricity, Nancy, Marissa, Mariana, Hillary, and Andrew reveled with our plant monitoring tasks and the beauty found at our forest plots.  Not one complaint beyond my own grumblings and bellyaching…  Nothing but smiles and laughs all around…  What a fantastic bunch!  

Learn more about the Debsconeags Lakes Wilderness Area...


A No. 5 Mountain Thanks!


Conservation Begins Here

A portion of my 2013 field crew... 


Over the past couple of years I’ve been overseeing a trail management and remediation project on No. 5 Mountain located in Township 5 Range 6, Maine (close to Jackman).  The project has allowed me to spend time with some incredibly inspirational field crew members.  Self-motivated, team oriented, smart, thoughtful, inquisitive, dedicated to task-at-hand, and environmentally conscious…   These people represent the best of young America, and it’s been my pleasure to cheer them on. 

During the project, most specifically, they’ve been focusing their boundless energy on rebuilding an old Fire Warden’s trail leading to the summit of No. 5 Mountain.  The three mile pathway dates back to the 1930’s.  Few switchbacks or erosion control measures, so over the past 80 years it has significantly degraded.  But the crew has been rebuilding and rerouting.   Diverting water with rock and wood…   Turnpikes, waterbars, bog bridging, optimizing trail grade, French drains, bench cuts, stone staircases…  The end goal is protecting the resource while ensuring visitor connection to the outdoors, and I’m positive that they’ve met their mark. 

Our 2013 field season has ended, and I’ve buttoned things up for winter.  All have moved on to next steps (i.e., work, school, and other projects).  With this has come a moment to reflect and review, and it’s clear to me that I’ve been lucky to have had this time with them.  A humbling experience...  It’s always fun to share my work projects and things that get me excited with others, but in this instance I know that I’ve benefited the most from these interactions and by seeing their example and gift of service.  Yes, our shared natural heritage has been in good hands. 

Thank you all!  You know who you are.


~Dan G. 








No. 5 Mountain

Township 5 Range 6, Maine