A Sugar maple harvested from the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont will help hold up the roof for the new National Museum of Forest Service History, under construction in Missoula, Montana. Timber from Bennington County will represent Vermont and be one of a few dozen logs from across the United States to stand in the Museum.
“It was great collaboration between one of our timber sale purchasers, our sale administration team, Forest Service Retirees and local volunteers,” said Green Mountain National Forest Silviculturist Chris Casey. He and the Forest timber staff worked with volunteers, timber owners and purchasers from Vermont and New Hampshire who volunteered to produce, mill and truck the log to be used for the project. The goal was to collect timbers from different parts of the country to help tell the story of the role of the National Forests in the development of our country.
Vermont’s donated tree is estimated to be more than 100 years old and comes from an area once cleared for farming, now reverted back to forest. The maple log for the museum was selected from the Snow Valley Timber Sale near Bromley Mountain Ski Area in the town of Winhall. It was harvested in one of the several National Forest timber sales Alan Plumb operates in the towns of Winhall and Weston.
The tree needed to be sound; minimum 18 inch diameter with four clear sides reasonably straight for 12 feet, “Trees of this size are common to the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont” said Casey, “because the Forest Service grows our trees a bit longer than most private lands. It’s great to see the lands that nobody wanted now producing quality timber with more than 75 years of management by the Forest Service”.
The tree was selected and marked by two Forest employees, sale administrator Gary Miner and Forest Technician Bill Garrison. The tree was cut by Caleb Martin, grandson of Alan Plumb and was sawn into a square cant for the museum post at the Plumb Family sawmill in Andover. Wax was added to the ends of the cant to help keep it from weather checking on its trip to Montana.
Pick-up and delivery to Montana was coordinated by volunteers Tom Thompson and Bruce Jackson, Forest Service Retiree from New Hampshire. Wayne Millen and Bill Peterson, timber program managers for the White Mountain and Green Mountain National Forests, both played pivotal roles in making the entire effort possible.
Other timbers: a “tapped maple” and a red spruce from Thompson’s Tree Farm in New Hampshire, a yellow birch from the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, A black cherry from the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, an aspen from the Superior NF in Minnesota and a red pine from the Chippewa NF in Wisconsin.
The timbers will help support the museum roof and be visible inside the lobby and bear plaques describing their history and origin. The museum project is led and promoted by a group of retired federal Forest Service employees who are trying to gather 24 timbers of various species from National and Experimental Forests, including 16 from east of the Mississippi River.
The museum is designed to display historic objects and papers, honor forest conservationists and serve as national headquarters for developing conservation education programs. The U.S. Forest Service manages about 193 million acres of forest and grasslands covering 8 percent of the United States. There are more than 150 National Forests and Grasslands in the U.S.
A capital campaign for the National Museum for Forest Service History began about four years ago; construction is expected to begin this spring. For more information;