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The Forester's Log

Musings from the Woods
By Mary Stuever



When Mary Stuever graduated from forestry school in the early 1980s, her profession was facing tremendous challenges as the nation's forests were poised for serious decline from catastrophic wildfires, insect outbreaks, and suburban encroachment. Stuever captured this transition over the last few decades in her syndicated monthly column "The Forester's Log." Originally penned for newspapers in rural forested communities in the Southwest, the column has found its way into various magazines, newsletters, anthologies, and Web sites.

Stuever's career involves firefighting, fire rehabilitation, timber sale administration, environmental education, and many other aspects of forest management. Through her work with native tribes, local, state, and federal agencies, and private landowners, Stuever focuses on the important bond between land and people. With an inspiring and informative style, Stuever's tales weave fresh insight into forest issues. Her writings, collected here for the first time, tell the poignant story of places, people, and experiences that have shaped her passion while offering a rare glimpse of forestry in the Southwest at the turn of the new millennium.

"Like individual trees that stand together as a rich forest, the pieces in Mary Stuever's Forester's Log join with each other to create a greater whole. Stuever not only guides us into complex and varied forests, but illuminates their connections with the people and communities she encounters, from the mother-daughter team in Cuba, NM, who integrate watershed concerns with tree farming, to the White Mountain Apache who called her 'Mama Baer' a play on the acronym for the forest restoration project she led for five years after the massive Rodeo-Chediski fire in eastern Arizona. These moving stories are the heart of the book. Throughout this collection, we not only see a natural teacher at work and learn much about forest ecology, we begin to know the dedicated, competent humane, and fearless woman who loves her calling. Anyone who's ever walked among towering ponderosas, worried about dying piñons, watched racing flames on a mountainside, or marveled at new growth sprouting from burned ground will love this book. Southwestern forests have found a compelling voice."--Mary Beath, author of Hiking Alone: Trails Out, Trails Home (UNM Press) and Refuge of Whirling Light (UNM Press)

"It's been a long time since foresters wrote plainly about their work--Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, Elers Koch ( Forty Years a Forester)--and back then it was only the guys."--Ana Maria Spagna, author of Now Go Home: Wilderness, Belonging, and the Crosscut Saw

Contributor Bios
Mary Stuever is the state timber management officer with New Mexico's State Forestry Division. Her syndicated column "The Forester's Log" appears in newspapers in communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. She has published essays in such works as A Mile in Her Boots and served as one of the editors for Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains (UNM Press).