North Woods for Sale

Over at my day job the environmental writer Robert Kimber has a provocative essay about the changes sweeping through the Maine North Woods: an area larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. Over the past two decades, the paper companies who once controlled these millions of acres (and generally took a custodial approach to them) sold their sizable holdings to investment banks and real estate developers focused on turning short-term profits. Kimber laments what these changes have already meant for a place he calls:

A place of exquisite beauty, complexity, and variety, of headwater streams and mountain vistas, of gray jays and winter wrens, of huge old yellow birches too big for two men to wrap their arms around, of ravens quorking, moose swimming across Attean Pond, of rhodora and Labrador tea, and on and on. If you can’t thrill to this place, you’re dead on your feet. It’s not a “resource,” it’s not “the environment,” it’s a ten-million-acre miracle, one with plenty of nicks, scrapes, and deep wounds in it, but a miracle nonetheless....

Bob's essay is a barbed piece of writing that echoes some of my own preoccupations in The Poacher's Son.