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Who Will Log? Occupational Choice and Prestige in New England's North Woods

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To explain the declining recruitment of workers in the logging industry in northern New England, we conducted a multiple-methods study of the logging workforce in the region. Our study found that, despite considerable familial attachment to logging, most loggers in the region would not encourage their sons or daughters to be loggers, and only half the loggers surveyed expected to be employed in logging five years hence. Although most loggers identified positive attributes of their work–such as being outdoors and having a sense of accomplishment–as reasons for becoming loggers, some said they logged because there were few alternatives or because they lacked the education for other employment. In addition, most loggers in the region felt that the general public held logging in low esteem. Results have implications for logging labor supply and labor recruitment efforts in a region heavily dependent on the forest products industry.

Keywords: economics; education; employment; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; industry; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor Department of Forest Management University of Maine Orono ME 04469, Email: 2: Research Associate Department of Forest Management University of Maine Orono ME 04469

Publication date: 2004-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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