Portrait of a Forest: Men and Machine


Author: George Bellerose

304 pages, hundreds of black-and-white photographs
Portrait of a Forest: Men and Machine draws your attention with striking photography and first-person narratives, capturing the stories of the people who work within the forests of Vermont.

In his beautiful, well-researched and well-crafted book, published by Vermont Folklife, photojournalist George Bellerose introduces us to a full cast of characters involved in the forest products industry in this region – from conventional and mechanized loggers, sawyers, woodlot owners, and sugarmakers to foresters, policymakers, and representatives of environmental organizations.

For the layperson, it opens a window into the forest community of Vermont, and by extension, the Northeast as a whole. For those in the industry, it is a tribute to the hard work of forest management and the people who devote themselves to working in the woods. Bellerose adds commentary and explanatory notes, while historical sidebars highlight the history and the innovations that transformed the industry.

Praise for Portrait of a Forest

“Portrait of a Forest opens up a world—a world many of us who make our living inside an office are liable to be quite unfamiliar with. However, it is a world we need to know better, if we are to really understand this forest in which we live. This great ecosystem and the men who manage and work it deserve our attention and respect. In this book, they receive both.”
– Tom Slayton, Editor Emeritus Vermont Life

Table of Contents

John Barstow: A Window into the Lives of Loggers


Tom Slayton: Our Ecosystem: The Northern Forest


George Bellerose: Appreciating Our Heritage

The Early Forest

Jan Elbers: It Was Paradise Except for the Clearing

The Old Way: The Chainsaw
  • Tweeter Felion: You Can’t Be a Macho Man
  • John Anderson: Horse Logging Took Its Toll
  • Steve Weber: I Like to Work
  • T.J. Turner and Rick Laport: No Slacking Off
Finding a Niche
  • Mike Quinn: I Can Make Money on That
  • Barry Burnham: I’ll Stick with Diversification
  • Baird Family: Forever More a Sugarbush
  • John Anderson: Looking for a Good Chance
The Woodlot
  • David Brynn: Successful Forests Benefit All Parties
  • Chris Olson: Far More Office Bound Than I’d Like
  • Dick Thodal: Woodlots Are Incredibly Complex
The New Way: Big Machines

Lathrop Forest Products

  • Jim Latherop: Always Have a Plan B
  • Jason Lathrop: We Hope the Numbers Will Hold Up
  • Justin Lathrop: We Can’t Afford to Buy New

Lathrop’s Maple Supply

  • Tom Lathrop: Wood Is Just a Beautiful Product

A. Johnson Co.

  • Tom Yager: The Forest Is Like a Tapestry
  • Bill Sayre: We May Only Know in Retrospect
  • Ken Johnson: The Resource Is Our Life
The Long View
  • Jamey Fidel: Breaking Down the Black and White
  • Michael Snyder: Reconnecting People with the Land
  • Gary Miner: It Takes Years to See Management Results
A Look Ahead
  • Paul Costello: Our Landscape Is a Common Good
  • Jamey Fidel: We Face a Crossroads
  • Bill Sayre: What Is the Best Approach?
  • Michael Snyder: Our Last Best Chance to Save Forests

David Budbill: Ode to Wood

Timeline: Vermont Forest History
Weight 38 oz
Dimensions 10 × 8.5 × 1 in
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