A Talk in the Woods

Bryan Wentzell - Maine Mountain Collaborative

"A Talk in the Woods" is about the people who live, work, and play in Maine's north woods and rugged mountain region and their relationship with the land. Conversations are recorded "in the field" in pickup trucks on dirt logging roads, walking in the woods, and by lakes and rivers.

Podcast logo by Ryan Smith at Rooted in Light Media (https://www.rootedinlightmedia.com/)

All Episodes

In mid-July, Bryan and Lily visited Alexandra Conover Bennett at her remote cabin in Elliotsville, Maine. Accessible only by canoe, Alexandra and her partner, Kermit, live simply without running water or electricity. Alexandra is well-known in Maine, New England, and the international community as an outdoor educator, guide, and writer. Her work has touched the lives of countless people, and it was truly an honor to visit her home and hear her speak about nature and spirituality. 

Oct 15

1 hr 2 min

In this episode, Bryan talks with Karin Tilberg, the Executive Director of the Forest Society of Maine. As Karin fishes the East Outlet of Moosehead Lake they talk about their respective connections to the Maine woods and to that place in particular. 

Sep 30

41 min 33 sec

Lily returned to Greenville to interview Jenny Ward, the Maine Business and Community Relations Manager for the AMC. Like most people you've heard from on this podcast, Jenny wears many hats, and her connection to this place runs deep. Listen to this episode to hear more about the AMC's Dark Sky Park, the importance of conservation organizations (like the AMC) to Maine communities during COVID, Jenny's 29029 Everesting event, and a cool trick she shared for calling in birds. 

Sep 16

31 min 45 sec

In this episode Lily traveled to Orland, Maine to interview Landon Fake, the Executive Director of the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust. Their 4500 acres of conserved lands, called The Wildlands, are just inland from Penobscot Bay, less than an hour south of Bangor. Lily and Landon hiked to the top of Great Pond Mountain, discussing wildlife sightings, rare plants, and the role of land conservation in Maine communities.  For more information about Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, visit: https://www.greatpondtrust.org/ 

Sep 2

25 min 57 sec

In this episode, Lily interviewed Kaitlyn Bernard, who is the Natural Resources Policy Advisor with the Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Kaitlyn grew up in a town called Fort Kent, located in Maine's Aroostook County (or "The County" as most people here call it). Kaitlyn and Lily talked about the funding of the Land for Maine's Future program and shared stories about their cross country skiing experiences.  --- Note: An earlier version of this podcast description misstated Kaitlyn's current role. This has been corrected—  apologies for any confusion.  

Aug 19

32 min 53 sec

While visiting the Greenville area, we met up with Roger Merchant, a long time forester and advocate for Maine's woods. He took us on a trek into Big Wilson Stream Forest, which is an area of old growth forest that he helped discover and protect. Some of the trees in this stand are over 200 years old. In this episode, Roger talks about forestry, Maine's ecotourism potential, and his fears about the effects of climate change on our forests, among other things. 

Aug 5

26 min 39 sec

This is the final episode in our three part series with Susan and Mark Adams. After returning from the canoe trip, we sit out on the porch during a June thunderstorm to get some final reflections from Susan and Mark on their careers, their time on both branches of the Penobscot River, and their connection to this community.  ~ At the end of June, we traveled to Patten to talk with people about the past, present, and future of the land that is now Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. In August of 2016, the Elliotsville Foundation (headed by Roxanne Quimby) donated 87,000 acres of land east of Baxter State Park to the federal government with the intention of it becoming a National Monument. National Monuments are similar to National Parks, but National Parks must be approved by Congress while National Monuments can be signed into law by the president through the Antiquities Act. President Obama did just that on August 23, 2016. This was the culmination of decades of hard work by many people, including Roxanne Quimby, her son, Lucas St. Clair, and people like Susan and Mark Adams, among others. 

Jul 29

35 min 33 sec

This is part two of our three part series with Susan Adams. In this episode, we start our canoe trip on the Sebois River and head down to Lunksoos on the East Branch of the Penobscot. Things get off to a rocky start— quite literally. As we paddle (and "river walk"), Susan points out plants and animals and tells us memorable stories from her many trips on this stretch of river.  ~  At the end of June, we traveled to Patten to talk with people about the past, present, and future of the land that is now Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. In August of 2016, the Elliotsville Foundation (headed by Roxanne Quimby) donated 87,000 acres of land east of Baxter State Park to the federal government with the intention of it becoming a National Monument. National Monuments are similar to National Parks, but National Parks must be approved by Congress while National Monuments can be signed into law by the president through the Antiquities Act. President Obama did just that on August 23, 2016. This was the culmination of decades of hard work by many people, including Roxanne Quimby, her son, Lucas St. Clair, and people like Susan and Mark Adams, among others.

Jul 29

29 min 31 sec

At the end of June, we traveled to Patten to talk with people about the past, present, and future of the land that is now Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. In August of 2016, the Elliotsville Foundation (headed by Roxanne Quimby) donated 87,000 acres of land east of Baxter State Park to the federal government with the intention of it becoming a National Monument. National Monuments are similar to National Parks, but National Parks must be approved by Congress while National Monuments can be signed into law by the president through the Antiquities Act. President Obama did just that on August 23, 2016. This was the culmination of decades of hard work by many people, including Roxanne Quimby, her son, Lucas St. Clair, and people like Susan and Mark Adams, among others.   This episode is the first in a three part series with Susan Adams. Susan and her husband Mark work for the Elliotsville Foundation, doing community outreach and recreation management. In this first episode, we hop into Susan's truck and she drives us into the monument to the canoe launch. Susan talks about the many hats she wears for the Elliotsville Foundation, her childhood on Penobscot Bay, and working with local schools to connect kids with the land. 

Jul 29

29 min 52 sec

While in Patten, we visited the Patten Lumbermen's Museum and spoke with the curator, Rhonda Brophy. Understanding logging and its legacy is key to understanding the past, present, and future of Maine's woods. The museum is chock full of interesting artifacts and stories about this history. The title of this episode is a hint to some of the neat things we learned. Definitely visit the Patten Lumbermen's Museum if you're in the area!  Here's a link to the museum's website: https://lumbermensmuseum.org/ 

Jul 23

15 min 14 sec

In this short episode, Bryan introduces Lily Horne, the Maine Mountain Collaborative's summer intern. Lily's voice will appear in some of the upcoming episodes as she operates the audio equipment in canoes, rowboats, and pick-up trucks and even does some interviewing herself. This conversation was recorded while sitting around the fire on a gorgeous July evening at Lily Bay Campground on Moosehead Lake. 

Jul 19

11 min 44 sec

Today we’re sharing a conversation with Lindsey Downing, who, with her husband Mike, owns and operates Mt. Chase Lodge in Mt. Chase, Maine, which is just outside the new National Monument and Baxter State Park. Lindsey tells us her story of growing up at Mt. Chase Lodge, traveling the country, hiking the AT with Mike, and then returning to Maine to take over the family business. This conversation took place during our trip to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, where we spoke with people about the past, present, and future of this land.  Here's a link to the Mt. Chase Lodge website: https://mtchaselodge.com/ 

Jul 15

42 min 46 sec

This is part 2 of my talk with Gabe Perkins, who is the executive director of Inland Woods and Trails – woodsandtrails.org - formerly Mahoosuc Pathways – which is based in the western mountain village of Bethel, Maine. Gabe exudes a love and respect for this landscape and it shows in his work. We skied up to an incredible viewpoint on the recently-completed Bethel Community Forest overlooking Bethel and the surrounding landscape.  In this part one we talk about our mutual family connections to the Bethel area, the new Chadbourne conservation project that he and others are now working on, and Gabe's foray into politics. 

Apr 28

17 min 20 sec

This is the first half of my talk with Gabe Perkins, who is the executive director of Inland Woods and Trails – woodsandtrails.org - formerly Mahoosuc Pathways – which is based in the western mountain village of Bethel, Maine. You simply won’t find a nicer guy than Gabe, and he’s really fun to talk to. Recently he and I skied up to an incredible viewpoint overlooking Bethel and the surrounding landscape. It was beautiful. The viewpoint is a parking area and trailhead in the summer, and in the winter a great place to enjoy the view and talk. The mission of Inland Woods and Trails is to promote prosperity by connecting communities through multi-use recreational trails. Here in part one we talk about Gabe’s story of growing up near Bethel. I wanted to talk to him about two recent land conservation success stories that he played an important role in. The first, which we cover and actually ski on here, is the Bethel Community Forest. Check pout our NEW LOGO by my former AMC colleague Ryan Smith at Rooted in Light Media

Mar 25

25 min 31 sec

This is the second half of my talk with Sandy Neily, a former Maine rafting guide, current murder-mystery writer, mother, and grandmother.  She is a long-time advocate for nature and wildlife, the outdoor recreation economy, and rural jobs. Here we’re snowshoeing around her camp in the woods near Moosehead Lake – which is Maine’s largest lake. 

Mar 4

28 min 12 sec

"A Talk in the Woods" is about the people who live, work, and play in Maine's north woods and rugged mountain region. These are recorded "in the field" in pickup trucks on dirt logging roads, walking in the woods, and by lakes and rivers. Sandra Neily is a twice-published Maine Woods murder mystery writer, former rafting guide, lover of wild places, and has lived and worked near Moosehead Lake for most of her adult life. Here Sandy and I snowshoe near the shore of Moosehead Lake on a cold winter morning and talk about what brought her to the area and how we connect to the outdoors. 

Jan 30

16 min 11 sec

"A Talk in the Woods" is about the people who live, work, and play in Maine's north woods and rugged mountain region. These are recorded "in the field" in pickup trucks on dirt logging roads, walking in the woods, and by lakes and rivers. Part 3 of our conversation out in the woods with Steve Tatko, Forester and Land Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club's 74,000 acres of conservation land in the heart of Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness. Photos: Garrett English Music: Fireflies and Stardust Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and Pond 5 - gestonwreen

Jan 4

17 min 31 sec

"A Talk in the Woods" is about the people who live, work, and play in Maine's north woods and rugged mountain region. These are recorded "in the field" in pickup trucks on dirt logging roads, walking in the woods, and by lakes and rivers. Part 2 of our conversation out in the woods with Steve Tatko, Forester and Land Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club's 74,000 acres of conservation land in the heart of Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness. Photo: Garrett English Music: Fireflies and Stardust Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and Pond 5 - gestonwreen

Jan 4

21 min 37 sec

"A Talk in the Woods" is about the people who live, work, and play in Maine's north woods and rugged mountain region. These are recorded "in the field" in pickup trucks on dirt logging roads, walking in the woods, and by lakes and rivers. Steve Tatko manages 74,000 acres of conserved forestland in Maine's famed 100-MIle Wilderness, including 100 miles of dirt roads, 100 miles of trails, and the sustainable forestry. Steve grew up in the Maine woods and has a deep wisdom and perspective well beyond his years. Photos: Little Outdoor Giants Music: Fireflies and Stardust Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and Pond 5 - gestonwreen Maine, conservation,forestry,Appalachian Mountain Club

Jan 4

18 min