RANGELEY — A former Rumford land manager for Boise Cascade was named Maine’s Outstanding Forester of 2014 earlier this month by the Maine Forest Products Council.

Tricia Quinn of Rangeley, resource supervisor for Plum Creek Timber, is the first woman to receive the award, according to a Sept. 19 news release. Quinn was recognized on Sept. 8 at the council’s annual meeting in Bar Harbor.

“I was very pleased and honored by the recognition by my co-workers and peers,” Quinn said on Thursday. She said the recognition speaks to her “24 years of hard work and dedication to the Maine forest.”

But it didn’t come as a surprise.

Recipients get nominated for the honor. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to directly apply forest management practices in a “working forest” environment on either private or public lands, according to the council’s nomination form.

Application of a broad range of silvicultural practices and the supervision of operational activities is a prerequisite for this award.

The individual must demonstrate the ability to adopt emerging concepts and research results to improve forest management. The ability to incorporate other societal and biological considerations, such as aesthetics and wildlife into silvicultural practices, must be shown as well.

The individual must also have the ability to mentor other forest practitioners in forest management practices.

Ben Dow, Plum Creek’s senior resource manager for its New England region, and Mark Doty, Plum Creek’s community affairs manager for its Northern Hardwood region, nominated Quinn.

After the council selected her to receive the award, Dow presented it to Quinn in Bar Harbor.

“Tricia has been able to gain the respect of her peers — loggers, regulators — whoever she comes in contact with,” Dow told the crowd.

Quinn manages and oversees 200,000 acres of Plum Creek property in Western Maine.

“It’s a big job and she’s been up to the challenge,” Dow said. “She’s doing a fantastic job.”

Quinn began her career with Boise Cascade in 1990, managing the Rumford land base and continued to manage that same land for multiple owners until 2004, when she started work for Plum Creek.

“She has a strong silvicultural background, which I think is critical for being eligible for this award,” Dow said.

He said Quinn was instrumental in revamping Plum Creek’s silviculture internally, which is “something we use to make our decisions uniformly across our land base.”

Quinn also served her country for the past 31 years with the Marine Corps, the Army Reserves and the Maine Army National Guard.

Dow also praised Quinn as “a great mentor for young foresters.”

In her acceptance speech, Quinn thanked her own mentors and also stressed “the importance of mentors and mentoring, both young or new or inexperienced individuals within your organization or the industry.

“I wouldn’t be here today without them,” she said.

Quinn, a Connecticut native, said she didn’t become a forester until later in life.

After graduating from high school at the age of 18, Quinn joined the Marine Corps. She served three years on active duty, working as a truck mechanic from 1983-86 while stationed for two years in North Carolina and a year in Okinawa, Japan.

Then she joined the Army Reserves and later, the Maine Army National Guard, where she is in charge of the Maine Inspection Program doing evaluations on Guard units. Quinn holds the rank of master sergeant with the Guard for which she works one weekend a month.

But it was her love for the outdoors that prompted Quinn to pursue a career as a forester. Following her Marine Corps service, she attended the University of Maine at Orono, graduating in May 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in forestry.

“As an 18-year-old, I didn’t understand what it meant to be a forester until I went to college and got exposed to it,” she said. “I thought it would be a grandiose walk through the woods all day, but there was a whole lot more to it than that.”

In June 1990, Boise Cascade in Rumford hired Quinn as its forester to manage 250,000 acres of hardwood and softwood stands and mixed-wood stands in Oxford and Franklin counties and Shelburne, N.H. She worked out of Boise’s Rangeley office.

Quinn said managing timber and land for the paper mill and Plum Creek was fairly similar. The pulp mill drove a lot of decisions that focused on getting fiber to the mill, whereas her job with Plum Creek is more integrated. It focuses on real estate value, timber management value and the value per acre.

The Plum Creek land she manages abuts the Rumford paper mill land she used to manage.

Quinn said that she worked for the Rumford paper mill, which underwent several ownership changes, until she was laid off by Mead-West Vaco.

She said she enjoys forestry work, because it gives her the opportunity to take a natural resource and make a commercial product out of it, while enhancing a stand of timber for wildlife, water quality and future growth.

“It takes a lot of skills,” Quinn said. “It’s not just the science of forestry. It’s also about the relationship with contractors, biologists and the public, preparing budgets and planning. It takes a well-rounded and grounded individual.”

She said there are no barriers for women seeking a forestry career.

“If a woman wants a diverse, challenging career that takes science, people and computer skills, forestry is the perfect job for that,” Quinn said.

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Among others also honored at the Maine Forest Product Council’s annual meeting Sept. 8 in Bar Harbor was Jim Carrier of Richard Carrier Trucking in Skowhegan, which also bases its chip trucks in Rumford. Jim Carrier was named Maine’s Outstanding Trucker of 2014.


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