August 27, 2007
University of Maine at Fort Kent Forest Technology alumnus, Jesse Saunders (’97), has been awarded the Graduate Forest Technician Achievement Award by the Council for Eastern Forest Technician Schools (CEFTS).
Saunders, a resident of Fort Kent, was nominated for the CEFTS award by Instructor Jeff Dubis and Professor Dave Hobbins of the UMFK Forestry Program. In nominating Saunders for the award, Dubis and Hobbins wrote:
“Over the past decade of working for Irving Woodlands in northern Maine, Jesse has worked his way up from a summer intern forest technician to the Chief of Silviculture for the largest landowner in Maine. Jesse is well-respected by his colleagues and has extraordinary vision. He is a keen observer and skilled woodsman with a knack for regional forestry.
“Although Jesse has a matter-of-fact personality, he is extremely well liked by those he supervises. He has supervised many planting and timber stand improvement crews of foreign laborers and has gained their respect simply by showing them courtesy, as well as an honest frankness. Summer interns who have worked for Jesse have great respect for his knowledge of the forest and of forestry. In past years, Jesse has directly or indirectly supervised up to ten of our (UMFK) students during any given summer. All have come away from the experience with a greater appreciation for forestry thanks to Jesse’s attitude towards learning.
“Jesse has never lost his love for learning and he has made it a point to pass on as much knowledge to his employees as they are willing to receive.”
The Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools was founded in 1976 by a small group of Forest Technology instructors. Since then, CEFTS membership has grown to include 15 academic institutions across the eastern United States and Canada. CEFTS was founded with the overall goal of improving the quality of Forest Technician education.
Jess Saunders is among the graduates who have received CEFTS Graduate Technician Achievement Awards for their contributions to forestry or forest technology education over the past 31 years.
Earlier this month, UMFK hosted the three-day 2007 CEFTS annual meeting; the most important event held each year by the organization. With a mix of field trips, business and discussion sessions, the annual meeting is a tremendous learning opportunity, as well as a lot of fun.
The highlight of this year’s annual meeting in Fort Kent was a tour through the heart of the Northern Maine Woods and the Allagash River region, the largest undeveloped tract of forestland in the eastern United States. During the tour there were discussions on local sivicultural practices, wildlife management, outdoor recreation, and mobile use of GPS/GIS technology in timber harvesting.