Title

The Adirondack forest worker : surviving in a changing timber industry

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

The Adirondack Forest Worker: Surviving in a Changing Timber Industry emerged as a topic out of the research performed at the Adirondack Nature Conservancy/Adirondack Land Trust (ANC/ALT). The research consisted of identifying market trends in order to evaluate the future effectiveness of ANC/ALT conservation strategies. This research showed that there exists a consensus among forestry professionals that the industry in the United States and especially in the northeast is in decline. The research while very informative lacked a human element. The intent here is to add that human component by looking at the experience of the Northeast Adirondack logger. The result is a descriptive case study, which provides insight into the lives of those who must rely on a vanishing occupation for their livelihoods. The primary question addressed was "What is/are the experiences of the loggers in the Northeastern Adirondacks with regard to the changing timber industry?" The following supplementary questions were also investigated: "How are loggers surviving?" "How do they perceive the future of the industry?" and "How do they see their own future?" The study showed that while loggers are fewer in number, they are surviving in the changing industry. They are currently faced with a host of issues including the effects of globalization, and a lack of access to natural resources. Their future, however, is less clear with many diversifying their operations or transitioning out of the industry. This paper would be of interest to anyone studying sustainable development, the Adirondacks, sustainable forestry, the timber industry, and the effects of globalization. It would also be of interest to anyone taking a sociological look at people surviving in economically fragile industries.

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