Hello and Welcome,
My name is Logan Johnson, and this is the Red Beach Conservation, LLC Community Conservation Blog. I founded Red Beach, LLC, to provide a diverse set of skills to help conservation-minded groups and individuals reach their objectives and achieve their goals. This blog is meant to do the same. In each post, I will discuss different talking points surrounding forest conservation. I will start by introducing myself so you can understand the lens through which I view the world.
I was born and raised in Calais, Maine, a central community of Washington County. Officially the “City of Calais” has a population of fewer than 3,000 people. To better understand the remoteness of the area, Washington County is 3,258 square miles with an estimated population of 31,490. When compared to Maine’s most populous county, Cumberland, which is 2.5 times smaller (1,217 square miles and), has a population over 9 times greater than Washington County (~293,557 people). In fact, I grew up on the city limits in the area of Red Beach – It was once its own town but is now within Calais borders. From December of my 1st year of high school until I graduated, I worked for the local radio station, WQDY, Inc. as a weekend radio announcer. I graduated in 2013 with a class of 66.
I then went on to the University of Maine at Orono to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. My intention at the time was to attend dental school following my undergraduate degree. But, in my 2nd year, after taking my first plant biology course, I decided to pursue my passion (thanks to a nudge from a special someone). The summers after my 1st and 2nd year at UMaine, I worked as Environmental Co-Op at my community’s local mill, Woodland Pulp, LLC. This experience formed a foundational understanding of the importance of the forest products industry, not only in my community but in the state. The summers after my 3rd year and after I graduated, I was a conservation intern at Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. My time with DLLT was the most inspirational experience I could have asked for. In my first summer, I was introduced to the profession of Forestry, working with the staff forester. I even went on a forest inventory cruise with foresters calculating carbon stocks on the land base. This experience changed the course of my life because it made me see myself as a forester, and the vision never left. In the second year, one of my major projects was coordinating a public opinion survey.
Having graduated with a Biology degree and focusing on conservation, the next step along my path was as an AmeriCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator in New Bedford, Massachusetts. This AmeriCorps position was through TerraCorps, a service organization working to bridge the urban-rural divide through conservation, food justice, and equity. My host site was Buzzards Bay Coalition, whose service area stretched from Woods Hole in Falmouth, MA, to Rhode Island. My primary responsibilities were to develop 3 capacity-building projects. Two of which were trail systems at recently purchased conservation properties. The third was a collaborative project with Mattapoisett Land Trust, a local land trust within the watershed. The goal of this project was to develop an Abutter Outreach Program, to reach the neighbors of land owned by the land trust. It was working on this project, that I identified the need conservation organizations have for flexible, cost-effective support. Other responsibilities included reserve management and maintenance, conservation easement/restriction monitoring, developing baseline documentation reports. I also was responsible for managing a corps of one-time and ongoing volunteers.
I made two meaningful decisions during, but separate from my service year. First, I elected to return to the University of Maine for Master’s of Forestry degree. Second, I submitted a proposal for a request for proposals for the role of Maine Tree Farm Coordination, a position I was granted. I started in the Coordinator role while completing my service year in Massachusetts. I returned to Maine full-time in July of 2018. In September of the same year, I began my studies at the University of Maine. Throughout the first year of my program, I did all I could to learn the ins and outs of the forest community and industry and made connections throughout the state. After the first year, I began another consulting contract with the Maine TREE Foundation and solidified details of my graduate project by agreeing to design a user guide for a Citizen Science program, affectionately named the Forest Ecology Research Network (FERN). In my 3rd semester, which was also my last, I was performing contractual duties with Maine Tree Farm, Maine TREE Foundation, was slowly incorporating work with the Forest Stewards Guild, and I was also the Teaching Assistant for Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
I officially graduated from the University of Maine with a Master’s of Forestry in December 2019. In January, I filed the paperwork to form Red Beach Conservation, LLC. Over 2020, I will continue my work with Maine Tree Farm, Maine TREE Foundation, and Forest Stewards Guild. I will also explore more opportunities to help organizations and individuals in need of flexible, cost-effective conservation services from land management and stewardship to outreach, events, and education.
Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit more about me. I felt it was important to share a contextual framework of my background and what influences the work I do. I hope to be regular with these posts, so stay tuned. They will be written in a way to help explain the complexities of the world and what internal and external influences affect forests and conservation in general.