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Interview with James C. Masten, March 8, 2002 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with James C. Masten, March 8, 2002
March 8, 2002
Forestry History- I ask questions about family association of forestry. Why Mr. Masten choose forestry as a long life career. Things that were of the past and now how forestry is today. People need to utilize the industry and reproduce.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Masten, James C. Interviewer:  Richardson, Alice Date of Interview:  3/8/2002 Series:  Southeast North Carolina (SENC) Length 


Richardson: The interviewer is Alice Richardson with Harry Warren.

Richardson: Please state your name, your address, where you’re at and the date.

Masten: Well today is March 8, 2002. My name is James C. Masten and I have lived here in Whiteville for 45 years. We consider Whiteville our adopted home and there are a lot of fine people in this county and in this area. I’ve been involved in forestry from the time of schooling until this present moment for about 50 years. We were involved in the old original Riegelwood Paper Corporation in the early days of its beginning here in Columbus County and I have most of the time pretty well focused on procurement of the various forest products.

Warren: You moved here Jim in the 1950’s?

Masten: Yeah, I came here in 1956.

Warren: And you’re originally from Forsythe County, Winston-Salem area?

Masten: That’s right.

Richardson: So how long have you been associated with forestry?

Masten: With the schooling and with the work in industry, better than 50 years.

Richardson: Where did you go to school?

Masten: North Carolina State.

Richardson: What aspects of forestry related work did you d, surveying and what?

Masten: Basically what is known as procurement, getting the forest products into the various mills, primarily the Riegelwood operation plus some activity with Georgia Pacific and even International Paper Company.

Warren: Did you come here to work for Canal Wood or Federal Paper? Just with Canal Wood?

Masten: Yes, we worked so closely with the Federal and the Riegel people that sometimes they thought that I worked for them, but actually I worked for Canal Wood.

Richardson: Why did you choose the forestry industry as a career?

Masten: Basically because I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors like yourself, you’re interested in the park.

Richardson: I know there’s days that there’s bad weather, but you know, it’s a little bit of freedom. It’s not as stressful to me you know.

Warren: Was your father in forestry?

Masten: No sir, he had the distinguished honor of working for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

Warren: I see, so he was out in agriculture himself. Was he working in R. J. Reynolds up in Winston-Salem?

Masten: Yes, he was in the payroll department of R.J. Reynolds.

Richardson: This is on the forestry part, history related, who are some of the characters you have known in the industry? Could you tell me some stories about some of these interesting people you’ve met in forestry?

Masten: Well in all due respect to this question, I would say number one, of course the people for whom I’ve worked with, Canal Wood Corporation meaning Mr. Carr Gibson who still lives in Lumberton, North Carolina. Mr. Ferbie Sledge who lived and died here in Whiteville and Mr. Craig Wall Sr. who was our chief executive officer in Conway, South Carolina.

But also in all due respect, Mr. J. B. Letty who was a woodsman manager from the beginning for the old Riegel Paper Corporation, was the outstanding person that contributed so much to the total program of forestry and forest products in this area.

Richardson: How has forestry, lumbering, forests, etc. changed since you began working in the industry?

Masten: Well maybe simply enough in the early days when I began after I came back from the Korean conflict active duty, we were dealing with pulpwood primarily, what we call short pulpwood loaded on railcars at the old Laurenburg Maxton Air Base. That was basically about five to five and a half foot length that was loaded on a railcar and brought down here to the mill. Then we began spreading our wings a little more and utilizing the trees more properly and high grading so to speak pulpwood trees for soft timber or lumber products.

Now we’re dealing with a very sophisticated system of utilizing the whole tree with the emphasis on the more economically viable elements of plywood or ply trees, then soft timber and the rest is pulpwood in one form or another.

Richardson: What type of lifestyle developed around working in the forestry industry? Where there hard times? Was it prosperous? What was your daily routine?

Masten: Well basically we were dealing with independent, self-employed pulpwood contractors in the early days and then general logging contractors in the latter years.

Richardson: There weren’t as many then as there are now.

Masten: That is correct. In the early days, the men were using short bed trucks, what we call bobtail trucks to load the short wood on. Then with the advent of the so-called long wood or treeling material, we went to the bigger trucks and we had fewer logging contractors. But they were dedicated people and we enjoyed working with them. We spent most of our time in the woods on either company lands or private lands getting the basic raw materials produced and delivered to the respective mills.

Richardson: My granddaddy did that in the summer and then he logged during the winter.

Masten: That was often the case.

Warren: Were these fellows kind of tough guys that worked?

Masten: Well they had to be tough, but by the same token, I learned early on in the Green Swamp especially to appreciate and respect all the men that were working in the woods for that matter, but there was a group of people within the Seventh Day Adventist community who were very fine citizens as individuals and as loggers. They had to be a tough breed of people.

We had people with extreme education out there working in the woods under all kinds of trying conditions. I take my hat off to the various people, but those Adventists people were fine people with whom to be associated.

Warren: What made them stand out in your mind as opposed to say a good old Southern Baptist that was out in the woods?

Masten: Well you just struck a note, but by the same token those people were very conscientious in their personal lives. They were not the users of alcoholic beverages and they paid their bills and they worshiped on Saturday and they respected the rest of us worshiping on Sundays. They were very conscientious and I have to this day a deep respect for them and many others who have come and gone.

Warren: Were there a lot of Seventh Day Adventists? Was it like a community?

Masten: Within the confines of the Green Swamp and then they spread out gradually.

Warren: So there was like a little community of Seventh Day Adventists within the Green Swamp.

Richardson: That area down in old town area, there’s right many from 7th day Adventists.

Masten: That’s right. We even have a Seventh Day Adventist church here in Whiteville.

Richardson: Yeah, and a lot of them come.

Masten: They’re good people.

Richardson: My grandmother was a Methodist and then changed over to a Seventh Day Adventist.

Masten: I’m not surprised.

Richardson: And she loves it, the feeling she gets from it.

Masten: Yes maam.

Warren: Just really upstanding people. Well what was your day like? When did you… Tell me what your day would be like. You’re doing this procurement.

Masten: Well normally you started by 7:00 in the morning cause they all began earlier than that even and you just go to the various logging sites and work with them on the way the timber was to be harvested either on a clear cut basis or on a thinning as the case might be depending upon the composition of the timber track.

Warren: You saw these guys in action then a lot cutting down the trees and everything. Did you ever see any injuries or any…

Masten: Oh we saw injuries and there were normal accidents that happened because we’re all human beings and subject to the possibility thereof. By in large we did not have unusually serious accidents other than just as a rare occasion.

Warren: Did somebody occasionally lose their life? We spoke to Mr. Mike Gillen down at Hallsboro.

Masten: He was a good one.

Warren: He’s a fine fellow and he mentioned to us that they had a steam whistle system. That the steam whistle would blow a certain amount of times to communicate with folks, one whistle would mean one thing and blow it twice, it would mean another thing. If it blew five times, that meant that a man had lost his life out in the woods. Do you remember any situations like that?

Masten: Not on our operations. There were people who did lose their lives unfortunately, but I was not there. That’s just one of those tragedies of any situation of that nature when human beings are involved.

Warren: What was the primary type of tree that you were foresting?

Masten: Primarily pine, but we also utilized hardwood. Hardwood provides the finer grade papers because it has a longer fiber and so your stationeries and things like that are made from hardwood or a blend of hardwood and pine. But pine was the primary species being produced as pulp and paper.

Richardson: What do you see as the future of harvesting?

Masten: Well of course I’m prejudiced because of my years in the woods and working with these people around the forest products industry and I hope it will be long-lasting and it should be because we have become somewhat complacent about the easy availability of paper products. But if some of these environmental extremists will come to a common ground of reason, the forest products industry can continue to be a vibrant contributor to the economy and the health of our nation in utilizing these natural resources.

Warren: The environmentalists have…they haven’t always been an issue, have they? I mean when you first started, they weren’t really organized.

Masten: No indeed. You have such off brand organizations as the Sierra Club and other related environmental groups have carried it to the extreme and then the notorious legal community has exacerbated the problem.

Warren: But back when you started, there really wasn’t…this all came out what, in the 70’s and the 80’s?

Masten: Somewhere along in there, it began expressing itself more in the early 70’s and gradually gaining momentum and you’ve got a lot of so-called wealthy people such as Ted Turner who bears close scrutiny contributing his vast resources to the extreme circumstances of the environmental issues. We all need to be stewards of our varied bodies and our surroundings. And to put it very crudely, these environmental people need a fresh basket of corn cobs in their bathroom to begin the day and I think that’s enough said.

Warren: But you’re certainly not alone in this feeling. I mean I know I’ve been to enough forestry association meetings to know this is a general feeling.

Masten: Well you want to respect people for their own individual persuasions, but that’s a reversal too. So it’s unfortunate that they have been given the audience that they have and the prevalence of this long-haired hippies with their britches down around their waist and under their shoes, that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Richardson: Do you see forestry as a valuable career option?

Masten: Yes maam.

Richardson: Just like the other day, going out on a fire, a lot of people don’t understand prescribed burns and hazard reduction and stuff like that. My mother inherited some land from my grandmother and I’ve been telling her about doing some prescribed burns. It helps bring in the wildlife. It helps the trees, it kills the insects and bugs like that you know. I don’t think a lot of people… some people know, farmers and such know, but some other people don’t know just like my mother. She inherited it so she didn't know anything about it so we’re checking into it.

Masten: Good, that’s good. You’ll be a good influence for her.

Richardson: Do you have anyone else in mind in the forestry industry that we could interview?

Masten: Oh, you have a number of people. Harry has a list of people that would be good participants in the historical review of this nature. Of course one person who’s been very active in the museum is Mr. Butch Blanchard and his father before him. They’re both credible people who have the history…

Richardson: Is his father still alive?

Masten: No maam. But you have a number of people. I can enumerate some. Harry has the list from which you could invite others that know more about it than I do.

Warren: Bill Ball, we interviewed him.

Masten: Good, that was a good one.

Warren: We got a good interview from him. He seemed to indicate that there was a real sense of community with people that worked in forestry and the forest industry and he talked about how you all used to get together regularly, some sort of club.

Masten: Bush and Bog?

Warren: That’s right, that’s exactly right. Tell us a little bit about that.

Masten: I didn't become involved in it too much although they had a core of people that were very enthusiastic about it. It was more of a social function and I enjoyed the people, but it didn't seem to work out with my schedule (laughter).

Warren: But Canal Wood, now they’re very social. They’ve invited me to their annual Christmas party. What kind of things did Canal Wood do to sort of foster that paternal feeling, that the company wanted to feel towards them which I certainly felt when I went to the Christmas party.

Masten: Well you’re dealing with a different generation in that consideration, but you also have a number of outstanding individuals who have contributed to the forest product industry and to the spirit of the forestry business in the person of Jim Bridgen, Dennis Stone, Gary Macmahan, many others. They tried to be considerate of these various public relations opportunities, have these barbeques and other social functions scattered through the year, not just at Christmas. But those people I just named have been a big plus for forest products in this area and otherwise.

Warren: Well they seem to have developed an atmosphere, a real family atmosphere over their offices and everything.

Masten: Well they’re very conscious of good public relations with everyone and with the various landowners…

Richardson: The forestry… the forest service…you could tell…

Masten: Right, there’s a good working relationship and of course as you Harry know and Alice maybe aware, the state forester, Mr. Stan Adams who came to the state from a good experience with the U.S. Forest Service, has projected that same image through the present organizations and of course here in district 8 with Bob Housman, that has perpetuated in that same spirit.

Richardson: If you could live your life again, would you choose a forestry area career?

Masten: Probably so, yep, for the same reasons. I enjoy the out of doors, enjoy people much like you have already expressed and it’s just a good challenging vocation.

Warren: In your work, did you travel a lot? I mean I’m sure you traveled locally a lot? Did you move?

Masten: Geographically you had to reach out so far as your procurement efforts were concerned to the surrounding area for 50 to 100 miles to buy the forest products that were necessary to keep these various loggers going and that was part of our responsibility to make timber tracts available to these self-employed, independent logging contractors.

Warren: So you were working for Canal Wood based in Lumberton. Were they always in Lumberton when you were with them?

Masten: Well not always. They had a field operation up there, but Elizabethtown was the original focal point for Mr. Gibson’s operation in the early days when I came to work for them in 1952.

Warren: They were in Elizabethtown?

Masten: They were in Elizabethtown, but then they moved into the Lumberton area and that is now the focal point.

Warren: Why they’d move to Lumberton, just better road access or something?

Masten: Really it was a management decision and a good one in all due respects. The centrality of the Lumberton geographical operation was contributive to a logical movement.

Warren: When they were in Elizabethtown they had the Cape Fear River though right there beside them. Was that river being used for logging operations?

Masten: Oh yes, being used for barging the material up towards Fayetteville, all the way into Wilmington to International Paper Company’s barge landing operation.

Warren: I don’t get the sense there’s a whole lot of that going on anymore.

Masten: No, in all due respect. In fact I understand there’s probably again it might be an environmental move or whatever to discontinue the traffic on the Cape Fear River, the commercial traffic. But it has been a main water artery for this southeastern area of the state.

Warren: And when you started working for them in ’52, it was still used frequently. One the main highways to Wilmington and other places was the Cape Fear River still being used. Of course there’s one of the three lock and dams there at Elizabethtown.

Masten: That’s right. International Paper Company was primarily focused on the Cape Fear River barge operations.

Warren: Riegelwood, did you have a lot to do with International Paper? You said you were sometimes misidentified as actually working for them because you were in association with them so much.

Masten: I wasn’t misidentified with the IP people, well probably misidentified with Federal.

Warren: Well not IP, but Federal and the old Riegel operation. The Riegel organization really got its early beginning in 1952 and had its operation through Mr. Letty, through Dr. Hartford and Mr. Peters at the paper mill. They were just purely and simply much like Alice as mentioned. They were people persons. In turn, people responded in interest in what was going on.

Warren: You spent a lot of time in the woods I imagine, walking through the woods. How did you… I’m still trying to get a grasp on exactly how you did your job. I mean how did you go about assessing a piece of land, and negotiating with the owner of the land. Could you talk about that process with us a little bit?

Masten: Well basically of course you’ve got to learn of the availability of a tract of timber or a farmer’s interest in selling timber from his properties. Then you go talk to him, you walk with him basically with the consciousness of the currently proper, property lines. In other words, that was to me a very critical area. You must know where those legal ownerships are established from corner to corner. Then of course you cruise the timber within those boundaries or within whatever agreement you have…

Warren: What’s cruising? Forgive us because of our ignorance of basic terminology, what’s cruising?

Masten: Basically it’s the ocular estimation of the physical value of your standing trees.

Richardson: Knowing your trees, what kinds of trees.

Warren: And how would you do that? Just take a segment of the land and…

Masten: Oh you had cruise lines depending on the size of the tract and you’d have a tally board that you recorded the specific tree that you were looking at or trees as the case might be and the old established visual part of the tree was known as DVH, diamond or breast high which was four and a half feet above the ground level. That was the measuring point. That was the determinant of the actual value, the economic potential of the tree.

Richardson: Do you feel like the GPS has made a difference in forestry?

Masten: Oh yes, very definitely as it has in other facets of life. That’s a very sophisticated tool which I have never been exposed to.

Richardson: I want to learn about it.

Masten: Yep, it’s very interesting. I think you’d be smart to avail yourself of that technology, yes maam.

Warren: Butch told us though when we spoke with him that one of the things that that has done, the GPS being global positioning satellite, is that what you’re referring to, is that when he went to forestry school in his early years, he knew how to pace. He knew how to walk something off and he says that’s becoming, because of that, is a lost art.

Masten: Well pacing was a very critical factor in the cruising process because you established your plots from which you took your timber estimates based on the distance, the estimated distance and then you established those cruise lines accordingly. Butch, I was going to say, was always very astute in doing this along with many others.

Warren: Were you a good pacer?

Masten: No.

Richardson: What is the single most important issue facing forestry today?

Masten: A better understanding and appreciation for the not only economic potential of forestry products, but the physical advantages that can be had from utilizing the trees for their maximum potential of value, meaning ply logs, saw timber, chip and saw and the residue is pulpwood in one of two forms, either in tree length material because the short lengths are pretty well past the economic feasibility and/or as being chips. They have those in the woods on site chippers and that’s a more complete utilization of the top end of the tree, pine or hardwood.

Richardson: Like I said earlier, my mother inherited some land and inherited another part of it. What they did is they’re planting trees. I believe they tried to get some trees the other day from here. That’s the way they’re going to use it and I think it’s a good thing because trees are being cut, but they’re being used for a good purpose. You know people need to understand it.

Masten: Well there’s a catch phrase within the industry that is true and applicable in that same situation, Alice. Trees are a renewable natural resource either by natural reforestation or by mechanical reforestation as the case may be. Of course planting the trees from these various nurseries is a quicker way to get them in the ground and let them start growing again. But you’re looking at an average with pine from 12 to 15 years for your first commercial thinning and what we call a cultural thinning, weeding out the cults and then leaving the better trees to grow for the future generations on a so-called rotation or cycle basis.

Warren: Now that’s a managed forest.

Masten: That’s correct.

Warren: Was managed forestry being conducted when you entered the forest industry?

Masten: Yes.

Warren: So that’s been around as long as you have been in this career.

Masten: The first forestry school over in the Biltmore Estate 100 years ago.

Warren: So they were doing the managed forest…

Masten: They were teaching it and the Germans were some of the originators of this technology and then it has been reproduced and sophisticated so to speak since that time here in America.

Warren: Now you said you went to NC State. Right Jim? Did you get a degree in forestry?

Masten: Yes sir.

Warren: And was that what they were teaching at NC State at the time?

Masten: Well that was one of the options, but you had forest management of course was one of the first options, but you also had lumber products merchandising, you had wood technology and other areas of the various elements of utilizing the forest products. You had the furniture industry being taught through the school.

Warren: So your degree is in forestry? Would that be a general degree?

Masten: Forest management.

Warren: Forest management so they were teaching you about the managed forest and how to conduct that. Do you think that the development, that is the development of highways and shopping centers and that sort of thing, is that a detriment to our ability to continue to produce the amount of trees?

Masten: No, I would not, from my own observation without being prejudicial, those development factors that you mentioned are necessary with this ever growing population and industrialization, but if the various areas of potential forest development are utilized properly and managed, we will still have adequate forest resources in spite of the highways and the shopping centers and the residential developmental areas.

Warren: Don’t we actually have more forests today than we did I don’t know, 50 or 60 years ago or something like that?

Masten: You’d have to go to the state forest service to get an accurate statistical answer for that, but I would say basically we possibly are losing some of our potential forest land to these very things we talked about, highways, home development areas, shopping centers and so forth. But there’s still an adequacy of potential forest land out there if it’s utilized. In many cases the private landowner is not taking the opportunity to develop their lands for growing trees like they should.

Richardson: Just like my mother you know, she doesn’t know. She needs to learn and I hope I can help her. She does have cotton and peanut, but she’s got some timber, but she needs to learn more about it. There’s other people out there that have 30 acres of land. I mean it’s not a lot, but it’s a good enough plot to take care of, you know, to replenish.

Masten: Really a small plot of timberland can be developed and from there you go to a larger one depending on the circumstances of the farm operation and who’s managing it.

Warren: What kind of tools did you use? What were some of the tools of your trade when you went out to cruise or whatever?

Masten: Well basically you use the Biltmore stick which is an estimator. It has various calibrations on it and you sight the trees. I did not get involved in surveying per say, but I strongly depended on capable land surveyors to clarify or establish properly legally documented property lines. Then of course you had your normal safety equipment, hard hat. Some people wore the hard toe shoes, I never wore those.

Warren: Did you wear a hard hat out in the field?

Masten: In the latter years especially, but not in the early stage.

Warren: Was that a change because of regulations or something?

Masten: Yes, being more safety conscious.

Richardson: We do that on labs, we have to wear boots, cotton pants, hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, even if we’re just going to observe.

Masten: That’s not a bad consideration.

Warren: Sounds like you’re ready for about anything these days. What was your biggest concern when you were walking around the woods, Jim, chiggers or snakes or people living in Crusoe Island shooting at you or what?

Masten: Let me make a comment about your people in Crusoe (laughter). They like the Seventh Day Adventists are unusual people. They’re very sincere, honest, hard-working people, generally speaking. They have possibly been misrepresented at times and I know you don’t mean any indications to that extent, but the people of Crusoe Island are good citizens of Columbus County and the surrounding area.

Warren: Absolutely, I certainly didn't mean anything disparaging about them at all. Did you work with them? Did you have a lot of dealings with them? Well Crusoe now, even though it’s still a pretty closed community, it has opened up considerably to where it was in the 1950’s when you probably first went down there. What was that like?

Masten: Well basically as I understand from the local people around here, the people in Crusoe Island were pretty well unto themselves until after World War II. Then they began coming out more and mingling with the rest of the folks in Columbus County and Brunswick County to which they are closely located geographically. But there’s some very fine folks. Of course I’ve had an exposure to them through the deaf ministry of our church. There were about half a dozen deaf individuals in the Crusoe area that were important members of our church at that time. They, of course, through the years have passed away and we don’t have those people anymore.

Warren: The deaf ministry, could you explain that for a second.

Masten: People who were born deaf or became deaf and we had the interpretive services for them in the church at the same time the minister was speaking to the hearing congregation.

Warren: Did you ever see Dodo Clewis or any of those fellows do any of their canoe work?

Masten: I saw the evidence of their work. I never saw them in the process.

Richardson: Did you know Tommy Spivey?

Masten: Yes maam and I think he had a deaf boy that we had in bible school one summer, down there at the Baptist church.

Warren: Well when you went down to Crusoe Island, did you have to let somebody know that you were coming?

Masten: You know, in all due respect, as long as you let those people know that you were interested in them and their community and were not there to interfere with their normal life, that’s all that’s necessary. It was not an encampment protected by armed guards or whatever. They’re just good people.

Warren: Do they look out for their own?

Masten: Oh yes, yes sir.

Warren: They were on the cutting edge of community watch programs. When you were walking around the woods, I mean I know there weren’t any of the naval stores industry actively going on during your era, but did you see any evidence of it, boxed trees?

Masten: Oh yes, on the higher elevations on sandy lands and so forth, longleaf in particular.

Warren: You never saw any turpentine stills or anything?

Masten: Did not.

Warren: Ever see any other kind of stills out there?

Masten: Oh yes (laughter). They were maintained mostly by the Democrats (laughter).

Richardson: When we went out to the natural conservatory, we saw like a pit or something where they would have turpentine.

Masten: Turkel bed they called it, it’s a mound and they would put the potential pieces to be cooked in a circle configuration, sort of a fanned out affair. Sap would drain into that pit and then they would take it from there. Some of our people in the early, early days, Mr. Gibson’s father was very much involved in the turpentine industry in Florida before they moved up here to this part of the country.

Warren: He would be a good person to interview.

Masten: Oh definitely, Mr. Carr Gibson, you may have to go to Lumberton to do it, but it would be well worth the trip. I would strongly recommend that.

Warren: We’re definitely going to try to do that. Alice, do you want to rap this thing up.

Richardson: Yes, this concludes our interview. I’ve enjoyed it, all the information.

Masten: Thank you. Well I hope I haven’t given you any negative reactions to some of these things, but I’m very much concerned with the unreasonable extremity of these so-called “environmental” people. In many cases, they’re very unreasonable and in other tragic cases, they’re destructive literally. You’ve got the Earth First people who dedicate themselves to inflicting malicious damage on these extremely expensive logging machines. They’ve got a handbook that tells them how to do these things and to me, that’s nothing but raw terrorism. They can call it whatever they want to in the name of the Sierra Club or some of these other way out groups, but I have no patience with those people.

Warren: Anything else you would like to add Jim? In the early days, what kind of vehicle would you use? No specialized motorization?

Masten: No, the good Lord gave us good legs and feet to use where we should. In those early days of development in the Green Swamp, Federal was building roads as rapidly as the conditions would allow them, but you learned right quickly that you better stay off of those green roads that are freshly built and they should be crowned so to speak to shed water and then compact, but really walking is good for what ails all of us.

Warren: You stayed off the green roads because they weren’t solid, you might get stuck in the mud or sand or something.

Masten: That’s right.

Warren: How many miles do you think you might walk on an average day out in the woods.

Masten: Really I’ve never given it that much thought, but I’d say easily three or four as the circumstances necessitate. I never minded walking, I grew up walking.

Warren: Right, anything else you’d like to add to our interview?

Masten: No, other than it’s a pleasure meeting Alice and sharing with you. We appreciate the good job you’re doing here at the museum in concert with a lot of our other folks in the community.

Richardson: We appreciate that and appreciate you doing the interview. And I hope we can help somebody else with the information.

Masten: Well it’s a new experience for me, but I think it’s commendable that Harry has initiated it and using good people like yourself to conduct these interviews.

Warren: Well this is helping us get the information which we’ll ultimately need to develop the core exhibit that we’re going to put in here whenever the state budget and everything else allows us to do that. We can do a lot now background wise, and that’s what we are doing now to prepare for the inevitable exhibit and educational program that will be connected with that that we hope we will be doing here.

Masten: Good, the only thing I would conclude in saying is repetitious, but never forget the truth of the fact that trees are a renewable resource whether they are done so by nature and the wonderful biological provisions of nature or mechanical means of reforesting. We need to do more reforestation.

Warren: I do need to ask you this because I know that you are very politically savvy and all. Over the course of your career in forestry, has politics affected forestry and if it has, how has it affected it? Or has it really not had much effect.

Masten: Harry, you’ve got little pockets of people who might have a negative influence, but in large, there has been a general positive attitude by both political factions as to the necessity for and the justification for sound forest management.

Warren: So you could actually say there’s been some bipartisan support for forestry. There certainly should be, but that’s what your perception has been pretty much?

Masten: Yes, I would say in all due respects, yes.

Warren: Well that’s great! Anything else you would like to add. Thank you so much.

Masten: We’ll look forward to keeping in touch and appreciate what you’re doing.

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