AUGUSTA, Maine — In the latest publication from the Maine Department of Conservation, loggers are called “bucherons,” the Maine Forest Service is “Service de la foret du Maine,” and the term “Best Management Practices (BMPs)” — which describes how loggers can protect water quality at harvest sites — is “Pratiques exemplaires de gestion.”
That’s because the latest publication is the French version of the Maine Forest Service’s notable logging manual, “Best Management Practices for Forestry: Protecting Maine’s Water Quality.”
Responding to requests from loggers, land managers and timber companies around the state, the Maine Forest Service published the new version just this month and already is getting a positive response from the forest-products industry, according to Maine Forest Service officials.
“Over the past year alone, we have had at least three requests from landowners working with French-speaking loggers for a French book,” said Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service water resources forester.
“French-speaking loggers were a set of clientele we weren’t able to serve with our BMP manual until we got this done.”
The federal Clean Water Act came about in 1972 to regulate the discharge of pollutants into water bodies in the U.S. Silviculture activities, such as timber harvests, are exempted from getting required permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if “Best Management Practices” are used, Kanoti explained.
Best Management Practices are voluntary logging techniques designed to protect water quality on timber harvests developed through practical experience and research. Not only does their use protect Maine’s water quality, they are cost effective and inexpensive to use, particularly in comparison to the cost of pollution cleanup, according to the Maine Forest Service.
“BMPs are a toolbox of practices people can use to protect water quality when harvesting timber and with all related activities, such as road construction, stream-crossing construction, etc.,” Kanoti said.
The state agency first developed a brochure on Best Management Practices in 1992, which was replaced in 2004 with a new, comprehensive manual, Kanoti said. That edition, published in English, had two printings of several thousand each, he said.
“We’ve distributed at least 10,000 copies to loggers, foresters and landowners over the years,” Kanoti said, adding that the publication and the specific information about Best Management Practices also has been picked and used by other New England states and Canadian provinces.
The new French version is intended not only for French-speaking Canadian loggers who come into Maine, but particularly for those woods-industry workers in Maine who have French as their first language, Kanoti said.
The 2010 U.S. Census lists 7.1 percent of the state’s population as speaking a language other than English at home, and 25 percent list their ancestry as French or French-Canadian. The largest number of French-speakers by county is found in Aroostook County at 22.4 percent and Androscoggin County at 14.3 percent.
“There probably are not as many French-speaking loggers as there used to be, but there is enough of a French-speaking work force that it seemed worthwhile to produce a manual,” Kanoti said.
New Brunswick province has a bilingual version of a Best Management Practices manual, while Quebec province has a completely French version, Kanoti said. “They’re different from ours, and we’ve pointed people to them in the past, but we really wanted our own version in French,” he said.
The new French version took about two months to prepare. Translation was done by a state contract vendor, Kanoti said. “Then we had it reviewed by a French-speaking industry forester to make sure it made sense,” he said.
Some 200 copies have been published, and the manual also can be found online in a .PDF format. The French manual is being used by the forest-products industry, in logger education, and as a reference tool, Kanoti said. It also has been offered to other states, such as New Hampshire, which took and republished the English version, the Maine Forest Service forester said.
“I don’t think it’s on the best-seller list, but people have been requesting it,” Kanoti said.
Individual copies of the manual are free, or can be downloaded from www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/pubs/pdf/bmp_manual/bmp_manual_french_final.pdf
Copies bought in bulk are $5 each. To order, contact: Jen Wright, Maine Forest Service, at 207-287-4980.