Tree Farmers

Meet the Jacksons of Pennsylvania

Mountain Meadows and its many acres of forests were part of Laura Jackson’s beloved childhood home. As a young adult, she moved away from the family farm in Everett, Pennsylvania and met her husband Mike, who also grew up on a farm. They are both retired schoolteachers. In 1983, when her parents asked, “Why don’t you move back?” the answer was “Yes.” Her parents gifted Laura and Mike 113 mostly forested acres from the farm, and five years later, the Jacksons built a house on the property and started their journey as first-time landowners and forest stewards.

Their property was a wildlife oasis. The Jacksons were thrilled to watch bobcats, deer, bears, and birds that called their property home. They spent time in the woods documenting their sightings, became amateur nature photographers, and Mike became an avid hunter.

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Tree Farmers Vermont

Tree Farmers Honored at 2012 VWA Annual Meeting

Three 25-year Tree Farmers (left to right, John Meyer, Alden Blodgett, & Bob Pulaski ) were presented with silver signs at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
Tree Farmers Vermont

Finding Their Way: Mike and Vivien Fritz chart a course for sustainability and fun on their Vermont Tree Farm

by Madeline Bodin.

Reprinted with permission from the winter 2012 issue of Tree Farmer magazine. Copyright 2012 American Forest Foundation, Photos by Rob Amberg.

Mike Fritz slides out of his 4×4 utility task vehicle (UTV), grabs a long pry-bar from the cargo area, and wedges it under a rock in the middle of a cross-country ski trail, part of 20 miles of trails that weave through the 530 acres of land he owns with his wife, Vivien, in Marshfield, Vermont. About 445 of the acres are forested.

“When you see a rock like this with a white mark, that means I hit it with my mower,”


Autumn on the Fritzes’ Beaver Brook Tree Farm means preparing for cross-country ski season and sees Mike mowing each of those 20 miles of trails twice, then returning on a UTV loaded with hoes, shovels, and chain saws to clear culverts and remove rocks and trees to create a smooth surface for winter gliding.

This is the life the Fritzes imagined as software engineers living in Boston, before they bought their property in Vermont 14 years ago, and before the land itself revealed new possibilities to them.