Cottrell-Baldwin Series: Author Thomas Urquhart

Up for Grabs! Timber Pirates, Lumber Barons, and the Battles Over Maine’s Public Lands

The cover of the book "Up for Grabs" is illustrated by a mountain overlooking a pond and underneath a stack of timber.The origin of Maine’s Public Reserved Lands goes back to the 1780s when Maine was a part of Massachusetts. As a state, Maine continued the Commonwealth’s policy of reserving a “public lot” in every township sold off from its public domain. These lots (1000 acres each) were to serve the future needs, especially religious and educational, of the town. They could not be sold. When wildland townships remained unsettled, the state could only sell the rights to cut the timber on the public lots. Lumber interests (and subsequently paper companies) bought the rights and managed the land as if it was their own. A century later, after a ten-year legal struggle, Maine recovered the public lots. They are now the core of its magnificent Public Reserved Lands, managed for timber, wildlife and recreation. Join us to learn the story of  how these tracts were re-acquired. With dramatic moments and colorful characters, Tom’s book weaves its way from 1820 to the present, providing an engaging and informative overview of conservation and preservation in Maine.

NOTE: Masks are recommended for all attendees. Registration will be limited to a maximum of 50 people at each of the 4 sessions. Space is limited. If you cannot attend, please let us know ASAP so we can offer a slot to those on a waiting list.

REGISTER: Please register in advance with the link below to ensure you have a seat! 

LOCATION: Baldwin Environmental Center at Fox Forest, 309 Center Road, Hillsborough NH 03244


A headshot of Thomas Urquhart pictured at an= formal event where he is wearing a black suit and tie.
Thomas Urqhart (Photo: Courtesy)
SPEAKER: Thomas Urquhart

Thomas Urquhart is former director of Maine Audubon, author of For the Beauty of the Earth.

He is an environmental consultant and has written extensively on topics related to Maine’s natural resources for publications such as Down East, Audubon and Habitat.

The logo of the NH Division of Forests and Lands is a yellow and red badge.Each year, the popular late-winter Cottrell-Baldwin Environmental Lecture Series celebrates the environmental and scholarly legacy of Annette and Bill Cottrell and State Research Forester, Henry I. Baldwin.

Sponsored by NH Division of Forests and Lands and Society for the Protection of NH Forests.