Anniversary Tour of The Maine Woods Commemorating the Travels of Henry David Thoreau and His Wabanaki Guides Partial Participant List

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150th Anniversary Tour of The Maine Woods

Commemorating the Travels of Henry David Thoreau and His Wabanaki Guides
Partial Participant List:
Maine Woods Discovery Partners

Kevin Slater, Mahoosuc Guide Service, 207-824-2073,

Kevin Slater and Polly Mahoney are co founders and owners of Mahoosuc Guide Service ( ). They are Master Maine Guides offering wilderness canoe trips in the summer and dogsledding in the winter. With 40 years of Maine guiding experience, Kevin is past president of the Maine Wilderness Guides Association and an accomplished builder of traditional wood canvass canoes.

Matt Polstein, New England Outdoor Center, 207-723-5438,

Matt Polstein founded New England Outdoor Center in 1982. He is a registered Maine Guide and considered to be one of the pioneers of Maine whitewater rafting. In addition to running NEOC, Matt is executive director of Maine River Trails, a member of the Maine Community Foundation board of directors, and a past member of the Millinocket Town Council.


Mike Wilson, Northern Forest Center, 207-767-9952,

As senior program director for the Northern Forest Center, Mike coordinates the Maine Woods Discovery initiative and other Maine Woods tourism development programs. Between 2005 and 2010 he developed and managed the National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored mobile exhibition of forest-based culture and heritage across the Northern Forest region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York – Ways of the Woods: People and Land in the Northern Forest.


Bryan Wentzell, Appalachian Mountain Club, 207-899-0150,

Brian is the Maine Policy Director for the Appalachian Mountain Club. He is closely involved with AMC's Maine Woods Initiative, and chairs the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council. Bryan is a private seaplane pilot with deep family roots in both conservation and logging in the Maine Woods.


Penobscot Nation Representatives

James Francis, Penobscot Nation, 207-817-7472.
James is Penobscot Nation Tribal Historian, Director of the Nation's Culture and Historic Preservation Department, and a noted expert on Henry David Thoreau's visits to Maine and his Penobscot guides on the Wabanaki Trail.

  • SEGMENTS 2-6

Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation, 207-827-3782,

Chris is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Penobscot Nation.  He is a graduate of the University of Maine Anthropology Program with his primary focus being Maine Archaeology and Maine Geology.  As a member of the Penobscot Nation, Chris grew up on the Penobscot River paddling at a young age with his father and uncle.  He is also an accomplished singer with knowledge of traditional Penobscot songs as well as contemporary powwow style singing.

  • SEGMENTS 1, 3, 5, 6

Jason Pardilla, Penobscot Nation

Jason Pardilla’s forte is promoting the understanding of the Penobscot people by providing a unique, harmonious and meaningful experience that allows guests to gain an insight while enjoying nature.  As a Penobscot Nation Tribal Guide, he will share the experience of an exceptional trek onto tribal waterways and hunting grounds.  Constantly searching for serenity, Jason traverses the waterways and forests for a secluded wilderness experience.

Yeshe Parks

Yeshe grew up in the lakes region of central Maine, a geographic upbringing which seeded his ongoing passion and relationship with the traditions and landscapes of the the State. He received his undergraduate degree in painting and then went to work as a small scale organic wild blueberry farmer across Maine. Parks is an artist and film maker interested in social practice as expressed through experimental media, ethnographic and documentary production. He is currently receiving his MFA from the University of Maine’s Intermedia program.


James Finley, Editor, Thoreau Society Bulletin, 603-498-7380,

James is assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University, editor of the Thoreau Society Bulletin, and a doctoral candidate in Literature at the University of New Hampshire -- focusing on nineteenth century environmental literature, with an emphasis on Thoreau. He has published multiple articles and reviews on Thoreau, including a 2012 article on The Maine Woods published in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. For many years he led backpacking trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and trips to Katahdin and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

  • SEGMENTS 1-2

Ron Hoag, PhD, Eastern Carolina University, (252) 757-0107,

Richard is Chair of the Department of History and Adelaide & Alan Bird Professor of History at the University of Maine. He is the author of many books and articles on Maine and New England environmental history including: Common Lands, Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England; Aroostook: A Century of Logging in Northern Maine; and “The Maine Woods: A Legacy of Controversy.” He also serves as editor of the Maine Historical Society's quarterly journal, Maine History.

  • SEGMENTS 1-2

Stan Tag, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Washington University

(360) 305-5828,

Stan is an associate professor or American Literature and Culture, and author of "Growing Outward into the World: Henry David Thoreau and the Maine Woods Narrative Tradition, 1804-1886" (U of Iowa, 1994). He is currently writing a book called "Exceedingly Refreshing: Climbing Katahdin in the 19th Century," which explores the natural, cultural, and expeditionary history of Katahdin and the people who climbed it, and has a new article coming out in the Thoreau Society Bulletin on the 1845 ascent of Katahdin by Edward Everett Hale and William Francis Channing. Stan has also worked as a backpack guide in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, canoed in the Boundary Waters, ridden a bicycle across the United States from Bowman Bay, WA, to Isle au Haut, ME.


John Kucich, PhD, Bridgewater State University, 508-531-2722,

John is an associate professor of English specializing in 19th century American literature. His research over the past decade has looked at the intersection of European and Native American perspectives around specific resonant, contested environments. His most recent project, “Lost in the Maine Woods: Henry Thoreau, Joseph Nicolar and the Penobscot World,” focused on the interaction between Thoreau and the Penobscot leaders who guided him through the Maine Woods.

  • SEGMENTS 5-6

James Lewis, PhD, Forest History Society, (919) 682-9319,

Jamie is the staff historian for the Forest History Society and editor of the Society's magazine, Forest History Today, and its award winning blog Peeling Back the Bark. He is the author of The Forest Service and The Greatest Good: A Centennial History, and recently began research on a book examining the role of family owned forests in forest conservation.

  • SEGMENTS 5-6

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