Since 1994, the Temperate Forest Foundation, an organization devoted to “empowering the public with a better understanding of the issues and options surrounding the conservation and development of natural resources,” has organized intensive three-day woods and mill tours for third- through eighth-grade science teachers. These “Teachers' Tours” provide participants with firsthand experience and knowledge to help educate their students on the environmental efforts of foresters and the forest products industry.

The NLBMDA and its 21 state and multi-state associations have promoted the program since 1997. Dealer-members are encouraged to provide local teachers with program information and to sponsor a teacher with a contribution of airfare and $300. Sponsors have an outstanding opportunity to forge business/education partnerships in their communities and participate in educating future generations. In a terrific show of support,25 NLBMDA dealer-members sponsored 34 teachers for 2004 tours. Here is what a few past dealer-sponsors are saying about the program:

“We've sponsored a teacher for six years now and I think that it is almost a responsibility of our industry to do this. Every teacher that we have sponsored has been very impressed with the Teachers' Tours.”—Beverly Lumber Co., Riverside, Mo.

“We think it is important that teachers are exposed to modern day forestry in order to dispel the myths that are out there. The teachers that we have sponsored have all indicated that they were surprised at how things are done and very impressed by the quality of the tours.”—Barrons Enterprises, Gaithersburg, Md.

“Sponsoring a teacher on the Temperate Forest Teachers' Tours provides a great window for teachers who have not had in-depth exposure to our industry. We have had rave reviews from teachers who have attended. We think it is a fabulous program!”—Hancock Lumber Co., Casco, Maine.

NLBMDA will be recruiting sponsors for the 2005 Teachers' Tours beginning in December. For more information, please contact Pat Skinner, NLBMDA's manager of member services, at 800.634.8645 or visit