A Forester's Log is a unique forest story, told from a forester's viewpoint-the view of John La Gerche, one of the first generation of foresters in Victoria, who managed the Ballarat-Creswick State Forest in the late nineteenth century.
La Gerche's Letter Books and Pocket Books have survived to provide a rare insight into a bailiff-forester's burdens in the 1880s and 1890s. As a bailiff, he daily had to confront prop cutters and woodcarters, 'scamps and vagabonds' who constantly defied forest regulations. His pioneering work helped shape today's forested landscape around the Central Victorian goldfields town of Creswick, 'the home of forestry'.
In the detailed correspondence between this amateur forester and his bureaucratic masters lies the human story of an ordinary yet remarkable man, endeavouring to strike a fair balance between the competing demands of local woodcutters and distant officials. Angela Taylor reads between the lines to create a beautifully perceptive portrait of a vanishing character type-the truly committed public servant.
A Forester's Log is an illuminating and charming book which will appeal to a wide range of readers, both urban and rural, including those interested in conservation and landscape heritage.