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Page 46 45 Visitors to North Maine Woods can improve their own safety by abiding by all the rules of the road yielding right of way to trucks do not expect loaded off-road trucks to move away from the center of the road avoiding stopping on bridges and main roads preferably pulling onto side roads or well out of the road before stopping and above all paying attention and driving prudently. The focus and efforts on safety by all companies that own and manage lands in the North Maine Woods continues on a daily basis. Part of the safety program is a cooperative Industrial Roads Safety Committee which has existed for many years. The committee is an opportunity for representatives of landowning companies and state natural resource agencies to share concerns that need to be ad- dressed for the safety of workers and the public that utilize the North Maine Woods. Althoughoverallsafetytrendsintheforestmanagementandindustrialloggingoperationsaretrendingintherightdirectionwedonot want to become complacent to the risks and challenges of the industry. Everyone has a story about a close call or an unpleasant experi- ence while driving on a woods road in Northern Maine. The more awareness that can be brought forward by employees contractors and the recreational public on any of these issues the better off everyone will be in the long run. The goal is to eliminate close calls. The safety committee initiated discussions to define problems discuss various approaches to correcting the problems and develop solutions. A very important challenge is integrating public recreational use with industrial use. Industrial use extends to large heavy equipment and trucks traveling on the roads as well as occasionally working in the roads. Since most recreational users are not accus- tomed to heavy equipment and large off-road trucks the challenge is one of training both groups. Frequent meetings of the committee over the last few years led to a number of accomplishments. Involvement of representatives of the trucking industry on the committee brought valuable input and insights into possible solutions. A significant accomplishment is a consolidation of Rules of the Road which is supported by all members of the committee. The rules are published in three languages English French and Spanish and are made available to all contractors landowners and trucking companies as well as the recreational public via North Maine Woods. Extensive training in safe driving has been provided to migrant workers and others along with first aid training and communication training. Landowners who are responsible for maintenance of the private road systems began an intensive signage effort including stop signs speed limit signs and warning signs. All signs use international symbols recognizable by anyone from the US or elsewhere. Mile markers have been placed along most major routes and are the basis for radio communications between workers and logging trucks whereby drivers call out location by mile markers to alert others of their location. Dangerous road situations have been improved through aggressive brush control to improve visibility widening sections of roads whereneededreconstructionofdangerouscurvesandintersectionsandevenre-routingroadswherenecessary.Somesideroadshave been named and signed making it easier to get around and give directions. Frequent maintenance of high traffic areas was initiated in an effort to improve safety. So please as you spend time in the North Maine Woods remember that your safety as well as the safety of those around you is im- portant to everyone. If you see something that concerns you or that you question do not hesitate to share it with the personnel at a North Maine Woods Checkpoint. Although they may not have an immediate answer for you they will be more than happy to pass this information on to the proper people. If you need to stop along a road to take pictures enjoy a view or just relax find a safe spot where there is plenty of room and you do not impede the general flow of traffic along the road. PleasenotethatallNMWCheckpointscloseinmid-November. Althoughplowedroadsareopentothepublicduringthewintermonths be aware that snow banks and ice can make roads narrower and more treacherous especially when meeting log trucks and other traf- fic. Main roads and side roads are plowed to accommodate the movement of timber and equipment related to the forest industry. Road Safety REMEMBER... TheprimarygoalofallofthelandownersintheNorthMaineWoodsisthesafety oftheiremployeescontractorsandthegeneralpublic. Pleasegiveallloggingtruckstherightofway. Theroadsinthisareawerebuilttomovewoodproducts. Whenyouseeatruckcomingfromeitherdirectionpleasepullovertoletitpasssafely. photobyLonnieJandreau