Sample Scripts

The purpose of this section is not to script what visiting foresters say—but to provide some examples of how to approach crews, topics etc.


It helps to meet the crews coming through on the trail. Start by asking the standard Philmont questions:

Where are you from?

Where are you coming from?

Where are you going to?



Hi, I’m ______. I am a visiting forester. My role here at the ranch is to provide information about forestry. If you only have a few minutes, I can share some quick ideas with you. If you have time to drop your packs, I can do more detailed programs.



Hi! Philmont has placed me here to take pictures for you of your crew with Cathedral Rock and Cimarroncito Reservoir. No really, I am a visiting forester, but I would be glad to take your picture. If you have time to drop your packs we can also do a program on forestry and the demonstration forest. Otherwise, let’s just take the picture…say “Forestry”



MYTH: Some say that you can tell the sex of a ponderosa pine by the smell. Girls smell like Vanilla; Boys smell like Butterscotch.

BUSTED: Although some tree species like one-seed juniper are have individual trees that are either male or female, most tree species at Philmont including ponderosa pine have both male and female flowers on the same tree.

      The male cones grow on the lower limbs. That way, when the wind blows, the pollen is blown away from the tree to avoid self-pollination. The female cones that produce the seed are at the top of the tree.

Insert pictures of male and female cones.  coming soon
More Ideas:

1)      Following a forestry discussion (in the shelter, meadow, or on the trail between Hunting Lodge and Clark’s Fork), walk with the crew(s) and provide an on-site, detailed program about the different silvicultural cuts along the trail.  Discuss objectives of different cuts.  Options include:

a)      Walk out into patch cut (off the beaten path); note tree regeneration species richness  and understory component

b)      Walk out into other cuts as well; discuss different silvicultural prescriptions

c)      Highlight erosion due to steep trail vs. adjacent “clear cut”

d)      Include stop at stream crossing and discuss riparian ecology


2)      Conduct timber cruising workshop.  Explain why foresters would want to quantify forest.  Demonstrate techniques and allow for hands-on-use with traditional and modern forestry equipment (e.g., dbh tape vs. Haglof Gator Eyes)

a)      dbh: tape, calipers, Biltmore stick, “Gator Eyes”, others

b)      tree height: clinometers, relaskop

c)      age: increment borer

d)      tree density: prism