Arts in Conservation Education

The Fiddlin' Foresters

The Fiddlin' Foresters, also known as the official old-time string band of the U.S. Forest Service, are a conservation and preservation musical group comprised of Forest Service employee, retirees, and a volunteer from the Rocky Mountain Region. The band currently has four members from Wyoming and Colorado: Lynn Young, fiddle, dobro, and harmonica; Jane Leche, lead vocals and guitar; Jim Maxwell, banjo; and Tom McFarland, guitar. Committed to the mission of the Forest Service, the Fiddlin' Foresters spread their knowledge about improving the health and vitality of the land through their lively performances. To convey these messages, they use old-time music, songs from the American West, and appropriate visuals to illustrate the important contributions national forests and grasslands have made to the American landscape and economy since the U.S. Forest Service was established in 1905. Engaging their audiences through humor and music, the Fiddlin' Foresters since 1994 have inspired conversations about the importance of natural resources and public land stewardship.

For more information please visit www.nps.gov/mabi/artist-in-residence

Fiddlin’ Foresters members (left to right) Jim Maxwell (banjo), Lynn Young (fiddle, dobro, and harmonica), Jane Leche (lead vocals and guitar), and Tom McFarland (guitar) play for an audience at the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. Photo courtesy of the Fiddlin’ Foresters

Fiddlin’ Foresters members (left to right) Jim Maxwell (banjo), Lynn Young (fiddle, dobro, and harmonica), Jane Leche (lead vocals and guitar), and Tom McFarland (guitar) play for an engaged audience at the 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. They were one of the groups featured in the Forest Service, Culture, and Community program. Photo by Lisa Rathje, Smithsonian Institution

Fiddlin’ Foresters members (left to right) Jim Maxwell (banjo), Lynn Young (fiddle, dobro, and harmonica), Jane Leche (lead vocals and guitar), and Tom McFarland (guitar) play their environmentally inspired music in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of the Fiddlin’ Foresters