Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Over the last year the volunteer ad-hoc steering committee of MOFGA’s Low Impact Forestry (LIF) project has met frequently to address the needs of MOFGA’s membership and of over 400 folks who have attended the annual fall LIF workshops. The major question was how we volunteers can meet the growing demand for forestry practices that positively impact the land.

This has resulted in organizing a small steering committee that will report to the MOFGA board, and separating the demands of the volunteer work among three committees. An outreach committee will inform membership about new developments, hook up with former students, establish a Web link via MOFGA and produce a column for The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. The annual three-day LIF workshop curriculum and educational activities at the Common Ground Fair fall to the educational committee. A third committee will deal with physical plant needs. With warm, wet falls, workshops may be moved to midwinter. Currently this committee is planning a small teaching and warm-up shed near the sawmill and a 20- by 40-foot closed-in barn to house the horses in cold weather.

Current LIF uses guidelines from Low Impact Forestry, published by Maine Environmental Policy Institute in 2002 and edited by Mitch Lansky. [Link to an article by Mitch Lansky in the Autumn 2006 MOF&G.] There has been great interest in this method of timber extraction from landowners and loggers statewide. The LIF group hopes to put together resources that will link loggers, landowners, sawmills and end-users of wood produced using these practices.

All harvesting activities are under the direction of licensed foresters Barrie Brusila and Sam Brown.

Plan on visiting our working operation during the Common Ground Country Fair, when numerous tours of the woodlot, bridge building and sawmill operations occur each day.  For more information regarding low impact harvests, the workshop or LIF’s work at the Fair, contact Andrew Marshall of the MOFGA staff (; 568-4142).

– Jim Ostergard