Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Low Impact Forestry

Programs \ Low Impact Forestry

One of MOFGA's foresters, Barrie Brusila of Mid-Maine Forestry, shows folks how to identify and remove the invasive plant Japanese honeysuckle.

LIF instructor Nick Zandstra demonstrates the safe and efficient operation of a portable saw mill during an LIF workshop.
Our recent commercial work in Unity has featured draft animal and machine power to maximize the benefits of each. The volunteer and professional crew harvested about 30 thousand board feet of lumber to be used on the MOFGA grounds and sold.

What is the Low-Impact Forestry Program?

The Low-Impact Forestry (LIF) program at MOFGA is a group of loggers, foresters, landowners, farmers and interested persons educating about, practicing and advocating for ecologically-based and economically-sound forest practices. We practice and endorse forestry that seeks to reduce the known harmful impacts of logging, and promote the social and ecological benefits. The LIF program hosts workshops year-round covering all sorts of forestry related topics from logging with draft animals to home firewood production. The LIF staff also participates in collaborative logging projects that explore creative forest management and contracts that benefit both landowner and logger.

Workshops and Events

The Low-Impact Forestry program hosts seminars and workshops for all skill levels and interests. For a complete listing of upcoming LIF events and registration information please visit the LIF Workshops page.

Commercial Logging

For several years, professional members of the LIF staff have gathered annually at MOFGA's Common Ground Woodlot to manage the forest. The purpose of these harvests has been not only to implement MOFGA's forest management plan, but also to experiment with various methods of logging and methods of compensation. The LIF group promotes the appropriate use of machinery in the woods and has used machinery alongside draft animal power. Throughout the commercial harvests we have maximized efficiency while minimizing the known harmful effects of logging by using animals and machines in their most appropriate roles. The result has been a complete management plan and a large amount of lumber that has been used throughout the Fairgrounds.

If you are interested in purchasing FSC certified, kiln-dried shiplap pine boards of varying widths and lengths harvested by LIF crews please contact Jason Tessier, MOFGA's Facilities Coordinator, to learn more.

For more information about MOFGA's LIF programs, contact MOFGA at [email protected]


Read more about Low-Impact Forestry

Sam Brown leading a MOFGA LIF workshop
Sam Brown at a MOFGA low-impact forestry workshop

What is Low-Impact Forestry?
Low-impact forestry (LIF) is about balance – of ecological systems and human society; nutrient richness and capital investment; timber stand improvement and human infrastructure.

Thousand Year Forest Management Plan for Maine
Other cultures have been able to manage their forests, farms and fisheries for more than 1,000 years without depletion. Sustainable management has been done, so it can be done.

Low-Impact Forestry Principles and Goals
Forests are part of the ecological support system upon which we depend for survival, not simply a resource for our economic system.

Valuing Good Forestry
Setting long-term goals can be difficult. Setting goals for the next 100 years or more might seem impossible, or at least impractical. Yet good forestry requires such foresight and intention.


Manage Your Forest by Managing Your Soil
As the name Low Impact Forestry suggests, all forest practices have some impact. However, making informed decisions, planning for the long term, and implementing best management practices can always help forest practitioners reduce the known harmful impacts of logging.

Drawing by Toki Oshima

Stewards Create Good Gardens and Forests
We hear little talk of weeding a forest. Terms such as “pruning,” “thinning” and “timber stand improvement” may be familiar, but their importance in promoting healthy, viable woodlots cannot be overstated.

Japanese honeysuckle
Japanese honeysuckle, one of several potentially invasive plants in Maine's woods

Invasive Plants in Maine's Woods
Invasive plants haven’t taken over Maine’s woodlands yet, so now is the time to control them, said forester Barrie Brusila of Mid-Maine Forestry in Warren, Maine, during a workshop at MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair.

Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered

Download Mitch Lansky's "Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered"

or download excerpts here:

Principles of Low-Impact Forestry

Patient Money: The Economic of Low-Impact Forestry

Paying Loggers

Logging Contracts and What They Should Cover

MOFGA has been the fortunate designee of a beautiful farm, homestead and woodlot in North Anson, formerly owned by Jerry Sass, who now has life tenancy on the property. MOFGA will use the property for educational activities of the Low Impact Forestry Program. Details about the Sass property.