Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
MOFGA Low Impact Forestry Newsletter

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Forestry News and Recent Publications – August 2020

August 2, 2020

New Forest Carbon Offset Strategies Turn to Small Landowners for Big Impact

This article from the Conservation Finance Network describes two programs currently in development to provide financial incentives for carbon management on small woodlots.

Non-Native Plant Spotlight: Glossy and Common Buckthorn

This fact sheet from the University of Maine describes the threat posed to native habitats by glossy and common buckthorn, provides identification information and describes the preferred habitat of these plants. The publication also offers information about mechanical control measures you can use to manage buckthorn on your property.

Governor Mills and DACF Commissioner Beal Outline Opportunities for Maine's Congressional Delegation to Support the Forest Products Industry

This letter offers recommendations for federal action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the forest products industry.

Coronavirus and Papermaking Woes Bring Tough Times to Maine's Logging Industry

This article, published in The Portland Press Herald, discusses the effect of a mild winter, COVID-19 and the loss of low-grade markets on loggers in Maine.  Though the article primarily focuses on companies using whole-tree harvesting equipment, it describes market forces that are impacting all loggers, landowners, and foresters.

Logging Apprenticeship Opportunity at Third Branch Horse Logging in Vermont

August 2, 2020

Third Branch Horse Logging LLP, owned by long-time LIF instructor Brad Johnson and his business partner Derek O'Toole, has an opening in its Horse Logger Apprenticeship Program (HLAP). Located in central Vermont and based around a traditional tradesman's apprenticeship model, candidates should expect a rigorous full year of hands-on working and learning starting in January 2021 and running through the end of the fall timber harvesting season (typically mid-December). While no experience is necessary, candidates need to demonstrate a real interest in learning the skills necessary to practice positive impact forestry, including horsemanship; ecology and economics of timber harvesting; chainsaw use and maintenance; directional tree felling; operating small-scale logging machinery; building and maintaining trails; processing firewood; seasonal working considerations; and more. A relentless working attitude is a must along with the physical and mental ability to do strenuous work during long hours outside. Housing is provided. Johnson and O'Toole require an in-person interview with time spent working with them. For more information, contact Johnson at 802-345-7488 or [email protected].

Low Impact Forestry Content for 2020 Common Ground Country Fair

August 2, 2020

We're currently seeking content for the LIF area at the 2020 alternative online Common Ground Country Fair and are reaching out to you for your ideas and contributions.

Please see the Educational Content Submission Guidelines for details about content format and parameters. There are several ways to get involved, and we'd love to include you. Submit ideas for Livestream content by August 7 and for pre-recorded content by August 17. If you have an idea or are interested in submitting content, please contact Noah for more information.

Archival Publications

July 8, 2020

Crop Tree Management in Eastern Hardwoods

Published in 1993, this publication encourages woodlot owners to consider management on a tree by tree, rather than stand level. It describes how owners and managers can select individual trees and use a crown-touching release to increase growth rates and health.  The paper lays out potential crop tree selection criteria when management goals are timber quality, aesthetics, wildlife, and water quality. It may also be useful as a starting point for those interested in selecting crop trees based on carbon objectives.

Forest Carbon: An essential natural solution to climate change

"The intent of this publication is to help prepare you to make informed decisions about your land by giving you a better understanding of the role carbon plays within your forest, the impacts of various land-use options on forest carbon, and the trade-offs of these decisions."

Forestry News and Recent Publications

July 8, 2020

A New Idea for Carbon Offsets: A discussion with Alec Giffen, former Director of the Maine Forest Service
This recording of an April 2nd webinar from the Maine Climate Table features, "Alec Giffen of the New England Forestry Foundation and Clean Air Task Force. Alec describes a new idea for forest carbon offsets that would reward forest landowners for both carbon AND for active, 'Exemplary Forestry.' The goal is to grow the forest economy AND sequester more carbon at the same time."

American Tree Farm Standards of Sustainability Review and Open Comment Period

The American Tree Farm is currently updating its standards for woodlots enrolled in the program. They have invited the public to provide feedback on their work from June 2nd-August 2nd. The draft standards are available here and feedback can be given here.

American Beech

This article from the Summer 2020 edition of The Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener discusses some of the characteristics of American Beech, and explores how small woodlot owners might manage the resource to increase forest health and produce home-use forest products.

Forestry for the Future: Lessons in Sustainable Management from Maine

June 1, 2020

This new 30-minute film directed by LIF community member Maren Granstrom, "goes inside the Penobscot Experimental Forest to show the clear and long-lasting differences in the forest created by several kinds of silviculture and harvesting. Experts from around Maine describe how to manage for wildlife, climate change, pests and disease, and explain how a forester can be helpful." Created with support from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, UMaine, and the U.S. Forest Service. View the film on YouTube

Managing a Maine Woodland to Maximize Carbon Sequestration

June 1, 2020

Written by Denny Gallaudet, lifetime MOFGA member and LIF community member, this paper discusses how the author actively manages his woodlot in southern Maine with carbon in mind. It translates current science about forest carbon into a set of best management practices for landowners to consider if their management objectives include both periodic harvests and carbon sequestration. Read or download the PDF.

Low Impact Forestry Principles, Goals and Guidelines

June 1, 2020

Excerpted from Mitch Lanky's "Low Impact Forestry" book, "This chapter is intended to give landowners an understanding of the reasons behind LIF so that they can better communicate their objectives. Indeed, for the system to work well, it is best if landowners have their management objectives in writing. This chapter lists recommended guidelines and standards for foresters and loggers that, if followed, would help meet the LIF objectives."

Restoring Old-Growth Characteristics

June 1, 2020

"Although new old-growth forests cannot be created, the opportunity exists to restore old-growth characteristics in our current forests ... This pamphlet (PDF) will introduce you to some of the habitat features of old-growth forests, outline management options and resources for restoring these features to your woodlands, and discuss opportunities to realize both economic and ecological benefits from your forest."


We hope to use this space to build the LIF community, share forestry information and educational opportunities, and highlight some of the work being done by LIF practitioners and landowners.

Our format and content are a work in progress, so please reach out to [email protected] with your comments, additions, and suggestions.

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