Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Low Impact Forestry

Programs \ Low Impact Forestry


What is the Low Impact Forestry Project?

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

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.


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 having a commercial harvest in your woodlot please contact our forestry coordinator. They will be happy to provide you with the names and information of foresters, loggers, and sawyers who are in your area. They will also be happy to come walk your woodlot with you, and discuss options for harvesting wood, types of logging operations, what to look for in logging contractors, etc.

Our recent commercial work in Unity has featured draft animal and machine power to maximize the benefits of each. Unity. The volunteer and professional crew harvested about 30 thousand board feet of lumber to be used on the MOFGA grounds and sold.

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


Irving Certification Valuation
Submitted to the Forest Stewardship Council, Nov. 2014, by Mitch Lansky

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global, multi-stakeholder forestry organization with a mission to "promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests." Certification by FSC of wood products, traced through chain of custody to "sustainable" forest practices, is required for many "green" building and paper programs. In the United States and Canada alone, FSC certifies nearly 173 million acres. Yet, says Lansky, J. D. Irving Ltd. – whose forestry practices in Maine are FSC certified – uses short rotations "that look suspiciously like plantations" rather than natural forests; uses more herbicides than all other forest landowners in Maine combined; is managing for stand structures that are vulnerable to spruce budworm; was cutting more than its forests were growing; and was not treating its contractors in socially responsible ways.

Mitch Lansky is founder of the Maine Low-Impact Forestry Project and author of “Low-Impact Forestry: Forestry as if the Future Mattered" (see below).

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.