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 Trainings 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.

Read more about Low-Impact Forestry

Tree canopy with blue sky

What is Low-Impact Forestry?

By Noah Gleason-Hart “Low-impact forestry is all about logging with horses, right?” is a question I often hear when I talk about the work I do at MOFGA with the Low-Impact Forestry (LIF) Program. It’s a question I always appreciate, both because it highlights how low-impact forestry is perceived within the larger community, and because

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MOFGA woodlot

Forest Management Plans: You Can Get There from Here

By Noah Gleason-Hart If thoughtful forest stewardship is a long, winding road, then a forest management plan (FMP) is the map that can lead to a healthy, complex and productive forest. These documents – written by licensed foresters – describe the current state of a forest, define the landowner’s objectives and prescribe actions a landowner

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Don’t Kill All the Japanese Knotweed!

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) has the unfortunate reputation of “invasive species” which means that there has been a concerted effort to eliminate it. In the process, we may be losing a valuable source of medicine. Not only that but Japanese knotweed has been a food source for both human and animal foragers alike, and its

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Forest Stewardship: It’s More Than Cutting Trees

By Noah Gleason-Hart Logging is our most dramatic opportunity to create change, either destructive or restorative in our woodlots, so we focus much of our low-impact forestry work on promoting careful harvest practices. However, commercial logging is a relatively infrequent event on a given property, perhaps every 10 to 15 years. A landowner may see

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American Beech

  A beech tree severely affected by beech bark disease. Postharvest view of a gap created during winter 2020 firewood cutting. Slash has been cut small and will decompose over the next few years; think of it as fertilizer for the next generation of trees. First flush of shiitake mushrooms on beech logs after a spring rain

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Cost of Carelessness in the Woodlot

Heavy damage done to a red oak during harvest (conducted by a different owner). The entire butt log is ruined, and decay likely extends higher than shown here. 1988 Tree Farmer C5D – a mid-sized cable skidder The pine tree discussed here, eight months after being damaged. By Noah Gleason-Hart Photos by the author Low-impact forestry’s guiding

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Adapting Your Woodlot to a Changing Climate Assisted Migration

Current climate change projections predict that Maine will become increasingly hospitable to red oak. English photo Red oak acorns. English photo By Noah Gleason-Hart As Hannah Murray outlined in her winter 2018 article in The MOF&G, with foresight, planning and commitment, our forests have a large role to play in mitigating the effects of climate

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To Cut or Not to Cut Is That the Question

Large diameter cavity trees provide bird habitat, enhancing the overall value of a forest. English photo By Noah Gleason-Hart When the topic of forestry or land management comes up, the first question people often ask is, “Should I my cut my woodlot?” or, “Is my land due for a harvest?” It’s a daunting question with huge implications.

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Crop Tree Management Managing for Value Not Volume

A red oak crop tree with double flagging surrounded by competing red maple, oak lacking quality and diseased beech (not pictured) marked to be cut. Crown view of the same red oak crop tree. Note the crown competition and lack of available growing space. “The crop tree crown in the center of this illustration has been

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10 Q & As About Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer shown on a penny for size comparison. Photo by Howard Russell, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org, from https://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=1241011. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License Flecked bark resulting from woodpecker feeding on emerald ash borers. Photo by Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org, from https://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5471784. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution

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