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

Agroforestry With Plants of the Eastern Deciduous Forest

A blight-resistant American chestnut tree growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. Butternuts shown in the Exhibition Hall of the Common Ground Country Fair by Claudette Nadeau. Aronia melanocarpa growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. Permaculture with a native twist By Heather McCargo     Agroforestry is the practice of adding trees and shrubs to

Read More »

The Maine Forest and the Perfect Storm

When forests are left to grow, they continue to sequester carbon. English photo By Peter Hagerty When my wife and I moved to Maine in 1974, I went into the woods logging with a team of horses named Barney and Nick. Since that first winter we have always had big horses on our farm. In

Read More »

Not Out of the Woods Just Yet

The author in an old growth forest in Montville with a big (carbon-rich!) tree. Photo by Nelson Sánchez Oyarzo Resources About Carbon Offsets “The Nature Conservancy Makes a Bet on Carbon,” by Forests for Maine’s Future, Aug. 23, 2018 “A Landowner’s Guide to Carbon Offsets,” by EcoTrust “Vermont Forest Carbon: A Market Opportunity for Forestland

Read More »

Managing Maines Forests

Increasing Carbon Sequestration and Decreasing Carbon Emissions By Mitch Lansky In 2015, 196 countries agreed to act to limit global warming. To meet their climate goals, just reducing emissions may not be enough. We also need to increase carbon sequestration. While sequestration opportunities exist with farm and pasture soils, Maine, which is 82.5 percent forested,

Read More »

LIF Helps Woodlot Owners

By Denny Gallaudet At Millbrook Farm in Cumberland, we have a mix of activities, including raising vegetables, sheep and chickens, supported by pasture and hayfields and a 25-acre woodlot. Over the years the woodlot, which is enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth Tax Program, has provided firewood for home use and periodic harvests of saw

Read More »

Biological Restoration in the Forest

By Stephen J. Barr, M.D. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. – Chinese proverb Perhaps you have some woods behind your house, or perhaps you’re fortunate and have a fair amount of land. Maybe you’re a member of a local land trust and would like

Read More »


Nick Zandstra By Nick Zandstra One of the underlying premises of MOFGA, I think, is relationships: apprentices with mentors, interest groups with politicians, people with their food, people with the state of Maine. Relationships of all sorts that bring people together, that form connections, that create community. When MOFGA purchased its site in 1996, the

Read More »

MOFGA LIF What We’re Doing on Our Farms

Brad Johnson Ben Coerper Elizabeth Koltai By Peter Hagerty This is the first of a regular column that will note what graduates and instructors of MOFGA’s Low Impact Forestry program are doing. For more about our work, please visit https://mofga.org/Programs/LowImpactForestry/tabid/227/Default.aspx and look for us at the Common Ground Country Fair. Brad Johnson, Randolph, Vermont, LIF

Read More »

Manage Your Forest

Working in the woods when the soil is frozen and covered with snow is one way to limit soil compaction. Photo of Brad Johnson and Sal by Jennifer Glick. By Andy McEvoy As the name Low-Impact Forestry suggests, all forest practices have some impact. However, making informed decisions, planning for the long term, and implementing

Read More »

Natural Forests

Natural forests affect soil formation and may act as biotic pumps, affecting rainfall and climate. English photo. By Céline Caron  Two recent areas of research may have turned our knowledge of the forest upside down. They are pedogenesis (soil formation) applied to agriculture – i.e., the idea that much of our quality soil fertility derives

Read More »


A Three-part Strategy to Save and Restore Forests By William Sugg Members of the Forest Ecology Network (FEN) are visiting a tree harvesting operation in Piscataquis county, but it’s not a protest: They like what they see. Ideally they are looking at the future of forestry in Maine – Low Impact Forestry. Low Impact Forestry

Read More »

Certified Forests

Agroforestry Benefits Studied By Mitch Lansky Members of MOFGA are familiar with the concept of certification. It involves the use of third-party audits to verify a given claim such as: Has this food been organically grown? Certification, however, is being used to verify other claims such as: Does this product have x% recycled content? Is

Read More »
Scroll to Top