MOFGA Low Impact Forestry Newsletter

December 2020 LIF Newsletter


Please be sure to take a look at the recent report from the Maine Climate Council below. As Maine foresters, loggers, land owners, stewards and woodland lovers, we’ll all be impacted by the strategies and priorities outlined by the council.

Here’s hoping that this winter brings you frozen ground, strong wood markets and plenty of snow for cross-country skiing in the woods!


Low Impact Forestry Newsletter – October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020

Thank you to everyone who attended last weekend’s Common Ground Country Fair!

LIF would also like to extend a special thank you to Jenn Hicks and Tom Doak from Maine Woodland Owners, Nancy Olmstead from Maine Natural Areas Program, LIF Committee Chair Tim Libby, and Brad Johnson and Derek O’Toole for presenting during the Livestream. We’d also like to thank Morten Moesswilde, Andy Shultz, and Jan Santerre from the Maine Forest Service, and Sam Brown and Peter Hagerty for submitting videos to the content library.

For those who weren’t able to make it to the fair, or would like to take another look, we’ve included all of the LIF videos and presentations here. Happy viewing!

As always, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] with suggestions and material for future editions.


Forestry News and Recent Publications – September 2020

September 9, 2020

Small Forest, Big Carbon

This 30-minute podcast from “Cool Solutions” interviews forest scientists, landowners and foresters and explores management strategies landowners could implement to increase the climate mitigating potential of their woodlots. The podcast also explores the social inequities and potential opportunities of carbon markets, and it profiles The Family Forest Project, an effort to incentivize carbon management for small landowners.

To Save the Hemlock, Scientists Turn to Genetics and Natural Predators

The hemlock wooly adelgid is present in at least five Maine counties, and this article explains the existential threat these insects pose to eastern hemlock. It also explores early efforts to produce resistant trees and considers biocontrols to reduce adelgid populations.

Hardwood Quality: Stain and Compartmentalization

This article, written by University of Maine professor emeritus Bob Seymour and published in the Maine Woodlot Owners August newsletter, discusses silvicultural choices landowners can make to increase hardwood log quality. The author calculates the financial returns from sound management and demonstrates the value of growing quality wood.

Climate Change Tree Atlas

This publication from the U.S. Forest Service predicts how different tree species’ ranges might expand or contract as climate change impacts growing conditions, moisture levels and catastrophic weather events. It could guide landowners and managers as they consider what species to encourage through intentional regeneration harvests or what trees they might want to introduce to their woodlots through carefully considered planting efforts.

Non-Native Plant Spotlight: Shrubby Honeysuckles

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



Seven-Week Climate Adaptation Interactive Course from The Northeast Institute of Applied Climate Science

September 9, 2020

“This unique opportunity provides hands-on training in considering climate change information and identifying adaptation actions for natural resources management professionals working in forests and natural ecosystems. Participants will receive coaching and feedback while using the Adaptation Workbook to develop their own real-world climate adaptation project. The course consists of seven web sessions with work time occurring between sessions.” Learn more about this free course here.


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



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.

To receive the LIF Newsletter as an email, click here.

Scroll to Top
Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter of happenings at MOFGA.