Low Impact Forestry

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 Workshops 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

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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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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