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


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

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MOFGA LIF What Were 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Beyond the Beauty Strip

By Mitch Lansky This year, 2012, is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Beyond the Beauty Strip: Saving What’s Left of Our Forests (BTBS). In it I pointed out such trends as the sale of big land parcels, heavy cutting and short rotations on industry-owned lands, and increasing mechanization. These trends in the forest

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What is Low Impact Forestry

Forester Sam Brown explains the principles of low-impact forestry at one of MOFGA’s Farm Training Project workshops. English photo. By Andy McEvoy Low-impact forestry (LIF) is about balance – of ecological systems and human society; nutrient richness and capital investment; timber stand improvement and human infrastructure. Humans need forest resources for heat, building material, paper,

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Drawing by Toki Oshima By Andy McEvoy Weeding a garden seems intuitive. Unwanted weeds impinge on the ability of vegetable crops to absorb water and nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun, so we weed. Likewise, after carrots sprout, we thin them; otherwise the crowded roots will twist around one another in odd

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Invasive Plants

Barrie Brusila of Mid-Maine Forestry showed Japanese honeysuckle, one of several potentially invasive plants in Maine’s woods, to fairgoers at the Common Ground Country Fair and showed how to remove the plant with a powerful tool. English photos. Invasive plants haven’t taken over Maine’s woodlands yet, so now is the time to control them, said

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Good Forestry

By Andy McEvoy Setting long-term goals can be difficult. Setting goals for the next 100 years or more might seem impossible, or at least impractical. Yet good forestry requires such foresight and intention. Forests and woodlots are valued for wildlife habitat, material for wood products and heating fuel, aesthetics, recreational spaces, carbon sinks and more.

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Jerry Sass

Jerry Sass practices low-impact forestry in his 75-acre woodlot in N. Anson. Matt Scease photo. Nine Practices for a Sustainable Forest Preserving Old Logging Technology By Matt Scease Watching landowner and logger Jerry Sass step lightly through the hush of a pine stand, you wouldn’t think his 75-acre woodlot in the central Maine town of

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