The HRF is the crown jewel of the ‘R’ in the Maine Timber Research & Environmental Education (TREE) Foundation. Maine TREE acquired the 350-acre property, including buildings, in 2014 through a merger with the Holt Woodland Research Foundation with research conducted through a contract with the University of Maine. This 350-acre property in Arrowsic, Maine was originally set up in 1983 by the Holt family and their Holt Woodland Research Foundation and the University of Maine to conduct long-term forest and wildlife research.
In 2019 an Ad Hoc sub-committee was formed to provide advice and direction to the Maine TREE Foundation Board of Directors and Executive Director on decisions relating to research and management at the Holt Research Forest (HRF). One recommendation was to draft a research and management strategic plan to serve as a living document that evolves along with continued development of the HRF. Components of this plan include research focus and goals, objectives, core experiments, data sharing agreements, database and maintenance, access to facilities and property, knowledge transfer plan, public outreach, and development of partnership agreements.
The original research goals for the HRF are maintained: to monitor long-term changes in the forest’s plant and animal populations and to document the effect of ecologically based forest management on these populations. In parallel, the management goals for the property were to provide a continued economic return from the sale of forest products, to maintain and improve the diversity and abundance of wildlife on the property, and to maintain and improve the aesthetic appeal of the HRF. Almost 40 years later it is necessary to revise these goals to meet the current research needs from challenges faced by forest landowners, natural resource managers, and the forest industry from a small non-industrial landowner’s perspective.
The HRF research and management strategic plan will advance the Maine TREE Foundation’s mission to educate and advocate for the sustainable use of the forest and the ecological, economic, and social health of Maine’s forest community. Research goals and objectives at the HRF are in alignment with programs at the University of Maine which should generate additional collaboration with faculty, staff, and students. Strategic collaborative partnerships with other organizations and institutions will continue be fostered.
If you would like to learn more about the strategic plan or provide input, please contact Jonathan LaBonte [jonathan[at]mainetree.org]