By Jennifer Hicks, Maine Woodland Owners
Maine Woodland Owners, Maine Tree Farm, along with Vince and Kathi Seiwert, hosted Forestry Field Day on Saturday, September 10th, at the Seiwert’s property, Bombadil Tree Farm in Ashland. The couple, who were awarded the 2022 Maine Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, welcomed close to 200 people to their woodlot. Participants represented a mix of Aroostook County residents and those from much further away in the state, as well as experienced woodland owners and folks new to forest management.
The weekend kicked off with a woodmill tour on Friday, September 9th, at Maine Woods Company in Portage Lake, with approximately 25 attendees. On Saturday, people started arriving at Bombadil at 8:00 am which allowed time for them to visit exhibits in the Education Tent and enjoy Amish-made donuts and coffee. The day officially opened with a welcome from Tom Doak, Maine Woodland Owners Executive Director, and Vince providing an overview of Bombadil Tree Farm, and the day’s plan.
Field tours were offered both in the morning and after lunch to showcase the property’s broad range of activity. Seven Islands Land Company forester Ashlee Boughton lead groups through Bombadil’s old growth forest; Certified Wildlife Biologist, Joe Wiley, and Chuck Hulsey, Wildlife Resource Supervisor of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife discussed forest management that benefit wildlife; and Jesse Saunders, a former
Irving Woodland’s forester, lead tours through areas of regeneration. University of Maine Fort Kent forestry students staffed “Stop and Talks” to direct visitors to points of interest, including vernal pools, plantations of larch, and regeneration plantings with Norway spruce.
Lunch was an event in itself, as the Seiwert’s friends from Georgia prepared for the crowd a southern-style low country boil, with a spicy mixture of shrimp, corn, onions, and potatoes. Additionally, the event was planned so it would produce as little trash as possible and all attendees were given reusable beverage bottles and cutlery, as well as, paper plates and cups that later became fuel for a celebratory bonfire. After the event was over, only 15 pounds of trash was taken to the local dump. During the lunchtime program, Doak handed out door prizes and Randy Lagasse, chair of the Maine Tree Farm committee, presented to Vince and Kathi a certificate for a Stihl chainsaw and protective kit in honor of their achievement. Vince recognized individuals who influenced his forest management efforts and gave special thanks to Chester Gage, a good friend and, among other things, a long-time Maine state forester in Aroostook County. Patty Cormier, Director of Maine Forest Service, presented Gage’s family a certificate of recognition for his contribution to forestry in northern Maine (he had passed away in 2021). Overall, this was a highly successful day of learning for everyone in attendance and offered an interesting perspective of a well managed forest in one of the most northern parts of Maine.
Jennifer Hicks is Director of Communications and Outreach at Maine Woodland Owners