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Forest Fires in Maine: History and Outlook

This was the year the West burned. The numbers are mind-boggling: By the end of November alone more than 56,000 wildfires had burned 9.1 million acres in the west. Thousands of homes and other buildings destroyed. Scores killed. Losses in the billions. And the flames roared into December. Huge fires ripped across California, including several…

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Maine Heritage Timber: Retrieving Old Growth Wood from a Lake

Tom Shafer’s business is mining trees. It’s not really harvesting; maybe re-harvesting. “Recovering a forgotten forest” is his company motto. He likes to think of it as mining. And Shafer’s not just selling lumber to panel offices, restaurants and your home den or man cave. He’s selling history. He’s selling green. Shafer, a former stock…

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Alan Hutchinson: A Legacy of Forest Landscape

Alan Hutchinson was always thinking. Thinking about ways to approach things differently, to bring people together, to untangle complicated problems. All with an overriding goal: to protect Maine’s North Woods for future generations. Karin Tilberg, his deputy director at the Forest Society of Maine, remembers how they would often work together on a particularly knotty…

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Aldo Leopold Week is Celebrated the First Week in March

The party was eating lunch on a high rimrock when they saw the mother wolf come out of the river, shake off the water, and greet her pups. They greeted the happy scene with a fusillade of rifle fire — wasn’t it always this way? — then scrambled down to view the carnage.  “We reached…

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Maine’s Most Common Tree, a Favorite of Deer and Pests

By JOE RANKIN Forests for Maine’s Future writer   Quickly now. This is a quiz. What is the most common tree species in Maine? You might have said pine. It is, after all the Pine Tree State. Or the iconic white birch, perhaps. But you’d be wrong. The most common tree in the state is…

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For This Wood Pellet Manufacturer, Small is Beautiful

Erik Carlson remembers exactly where he was when he got the idea of getting into the wood pellet manufacturing business. It was September of 2015 and he was emptying a bag of pellets into the stove at his home. He looked at the bag and noticed that the pellets were made in — Canada. Canada?…

Forestry for the birds
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Forestry for the birds

By JOE RANKIN, Forests for Maine’s Future Writer In 1962 Rachel Carson’s classic enviro-expose Silent Spring was published, laying out how indiscriminate pesticide use was decimating nature, particularly bird populations. The book helped shape the environmental movement and led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and some of the United States’ most enduring…