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Old-Growth Forests: Back to the Future?

There’s no question that old growth forests are fairly uncommon, especially in the eastern parts of North America. In a handful of generations European settlers turned tens of millions of acres of old trees into beams and boards and a thousand other things and the land that had grown them to corn and potatoes and…

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The Nature Conservancy makes a bet on carbon

Lumber, as any tree and forest lover can tell you, isn’t the only valuable thing forests produce. They buffer noise, provide habitat for other animals, filter water, create oxygen, curb erosion, cool the earth, provide beauty, allow us to reconnect with the natural world. The list goes on. But, until now, virtually the only forest…

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The Forest Understory: Diverse. Dynamic. Difficult

Wild sarsaparilla is not a flashy forest dweller. It doesn’t soar overhead, or have showy blossoms. Or produce copious amounts of fruit or nuts that benefit wildlife. Or even envelop large areas of the forest floor. In fact, it is quite a nondescript little plant, though one with a disconcerting, but superficial, resemblance toWild Sarsaparilla poison…

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SFI Project Volunteers Build Two Playhouses for 2017 Make-A-Wish Foundation Recipients

The Maine forest industry’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative has helped out on a lot of community projects over the past decade or so. They’ve provided materials to build Habitat for Humanity homes, provided materials for buildings at Pine Tree Camp for people with disabilities, built fish-friendly ice shacks to raise money to improve fish passage on…

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North Maine Woods: Managing recreation on a sizable chunk of Maine

Photo courtesy of North Maine WoodsThere is the north Maine woods:  the vast expanse of trees and mountains and ponds that makes up a significant portion of the Pine Tree State. Then there is North Maine Woods, the organization that manages recreation on 3.5 million acres of the state owned by a variety of landowners,…

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Succession: How a forest recreates itself

By Joe Rankin A forest, like all living things, is constantly changing. Sometimes the changes are big and abrupt and obvious and sometimes small and gradual and unnoticeable. A few years ago I started an experiment in forest succession. Primary succession, to be precise, on about an acre and a half across the road. For…