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The Woodland Steward Program

A new online course can help you enjoy and manage your woodland   By Joe Rankin Forests for Maine’s Future writer   Picture this: Three generations of a family huddled around a computer screen, reading, talking, and answering questions online. No, they’re not facebooking, skyping or playing the latest space aliens shoot ’em up game…

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The fascinating process of tree decay

  By Joe Rankin Forests for Maine’s Future writer   For trees, the forest is truly a jungle.   First there’s the Olympic-scale intense competition for food and sunlight. Everyone straining for those life-giving photons, a silent stems-and-branches brawl. And it can go on for decades, centuries. In fact, it’s never really over.   The…

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There’s an app for that: can technology reconnect us to nature?

    By Joe Rankin Forests for Maine’s Future Writer   In the video the young woman stops her car at a nature center, rummages around in the backseat, picks up a field guide and . . . tosses it aside. Instead, armed with her iPhone, she heads into the woods to learn about trees….

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Sappi Westbrook: Papermaking on the fashion frontier

A venerable paper mill is the world leader in release papers   By Joe Rankin Forests for Maine’s Future writer   The names paper manufacturers give to the printing and writing papers that most people come across in their regular workday can be, well, a little boring. They’re heavy on words like premium, or gold, gloss…

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Once and Future Uses of Wood

By Joe Rankin Forests for Maine’s Future Writer In the mid-’60s Eric Sloane wrote “A Reverence for Wood,” a tribute to the importance of wood in early American life. It’s lovingly illustrated with Sloane’s skillfully detailed pen and ink sketches of everything wood: burl mallets, basswood berry boxes, up-and-down sawmills, timber frame barns. Butter churns…

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Penobscot Experimental Forest: Six decades of science

July 2011 By Joe RankinForests for Maine’s Future Writer On a recent summer day, while showing a visitor around the Penobscot Experimental Forest, the U.S. Forest Service’s Laura Kenefic and Robert Seymour, a University of Maine professor of silviculture, came across an old friend. Prone on the forest floor, it was slowly decaying into the…