January, 2010

Do I need a management plan to harvest timber from my property?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The short answer is “No”. Forest management plans are recommended for those individuals or groups that want or need a long range plan developed that considers current conditions, along with goals and objectives, and charts a course for how to meet those goals. A forest management plan is important in these instances because an activity that changes the forest, like a harvest, takes years to decades before the desired end result is achieved and it is important for future owners and managers to know what the goal of the past activities were in order to chart the best course going forward.

However, Some individuals and groups prefer to manage in a more “on-demand” style, contacting IFM when they feel some activity should take place. These activities can be one-time entries that capture value, while setting stands up to maximize growth and/or value for long periods of time.

IFM recommends a management plan to almost all clients with 10 acres or more forested land.

What is a forest management plan?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Many times a wood lot owner has had a forested property for some time or just acquired a property and they just aren’t sure what is the best thing to do with it. Sometimes they are attached to an aesthetic quality that they wish to enhance and/or maintain. Other times they would like to be able to generate some amount of income over a period of time. And many times it is a combination of the two.

A forest management plan is a detailed document that takes into consideration all the pertinent details of a forest ownership, as well as landowner goals and objectives, and spells out a plan on how those objectives are to be best met. Considerations include forest stand types, soil type, slope, topography, brooks, ponds, wetlands and other water ways, wildlife habitat, forest structure and health, recreational opportunities and property descriptions to name a few.

In order to bring all of these varied pieces of information together into a document that can be understood and acted upon, these plans are created by an integrated combination of forestry and other resource professionals that have the required amount of education, experience, and credentials to help meet the landowner’s objectives over a specific period of time; usually 5 to 20 years. These forest management plans are normally updated as conditions change and they help to crystallize the forest management objectives of forest land owners as well as help communicate forest management goals and ideas to other professionals.

Why Should I Use a Professional Forester?

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Professional foresters are licensed by the State of Maine and New Hampshire to ensure high standards in the industry. These professionals must meet strict educational, experience, and continuing training standards to maintain their licenses. These standards help ensure you as clients, are dealing with reputable professionals that operate under a code of ethics, governed by the States. IFM foresters are professionally licensed in Maine and New Hampshire and also hold the Society of American Foresters (SAF’s) Certified Forester accreditation. Professional foresters have also received advanced training in silviculture, soil science, ecology, wildlife and hydrology, to name a few. This training and education ensures you are working with someone who understands forests and ecosystems and can give you the best possible plan to meet your goals.

Integrating Timber Management and Biodiversity Conservation

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Integrating timber management and biodiversity conservation can be a challenge, to say the least. There are a myriad of biodiversity variables to consider and integrate with a variety of timber management approaches. Likewise, there are a great variety of documents that describe either biodiversity or timber management, but relatively few that attempt to meld the two together. The manual, “Focus Species Forestry: A Guide to Integrating Timber and Biodiversity Management in Maine”, by Robert Bryan with Maine Audubon, attempts to do just that.

According to the author:

“The goal of this manual is to simplify the task of integrating timber management and biodiversity conservation by identifying and managing for a few Focus Species whose habitat needs cover those of many other species.”

It has proven to be a very useful guide for Integrated Forest Management and has even been adopted as the foundation for forest management for one of our clients.

Maine’s Invasive Plant Species

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Did you know that,

“Invasive species are the second-greatest threat to global biodiversity after loss of habitat. Invading plants out compete native species by hogging sunlight, nutrients, and space. They change animal habitat by eliminating native foods, altering cover, and destroying nesting opportunities. Some invaders are so aggressive they leave no room for our natives.

Invasive plants are a direct threat to what we value about Maine’s natural and working landscapes. Their aggressive growth threatens our recreational experiences. Species like Japanese barberry and multiflora rose can form thorny, impenetrable thickets in forests impacting access. Others can choke water-ways limiting their use. Invaders increase the costs of agriculture and can affect forest regeneration. As if that wasn’t enough, these species will mar the natural beauty of our regionally distinctive landscape, leaving in its place a tangled mess.”

This quote comes from the Maine Natural Areas Program’s maine page on Invasive Plants. If you would like to know more about Maines invasive plants, such as:

  • What is an invasive plant?
  • How do these plants reach our landscape?
  • Why are invasive plants so successful on our landscape?
  • What can you do to help?

take a look at their Invasive Plants page. Be sure to also take a look at their very useful page of Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for useful information on these plants and steps to take to control them.