Tuesday, 20 September 2022
FSC connects with stakeholders in Maine
During the week of September 12th, FSC US board members and staff gathered in Portland, Maine for a reception with stakeholders, forest tour with Seven Islands Land Company, and board meeting. Organized in partnership with board member Ted Wright, Executive Director of the Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands, the gathering was designed to better understand forests, forestry and forest industry in Maine.
A clear highlight of the week was a forest tour with Seven Islands (SCS-FM/COC-00005N), the fifth FSC Forest Management certificate holder in the world. In a visit to their forest outside of Rangeley, the FSC team learned from Alex Ingraham, President of Pingree Associates and Nathan Kay, Regional Manager at Seven Islands about the Pingree Family’s seven generations of forest management, which spans across 815,000 acres of Maine’s North Woods today. Aaron Adams of GCA Logging, Inc. (who is Master Logger Certified), shared his perspective as a contract logger for Seven Islands.
Driven by the family’s interest to “do what’s best for the forest,” we learned about their “extremely judicious” use of glyphosate to suppress invasive beech, restoring stands of sugar maple that were dominant historically. We also learned about the impacts of climate change on road infrastructure, as periods of drought are followed by extreme rain events. With a forwarder working in the background, the FSC group heard how Seven Islands is growing Canadian lynx habitat by increasing cover for snowshoe hare, along with Maine’s approach to public access on forestlands.
After the forest tour, we visited with the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, an FSC-certified land conservation group, where we were hosted by Executive Director David Miller. Karin Tilberg of the Forest Society of Maine presented their approach to conservation easements as a strategy to protect working forestlands. Next, Joe Short, Vice President and Mike Wilson, Forest Program Director of the Northern Forest Center shared their innovative approach to community development and affordable housing in towns around the North Woods.
Back in Portland, FSC hosted a reception to socialize with forest industry professionals. With a solid group of certified landowners, loggers, mills, environmental, Tribal, nonprofit, state, and corporate end-user representatives in attendance, we had an excellent opportunity to hear firsthand about the issues facing the forest products industry in Maine. In particular, we were pleased that Senator Troy Jackson, a logger and President of the Maine Senate, was in attendance.
On behalf of the entire Forest Stewardship Council US team, we offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the people we met in Maine. In particular, we owe a debt of gratitude to Ted Wright for setting a high bar for regional meetings with stakeholders. In the coming year, we plan to conduct similar events in the Southeast and Lake States, so stay tuned for details.