Newsletter Stories

Friday, 15 March 2002
485,000 Acres of Main State Lands Certified

At a press conference on March 19 in Augusta, Maine, Governor King, FSC-U.S. Executive Director Hank Cauley, and FSC-accredited Scientific Certification Systems’ Dr. Robert Hrubes announced the certification of 485,000 acres of state-owned forestland. The species-rich forests are located in the transition zone between the northern hardwood region and the boreal spruce-fir forest.

The state uses silvicultural systems that are in harmony with the natural gap dynamics of Acadian forest types typical to this region. An interesting strength of the current management includes planning most harvests during the winter, which causes the least damage to soil and residual trees, minimizes conflict with most recreationists, and frees foresters to manage recreational issues during high tourism seasons. Additionally, state foresters are trained in recognizing vernal pools, which are small, usually temporary wetlands essential to the reproduction of Maine’s wood frogs and spotted and blue-spotted salamanders. Such measures help address FSC’s Principle 5 (Benefits from the Forest), Principle 6 (Environmental Impact), and Principle 7 (Management Plan).

About 90% of Maine’s total land area is forested (17.7 million acres), 95% of which is considered productive forestland. The state has the highest percentage of forestlands in private ownership at 95%. The state formed the Speaker’s Advisory Council on Forest Certification in order to investigate forest certification in Maine. FSC-U.S. and several of our partners are actively working to make FSC-certification attainable for small landowners. FSC-accredited certifiers have now certified state lands in Pennslyvania, New York, Minnesota, Tennessee and Maine.

For more information on this certification, see the Scientific Certification Systems’ public summary on in the “forestry" section of their website at