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Learning from Logging

Have you noticed the Farm’s recent timber harvest work? Are you curious why a place that aims to conserve the natural world is logging? We thought you might like to know a bit more about what sustainable forestry is all about, and why we’re pursuing it here at the Farm.

Q: I know that trees provide oxygen for us to breathe, habitat for animals, and a beautiful landscape. Why are we cutting them down? A: Trees are a GREAT part of the ecosystems here at the Farm, but we know that sustainable timber harvesting keeps diseases in check, reduces the amount of dry (flammable!) fuel available, and maintains a year-round canopy cover. Sustainable forestry also gives smaller trees a chance to grow, provides a more diverse habitat for wildlife, and promotes growth of high quality trees.

Q: Those are some pretty good reasons to harvest trees, but are we cutting all of the trees – are we clear cutting? A: We love trees, and we would never clear cut our forests! We are selecting low quality, diseased, damaged and blown-over trees. The foresters keep the overall forest in mind when they select trees, so while they sometimes open up sections of the forest by logging several adjacent trees, they never clear out an entire swath of forest.

Q: How often will we be cutting timber? A: We started cutting during the Summer of 2010, and the loggers will be back in January 2011 for a winter harvest. Our forester says that our timber harvest follows “a conservative philosophy with an intensive approach.” We will cut every 10 to 12 years to make our forests healthy and economically productive.

Q: This is so interesting! How can I learn more? A: Look for an in-depth article about the Farm’s timber harvest in our upcoming newsletter. Chip Love, our forester from Southern Maine Forestry Services, provides some great information about the who’s, how’s, and why’s of timber. You can also learn more by visiting his company’s website, www.someforest.com.