Low Impact Forestry

Low Impact Forestry Workshop

Because of the fragile nature of mountainous terrain, most of FSHT’s land on Sawyer Mountain has been protected by a Forever-Wild conservation easement that allows the land to return to its natural state. Timber harvesting is not allowed on those sections.
However, buffer areas on the edge of the property may be harvested. Why would we want to perform timber harvesting in those buffer areas?

  • A properly managed forest can supply forest products indefinitely.
  • Thinning trees allows for new growth.
  • Thinning trees can provide for additional wildlife habitat.
  • Forestry supports the local economy.
  • In the case of FSHT, proceeds from the sale of wood can support additional educational programs and allow for the production of materials such as the video seen here.

In the fall of 2013, FSHT held a Low Impact Forestry Workshop on the Webster property at the edge of the Sawyer Mountain Highlands. This section of the Highlands is enrolled in the State of Maine’s Tree Growth Program and periodic harvests are required. Such harvests are directed by a tree growth plan written by a certified forester. The Three Rivers Land Trust, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), and Forest Works! aided in the workshop.

Two methods of low-impact forestry were demonstrated. Horse logging allows for precision cutting with very little damage to the ground and remaining trees. If the distance is too far for the practical removal of the logs, a wheeled forwarder can be used to haul the trees a longer distances. A “Cut-To-Length” harvester can cut trees in place, cut them to a standard length, and cart them away with minimal damage to the forest floor.

Special thanks go to videographer Silas Hagerty of Smooth Feather Productions and Jay McKay for the original musical score.   Also, horse loggers John Plowden and Peter Hagerty, forester Charlie Moreno, McLucas Trucking who performed the cut-to-length logging, and Lee Burnet of Forest Works!.