Nearly 90 percent of Maine’s family woodland owners are happy with the results of recent timber harvesting on their land. That’s the key finding of a survey conducted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Forest Service. 

The survey was drawn from a random sample of family woodland owners who own less than 1,000-acre ownerships statewide and who had recently completed a harvest on at least a portion of their woods.

A well-managed timber harvest yields white birch, red oak, and sugar maple crop trees well-spaced after thinning and crown spacing. (Andy Shultz/Maine.gov)

“Healthy forests are vital to our economy and way of life,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Effective strategies for active forest management improve forest health, wood availability, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational opportunities and our overall quality of life.”

“Farmers and other small woodlot owners, particularly in southern Maine, can enhance their surroundings by selectively harvesting trees,” said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb.

“We’re very pleased with the results of this survey,” said Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico. “We found that Maine’s family woodland owners are quite satisfied with the outcomes of timber harvesting on their land – including aesthetics, wildlife habitat, recreation and income.”

“Timber harvests in Maine are being conducted by a highly professional logging work force, often in consultation with licensed foresters, and the outcomes are largely positive for the customer, the landowner,” said Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative. “The good news for landowners is that this survey indicates a good job occurs on nine out of every ten harvests.”

Survey Results:

  • Over 63% of woodland owners were “very satisfied” and over 27% were “somewhat satisfied” with the overall outcome of their harvest.
  • Nearly 59% were “very satisfied” and over 29% were “somewhat satisfied” with the overall condition of their woods after the harvest.
  • 56% were “very satisfied” and nearly 30% were “somewhat satisfied” with the financial outcomes of their harvests.
  • 78% felt the logger understood their objectives and respected the owner’s vision for their woodlands “very well,” and 84% said they would work with the same logger again.
  • 77% of woodland owners said they would harvest again, when conditions were right.

Maine’s Healthy Forests Program:

The survey was conducted in support of Maine’s Healthy Forests Program. The Healthy Forests Program’s goals are to: (1) identify strategies that lead to active forest management on Maine family woodlands, particularly in the southern part of the state; (2) improve wood availability, wildlife habitat, forest health, recreational opportunities, water quality, aesthetics, etc.; and (3) increase landowner enjoyment and support jobs and the state's economy. The program is a partnership that includes the Maine Forest Service, Maine’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Certified Logging Professional Program, and others with an interest in a healthy forest.

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