The Maine Woods

A Publication of the Forest Ecology Network

 Volume Five     Number Two                           Late Fall 2001

Forest Ecology Network News


Ready for a flight over the north Maine woods with the Norcross Foundation. Left to right, Warren Balgooyen, Dan Donahue, and Rudy Engholm.. Photo by Jonathan Carter.


 A recent clearcut in the Maine woods, photographed during an overflight with the Norcross Foundation. Photo by Jonathan Carter.


  Another clearcut photographed during an overflight with the Norcross Foundation. Photo by Jonathan Carter.


Jonathan Carter, Dir. FEN, was invited to present at a national summit in Dallas on challenging corporate power and demanding accountability. The summit was sponsored by Rainforest Action Network, Co-op America, and Greenpeace USA. Jonathan presented and shared with others from across the nation his experiences in Maine dealing with the millions of dollars spent by the paper corporations to subvert democracy. The title of his talk, "The Citizen Initiative as a Political Spike" focused on the success of taking on the most powerful corporate forces in Maine. Jonathan also shared with the several hundred attendees the efforts in Maine to promote democracy through Maine's first in the nation Clean Elections Act. In addition, Jonathan discussed the efforts on the part of Maine citizens to bring about corporate accountability through statutory changes restricting corporations from maximizing profit at the expense of the environment, worker rights, health and safety, and the well-being of communities. The conference concluded with an action against ExxonMobil which was concurrently holding its annual shareholder meeting in Dallas. At the shareholder meeting activists introduced resolutions which called on Exxon-Mobil to develop a non-discrimination policy based on sexual orientation, to respect the Arctic by reevaluating plans to drill for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to connect executive compensation to environmental and social performance and to limit the disparity of pay between management and workers, and finally to develop a policy to promote renewable energy.



The American Lands Alliance report on the state of Eastern Forests established that eastern forests are now being more heavily logged than western forests. The report also documented that Maine forests harvesting rates are among the highest in the nation. Jonathan Carter, Dir. of FEN, set up meetings with Maine's congressional delegation to discuss and give them copies of the report. Jonathan's message was very clear, "either stop the overcutting and start the process of restoration or Maine will continue to suffer ecological and economic decline". Jonathan also pointed out to Snowe, Collins, Allen, and Baldacci that federal funding for restoration, the Maine Woods National Park being primary, could not only help improve northern Maine's economy, but could make a significant contribution to the nations reduction in global greenhouse gases. Jonathan also met with Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado, and Sen. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island.


 Lunch break at the fire warden's cabin on the hike up Mt. Abraham. Photo by Jonathan Carter.

This summer FEN members gathered to climb Mt. Abraham in the Longfellow Range and Mt. Number Four, east of Moosehead and in the heart of the Maine Woods National Park. The climbs provided an opportunity to view old-growth spruce and mature northern forest types. In addition, forest vegetational changes associated with increased elevation were examined. The trips also provided and opportunity to view continued industrial forest practices. Clearcuts and shelterwoods were very visible, particularly on the backside of Mt. Abraham and north of Mt. Number Four.


Tree-hugger on Mt. Abraham hike. Photo by Jonathan Carter.


  FEN group atop Mt. Abraham. Photo by Jonathan Carter.

In July Warren Balgooyen led a FEN outing to look at champion trees. Massive white pines, birch, oak, and boxelder were visited. Warren also had the group visit the Kennebec Highlands where 5,000 acres have been purchased to protect the largest single tract of land left in central Maine. See Warren's article on the Kennebec Highlands.


 Warren and Steven Balgooyen and Bjorn Langeon on hike up #4 Mountain, in the heart of the proposed Maine Woods National Park. Photo by Jonathan Carter.


 Brian Keegstra and Bjorn Lange examine champion Paper Birch. Photo by Jonathan Carter.

Unfortunately, FEN's coastal hawk-watching filed trip was plagued by poor winds and inclement weather. We hope to run this trip again next year.

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