The Maine Woods

A Publication of the Forest Ecology Network

 Volume Five     Number One                           Late Winter 2001

FEN Introduces Two Bills on Forest Practices

by Jonathan Carter

Endless pressure, endlessly applied! FEN has introduced two bills on forest practices in this session of the legislature.

An Act Regarding Forest Sustainability

When forest land ownership exceeds 1000 acres, annual total and species group harvest activities may not exceed sustainable harvest levels. Sustainable harvest levels must be based on past growth and past yields, and other criteria established by the commissioner of conservation through an open public hearing process. All criteria and rules must be consistent with and guided by current scientific research.

Photo by Jonathan Carter from January 2000 An Act Regarding Forest Clearcutting

All clearcuts over five acres will require a permit. The permits will be issued by the Maine Forest Service. Permits will be issued only when there is documentation that a clearcut will not cause ecological damage, that there are no reasonable alternatives, and that the clearcut can be silviculturally justified. There must be public notice of any permit application and an opportunity within a reasonable time frame to appeal any decision by the Maine Forest Service on permitting.

As these bills move through the system, we will need your help. Please make a commitment to come testify when the bills go before the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. We will keep you posted, but you can also follow progress on the Maine State Government website

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