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Talk on Backyard Forests

Panel discusses concept of neighborhood woodlotss
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - McCormick Lecture Hall

Maine is the most heavily forested state in the nation. A large portion of that woodland isn't public, or even industrial, but can be considered backyard forests. On Tuesday, May 10 at 4:10 p.m. in the McCormick Lecture Hall of College of the Atlantic, a group looking into these forests will be exploring management possibilities. This panel discussion by COA faculty members and local experts is titled, "Working with Nature: Alternative Philosophies for Backyard Forests and Neighborhood Landscapes." The talk is part of the college's weekly Human Ecology Forum.

According to COA student Steven Wagner, who has been working with faculty members on a nationally funded project called The Hancock County Firewood Project, owners of small woodland plats of between one and 1000 acres of land, control about 35 percent of the forested land in Maine, or 6.2 million acres.

Because there are thousands of individuals controlling this land, there are literally thousands of different ways to manage the forest. That task of managing a woodlot can be daunting to land owners when faced with such an array of questions and options. Some of the questions raised during the panel discussion will be: What are the economic, ecological, aesthetic, recreational, community, and other values that are relevant? And what are different ways they can be applied and weighted by individual land owners? Panelists will include COA faculty members in biology, John Anderson, Steve Ressel, and Suzanne Morse, along with a local forester.

The funds for the project come from EPSCoR, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program of the National Science Foundation offering funding to states that have historically received only minimal amounts of research and design grants from the national government. COA has received $75,000 this year to fund research into the potential uses of the Hancock County woodshed. The project is titled "Developing Our Energy Future."

For more information on the panel discussion on Tuesday, May 10 at 4:10 p.m. contact John Visvader at or 207-288-5015. Free.

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