Our Latest Project: Understanding Maine’s Tree Growth Tax Law
10th Annual Private Lands Partners Day Conference
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certification and Carbon Markets
Keeping Maine’s Forests (KMF) collaborated with Maine’s Implementation Committee of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to undertake a study of Maine’s SFI-certified landowners’ participation in carbon credit programs. Forest lands must be certified as sustainably managed in order to be eligible for the California carbon credit market, and millions of acres of Maine’s commercial forest lands are enrolled in the SFI program. Yet, none has enrolled in potentially lucrative carbon credit programs. The KMF study enlists the expertise of a panel of advisors from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, Maine land managers and forestry experts, and a professional carbon project developer to find out why. Entire publication: Carbon Markets in Maine
Spruce Budworm Forum
Working with state, federal, and nonprofit fisheries habitat managers, this KMF project offers technical assistance to identify, prioritize, and remove barriers to fish passage in high priority watersheds. Training programs, and/or technical and financial assistance are provided to landowners, depending their interests and needs.
Maine contains 90% of the intact brook trout habitat in the eastern United States. Brook trout are a critical species for the recreational fishing industry in northern Maine; improving brook trout habitat will have direct economic benefits to guides and tourism businesses in the region who will be able to claim access to the best trout fishing in the east.
However, logging road stream crossings – culverts and bridges – can block fish passage, depending on their state of repair. In the lower and mid Penobscot River watershed alone, 770 severe culvert fish barriers have been identified. Investing coordinated resources and expertise to improve stream crossings and stabilize stream banks is a wise use of private and public funds with significant potential economic benefits.
Undersized or ill-designed culverts are a problem throughout Maine, both on public roadways and smaller roads throughout working forest lands. Several KMF partner organizations including Downeast Lakes Land Trust, Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Audubon and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, are involved in efforts to educate people about the problems created by improper stream culverts and ways to replace them so that water quality and fish habitat are restored.
This video by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Servicehelps to explain what happens to a stream when culverts are improperly installed and how to restore them to more natural conditions: Restoring Roads, Streams and Fish Through Improved Culverts – National Fish Passage Program Part 3″
To date, NRCS has worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club to remove six culverts on their property. NRCS engineers designed the remediation work to remove the culverts and restore the stream banks in accordance with the landowner’s wishes. Prior to construction, stream monitoring data was collected, and brook trout were removed from the construction site. USFW secured the necessary permits and funded the project in its entirety. There were no costs to the landowner, but the landowner was responsible for hiring the contractor. The removal of the three culverts has reconnected three miles of stream habitat identified by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as wild brook habitat.
MPBN Maine Watch program on stream restoration work (15-minute mark)
Recreation in the Maine Woods
- See page 45 of this America’s Great Outdoors report from the Department of the Interior, November 2011. KMF was one of two projects in the state recognized by the Department of Interior.
April 25, 2013 – MPBN Maine Watch (15-minute mark)
- Maine Public Radio’s Susan Sharon reported on KMF’s aquatic connectivity work on August 31st, 2012. Her report highlights the many organizations and interests involved in this ongoing effort.