RANGELEY – The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust recently hosted a Forest Stewards Guild field tour on April 29, 2022. The Forest Stewards Guild practices, advocates, and promotes responsible forest management to sustain the integrity of forest ecosystems and the human communities dependent upon them. Regional foresters, wildlife biologists, landowners, and stewardship professionals gathered at the RLHT’s Forest Legacy property to observe and discuss northern hardwood management. Tours, such as this, are an excellent opportunity for experts to collaborate and share ideas to address the complex issues our forests face today. Managers strive to promote ecological diversity, forest stand health, structure, and resiliency in the face of a changing climate by using exceptional forest management techniques. Maines Acadian forests also have the potential to sequester significant quantities of carbon to offset global emissions.
RLHT is currently working with Seven Island Land Company, their contracted forester, to update their Forest Ecosystem Management Plan (FEMP). They are utilizing state-flown high-resolution lidar, information obtained from the Enhanced Forest Inventory Project, the Barbara Wheatland Geospatial Lab, UMO, and inventory and calibration plots and yield curve projections produced by Seven Islands Land Company. RLHT is also using Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drone technology, as a remote sensing tool for forest management activities and monitoring. The FEMP will serve as a “blueprint” for the RLHT ownership for the next 10 years. Any Forest Management activity that occurs on RLHT land will adhere to long-term forest management and sustainability principles pursuant to the Forest Stewardship Council and US Forest Management Standard. Sustainable and responsible forestry practices are vital to maintaining healthy forest ecosystems that will persist into the future.