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UMaine Today Magazine


University of Maine Foundation

Forests for the Future

Forest

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With one of the oldest forestry programs in the nation, The University of Maine has been instrumental in the stewardship of the state's woodlands. University research has affected the health of forests in Maine and around the world. Foresters and resource management experts have been trained, and partnerships have developed with constituents ranging from woodlot owners to forest products industries.

In the last nine years, that stewardship has taken on a new dimension. With the establishment of the Green Endowment of Forest Land, the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture benefits from private donations of woodlands to the University of Maine Foundation, which currently total more than 5,500 acres. Gifts of forestland to the University of Maine Foundation ensure that the private tracts will be managed on a sustained-yield basis using the best forestry practices.

Established in 1992, the Green Endowment offers alumni, industry and friends the opportunity to give woodlots to the University. The University of Maine Foundation takes title to the gifted woodland on behalf of the college. The college manages the property and uses it for research and educational purposes.

The Green Endowment has become yet another way the University contributes to the management of the natural resources in Maine, which is 89 percent forestlands and the most heavily forested state in the country.

"This is such a natural for The University of Maine," says Amos Orcutt, president/CEO of the University of Maine Foundation, which manages the endowment. "If landowners want land preserved, why not let the state's largest university do it, managing the woodlands using the latest techniques and allowing research to be done that could impact future forests? It's logical for the state's land-grant institution to be a repository for lands. It's good for the state."

For years, The University of Maine has been working to increase productivity of forestlands, in the same way it has affected the potato, dairy and other natural resource industries in the state, Orcutt says. The benefit is in gaining a productive and ecologically sound forest, and in sharing the latest research with other forest owners and managers on issues ranging from timber harvest to conservation and woodlot improvement.

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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