Grant – Maine SFI Implementation Committeesfiprogram2020-07-31T08:46:30-04:00
MAINE SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
SFI Is Helping Maine’s Family Forest Owners Keep Forests as Forests
A Guide to Harvesting Family Woodlands
Why this project matters
Healthy forests are important to the way of life in Maine. A healthy forest provides habitat for wildlife, clean water and air, recreational opportunities, and economic vitality for families and communities. In Maine, 88,000 individuals and families own 25% of its private woodlands, totaling about 4.5 million acres/1.8 million hectares, according to the Maine Forest Service.
The Maine SFI Implementation Committee is leading the development of a Guide to Harvesting Family Woodlands. Encouraging sustainable management of these family woodlands is one of Maine’s most promising strategies for conserving woodlands and their associated benefits throughout the state. Active forest management can provide incentives, financial and otherwise, to help woodland owners keep their land as forest versus converting it for other uses like real estate development. Woodland owners and land managers face significant challenges with management of these parcels and need insight into the complex nature of the ecological, social, operational, and economic aspects of small-scale harvesting.
Why is SFI involved?
This project will produce a guide and up to 10 workshops focused on helping family forest owners keep forests as forests. Supporting A Guide to Harvesting Family Woodlands and the related workshops is part of SFI’s efforts to provide communities with tools to make sustainable choices.
The guide will be a key tool in the project partners’ work to conserve forests, educate forest owners and build partnerships. It will serve as a foundation for educational and training programs aimed at family woodland owners, managers, and operators. The Maine Forest Service and the Maine SFI Implementation Committee, working with local partners, will also offer workshops based on case-studies of a range of successful family woodland operations.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
The Maine SFI Implementation Committee is leading a diverse group of government, conservation and university partners. The primary objective identified in this action plan is outreach and education to individuals and organizations influencing management decisions. A guide to harvesting family woodlands, with associated workshops and case studies, will guide family woodland owners and the professionals they work with through decisions to achieve a successful harvest.
Research from the Maine Forest Service shows these family landowners are very concerned with how their woods will look, and their ability to access their woods and trails when harvesting is complete. This accessible guide will show them what to expect from a harvesting operation, and it will discuss ways to communicate objectives with resource managers before harvesting begins. Helping harvesting professionals interact effectively with family forest owners will encourage wider acceptance of responsible forestry and broaden the understanding of its associated benefits in communities across Maine.
This partnership includes representatives from government, conservation groups, the University of Maine and SFI Program Participants. These partners include:
Project lead: Maine SFI Implementation Committee (consists of SFI Program Participants)
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Maine Forest Service
Maine Healthy Forests Program
Maine Tree Farm Committee
Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District
University of Maine, School of Forest Resources
Pine Tree Camp is a summer camp for Maine children and adults with disabilities that gives them a chance to enjoy Maine’s outdoors (video). The Maine SFI Implementation Committee led a project to donate materials to upgrade the camp.
More than a million acres/400,000 hectares of state lands, managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands of the Maine Department of Agriculture, are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard.
The Maine SFI Implementation Committee founded the Fisheries Improvement Network (FIN). It’s a forum where forest landowners and managers can interact with agency fishery managers and organizations interested in improving Maine’s fisheries.
The Maine SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) is comprised of representatives from various stakeholder groups, including the Maine Forest Service, an array of associations with interests in forest management and forest sustainability, and SFI Program Participants.
The Maine SIC works at the local level to promote the SFI Standard as a means to broaden the practice of sustainable forestry and ensure on-the-ground progress. These resource professionals volunteer a significant amount of time to assure that national SFI program objectives are consistently implemented and adapted to region-specific needs.
COPY LINK: https://www.forests.org/grantmainesic/
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
Dear SFI Community,
I’d like to share an update from SFI on our strategies to ensure smooth operations as well as some adjustments we have made with regards to upcoming events in light of COVID-19. The following reflects our best efforts to keep our teams and our interactions with our community as safe and healthy as possible, and to provide you with some certainty with regards to upcoming events and dates.
REACHING SFI STAFF
SFI staff continue to be fully operational and able to support any needs or questions you may have about SFI programs. In order to ensure the health and safety of our team, all SFI employees are currently working remotely and we have the systems in place to allow us to be fully accessible by email, phone, and video call. You can find contact information for staff on our website or can send general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.
SFI/PLT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SFI is canceling all scheduled in-person meetings and workshops through June, with alternative virtual arrangements being developed, as follows:
PROJECT LEARNING TREE CANADA GREEN JOBS SUMMIT
The planned March 23-24 Summit has been redesigned as an e-summit on March 23, bringing youth together from across Canada to discuss green career pathways.
CONSERVATION IMPACT SOUNDING BOARD WORKSHOP
The planned May 20-21 workshop will be redesigned as a webinar on May 20 focused on the intersection of Conservation Impact research and the developing 2022 SFI Standards, with a particular focus on carbon and climate change.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE COORDINATORS’ CONFERENCE
The planned June 8-12 conference in Bremerton, WA, has been postponed until 2021 at the same location. In lieu of the 2020 conference, plans are underway to host a one-day virtual event on June 10 or 11 offering professional development and networking to the PLT Coordinators and partners.
STANDARD REVISION WORKSHOPS
These May/June workshops were designed as regional opportunities to comment on proposed revisions and enhancements to the SFI Standards. SFI still plans to release the next draft Standards by May 1 and conduct a 60-day comment period through the end of June. Instead of the in-person workshops, we will conduct dedicated webinars focused on specific themes and requirements in the Standards, as follows:
Logger Training and Education
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Conservation of Biological Diversity
Chain of Custody, SFI Labels and Claims, and Controversial Sources
SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE REGIONAL MEETINGS
These May/June meetings were planned to coincide with the Standard Revision Workshops and were designed to provide opportunities for SIC members to engage on bi-national SFI priorities and share best practices across committees. These will instead be conducted as regional webinars, with dates coming soon.
Join SFI’s E-Summit, Growing Solutions, to share ideas about how sustainably managed forests, and products sourced from those forests, are great tools in moving towards shared sustainability goals.
This year, SFI is hosting a one-day E-Summit on October 22 to bring our network together to engage around the work SFI is doing across its 4 pillars to achieve our mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
We appreciate your continued support of SFI and look forward to connecting with you through one of these many opportunities.