The presentation made by Dr. Aaron Weiskittel on Emerging
trends in the management of Maine’s forest: Where are we headed and
can it be modeled? clearly highlighted many issues, trends and future
direction in the management of the Maine’s forest. The presentation
was started with the state of the forest and its contribution in state’s
economy. As Maine is the most forested state in the United States and forestry
alone is contributing nearly 5% GDP, the forestry related activities are
mentioned as hot issues in the state. The series of inventories made over
several years started since 1982, and continued in 1995, 2003, 2006, 2008,
and inventoried Red spruce, Balsam fir and Red maple as dominant species.
As the ownership patterns are largely changed over several years, there are
also several fluctuations in harvest levels. In recent years, as the use
of biomass energy in Maine has increased, the issues could be more multifaceted.
At present 25% of Maine’s energy was supplied by 7 woody biomass energy
suppliers which is among the highest contribution compared to other States,
which makes for an interesting and dynamic situation in Maine, as stressed
by the presenter.
« lack of good measure of site
productivity and lack of site historical information was mentioned
as the limitations for modelling »
Another important part of the presentation was the issues raised on sustainability
of the forest harvest pattern in Maine which is reported to be complex and
non-homogenous. As the forest is intensively used in recent years, the clear
cutting was banned 10 years ago and now partial harvesting is being implemented,
creating a very fragmented landscape. The main emerging questions for the sustainability
were related with: changing ownership, increasing use of biomass energy, partial
harvests, spruce budworm, climate change and habitat availability. Dr Weiskittel
presented the changing forest regimes in accordance with climate change patterns
recorded in Maine over the last 20 years as increased temperatures and greater
precipitations have decreased the abundance of Balsam fir and Red spruce and
increased that of Red maple.
In this context, Dr. Weiskittel discussed some of the important management
implications for the future that could have equal implications in Quebec and
other provinces of Canada. Mostly he talked about the need for growth and harvest
models and compared alternative management regimes. He discussed few models
being used in US and Canada such as SaMare used in Quebec, and their respective
weaknesses and strengths. The need of large scale data and Canadian contribution
in generating them were acknowledged. However, the lack of good measure of
site productivity and lack of site historical information was mentioned as
the limitations for modelling. Potential solutions were presented for the better
management of the forest as: need of high resolution information, past and
future climate information, soil depth data etc.
In a nutshell, the presentation was very interesting and the information generated
and presented in his presentation has direct management implication not only
in Maine but also in many parts of the world. However, the issues discussed
were mostly related with the timber management and harvest, and no mention
was made about other aspects of forest management and overall social, ecological
and environmental sustainability.
Résumé de la présentation:
Étudiante au doctorat, UQAT
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La présentation PowerPoint est disponible ici