Le 25 Juin 2017  

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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.

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Résumé de la présentation:
Yadav Uprety
Étudiante au doctorat, UQAT


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La présentation PowerPoint est disponible ici

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