The public is invited to tour an active sustainable timber harvest demonstration at Kennebec Land Trust’s Oak Hill property on September 11, 2023 on the Norton Road in Fayette. Maine forester Harold Burnett of Two Trees Forestry will review the rationale for and the expectations of the selective harvest on a portion of the property. Ron Dostie, an Augusta logger, will also be present to describe how to efficiently harvest trees without damaging residual ones and their underlying soils. The Trust purchased the land in 2021 to provide recreational opportunities, enable the prior owner continued access to a valuable sugarbush, and also demonstrate sustainable forest management. As Burnett said, “This will be a great opportunity for other landowners to see ways in which they can support our communities and ensure that Maine’s forest products economies remain vibrant, while also generating income and protecting the forest itself and wildlife habitats.”
Over the next 25 years Burnett expects that the Kennebec Land Trust will rotate additional harvesting through 60 more acres while setting aside a block of the lot’s oldest trees as an ecological reserve. “There’s a lot that can be done on a property like this, and none of this is particularly unique, which is why I think it is a wonderful demonstration site,” he added.
The tour, which is co- sponsored by the Kennebec Woodland Partnership (https://www.tklt.org/kwp) and Local Wood WORKS (https://www.localwoodworks.org/why) will begin at 5:00 pm and likely last about an hour. The Norton Road is just west of the intersection of Route 17 and the Fayette Corner Road in Fayette (https://www.tklt.org/oak-hill-conservation-area) . Attendees should wear sturdy shoes/boots. For further information contact Burnett at 377-7196 or KLT at 377-2848.