Sustainable Forest Management

Sustainable forest management is one of the many principal land management activities that take place on Maine’s Public Reserved Lands. Scientifically-based timber harvests are planned in coordination with recreation, wildlife, forest health, and scenic considerations. Revenues from certified sustainable forestry timber sales support the management and maintenance of trails, campsites, roads and other infrastructure and wildlife management projects.

All forest management activities are comprehensively planned and closely supervised by Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) Foresters. Harvesting activities are carefully carried out by local private contractors.

Our approach to timber management is focused on maintaining and encouraging ecological diversity and all environmental processes across our vast and varied land base, all the while ensuring a sustained yield of commercial forest products. The objectives are to simultaneously provide good growing conditions, retain or enhance structural complexity, maintain connectivity of wildlife habitats, and create a vigorous forest more resilient in response to damage from insects, disease, and a rapidly changing climate.

Maine’s Public Reserved Lands’ Commitment to Forest Certification

Maine’s Public Reserved Lands are certified as “sustainable and well-managed” by two of the nation’s leading forest certification organizations. Forest certification is a voluntary third party annual monitoring process that considers both the ecological components and socio-economic effects of forest management activities.

BPL was one of the original state entities that sought certification in the U.S. and has remained a certificate holder in good standing since 2002. As of 2022, approximately 634,831 acres are under dual certification.

Maintaining certification provides managers of Maine’s Public Reserved Lands with a beneficial framework to sustainably manage its forests in a comprehensive manner. The Bureau of Parks and Lands is committed to managing in conformance with the standards and policies of the Forest Stewardship Council® and Sustainable Forestry Initiative®.

Below, you will find copies of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry - Bureau of Parks and Lands (Maine BPL) most current certificates for the Forest Stewardship Council® and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®.

High Conservation Value Areas on BPL

The BPL has identified approximately 100,000 acres which qualify as High Conservation Value (HCV). HCV areas are areas that require special management considerations due to their natural and cultural attributes. Read BPL’s assessment and description of its HCVs (PDF 7 MB).

Silvicultural Advisory Committee

The Silvicultural Advisory Committee was established in 1986 as part of implementation of the 1985 Integrated Resource Policy. The advisory committee includes members with expertise and long experience in timber management, wildlife, and environmental issues. They meet annually for a two-day silvicultural field trip at areas current conditions make uncertain the best course of management, or where field staff is proposing a departure from more common silvicultural practices. The committee also infrequently provides expert opinion when Bureau silviculture, proposed or completed, has raised controversy among some stakeholders.

View the list of committee members, past field trip reports, and meeting calendar.