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Woodland Owner Appreciation Day 2023

Woodland Owner Appreciation Day 2023

In the Jugtown Forest in September 2023, we hosted our fifth Woodland Owner Appreciation Day. It was a day dedicated to the landowners who serve as stewards of the forests that act as filters for our waters. The event brought together the community of forest enthusiasts, resource professionals, and nature advocates. Educational walks and talks were the heart of the event, offering attendees a deeper understanding of the connection between forests and water protection. Foresters Paul Larrivee and Jesse Duplin led a walk through the area that experienced a wildfire in 2022, and they explained its connection to managing for pitch pine. Colin Holme and Lauren Pickford from LEA led a walk to the recent stream restoration project on Burgess Brook. The project replaced an undersized and damaged culvert with an open-bottom bridge ready to handle trout spawning season, logging trucks, and 100-year floods. Maine Audubon’s Sally Stockwell and LEA’s Mary Jewett led a walk on Forestry for Maine Wildlife. They showed the positive impact that certain harvesting practices can have on habitat for birds and wildlife. The group learned the importance of leaving the slash (the tree debris on the forest floor) after harvesting to provide habitat for small mammals and birds that support the ecosystem. The history of Jugtown Plains came to life in a presentation led by Lee Dassler from the Western Foothills Land Trust. Jugtown Road is one of the oldest roads in the region, and the talk highlighted the long-standing connection between humans and the land. John Gunn from The Nature Conservancy introduced attendees to the Family Forest Carbon Program. This program highlights the role landowners can play in mitigating climate change. Attendees enjoyed a free lunch and beer brewed with Sebago Lake water (generously donated by Rising Tide Brewing Company). In the end, Woodland Owner Appreciation Day served as a powerful reminder that the protection of our forests and water resources is a collective effort, with landowners at its core. Over 90% of Maine’s land is privately-owned, and by keeping those acres forested we can keep our waters clean.

The Jugtown Forest is owned by Hancock Land Company and is open to the public for responsible recreation. It includes over 5000 acres of working forestland under permanent conservation easement in the towns of Naples, Casco, and Otisfield. Learn more or visit the forest here

WOAD was partially funded by a grant from Casco Bay Estuary Partnership and beer was donated by Rising Tide Brewing Company

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