Maine Forestry Ban
dodd at mint.net
Sun Jun 9 13:46:59 EST 1996
There will be a referendum question on the Maine ballot in November the
concerns the future of forestry in this State. The question was put on the
ballot by a petition initiative led by the person who was the 1994 Green Party
candidate for governor. The petition was signed by 55,000 people at polling
stations during the 1995 election. The petition was titled in a way that
implied it was a ban on "clearcutting", but the fine print of the language
restricted all types of timber harvest. Many petition signers have publically
objected to have been "hoodwinked" about the real intent of the petition.
If passed, this referendum would restrict forestry on Maine's unorganized
townships, or about half of the state.
GREEN PARTY FORESTRY BAN
Guide to Forestry Restrictions
The Green Party Forestry Ban, if enacted, would severely restrict sound forest
practices. This is a summary of to those restrictions.
Enact Sec 6. 12MRSA Sec 685-A, §12 to read:
Forest management standards. Notwithstanding subsection 5 or any other
provision of state law to the contrary, all timber harvesting activities
within the [LURC] commission's jurisdiction must comply with the following
A. Clearcutting is prohibited.
B. Not more than 1/3 of the volume may be removed in a 15 year
period. (Trees 4.5" DBH and larger.)
C. (1) Post harvest basal area of trees 4.5" DBH+ cannot be
65 FT² in hardwood stands; or
75 FT² in mixedwood stands; or
90 FT² in softwood stands.
- OR -
(2) Post harvest stands must have an "R" of 1. or
more when calculated by the formula R = S + T,
S = (number of trees 1" to 4.5" DBH) / 1000
T = (basal area of trees 4.5" DBH+) / BA standards
for SW, MW, or HW stands as listed in (1)
D. Trees in post harvest stand must be well distributed. Post harvest
stand must maintain tree species, tree size, and tree age compared to
E. No openings greater than 1/2 acre.
F. Trees must be delimbed at cutting site. Slash must be left in the
woods. (Prohibits chipping tops and limbs for biomass.)
The following is a description of some timber harvesting practices that would
become illegal under the Green Party Forestry Ban.
(1) Harvest of undesirable trees so that desirable trees will have room to
grow. Undesirable trees include trees of poor form, rotten or diseased, or
insect damaged. Violates §12(D).
(2) Harvest of fast growing, mature trees within a stand of slower growing,
immature trees. Example would be the harvest of mature poplar trees in a
young maple-birch stand. Violates §12(D).
Two or three stand entries in a 10 to 20 year period to open the stand up
enough to encourage remaining trees to seed in the next crop. Typically 40%
of the overstory is removed. Violates § 12(B,C,D).
Thinning an overstocked stand to allow room for remaining trees to grow. Of
particular concern would be the impossibility of using mechanized harvesters
to cut small diameter trees in overstocked stands due to the due to the
prohibition on chipping for biomass. Loss of mechanized operations would mean
far few stands could have this beneficial treatment. Violates § 12(C,D,F).
Precommercial thinning, usually by brush saw, thins overstocked stands to
allow room for remaining trees to grow. Trees removed are selected on the
basis of species, size, and age. Violates §12(D).
Low value stands growing on high quality sites should be con sidered for
replacement. These stands have a negative rate of return and do little to
provide high value products sought by sawmills. Violates §12(A,B,C,D,E,F).
I am quite concerned about the negative consequences of such a forestry ban
and support the defeat of this referendum. For more information write:
Supporters: Ban the Clearcut Campaign, State Street, Augusta, ME
Opponents: Citizen for a Heathy Forest and Economy, PO Box 4690,
Portland, ME 04112
"May the Forest be With You."
More information about the Ag-forst