BETHEL — Bethel area landowners from all over the spectrum of lot sizes, as well and other interested people, will have the chance to benefit from a free course on forest management next month.

District Forester Mike Richard of the Maine Forest Service will teach a six-week course through the SAD 44 Adult Education program beginning Sept. 26 at Telstar.

The course will provide basic instruction on how to better read the landscape on forestry, wildlife, ecological and recreation.

“This course is intended for landowners to get a better sense of their forest management options for their property,” Richard said.  “I would also encourage folks in the market for forest land to attend, or anyone in general that might be interested in learning more about how forests are managed here in Maine.”

Guest speakers and a field trip are planned.

Topics to be covered include defining goals for landowners; tree identification; management plans and cost-sharing programs and non-timber products (such as Christmas trees and maple syrup); wildlife programs for property owners/tree planting; wildfires and forestry rules and regulations; tree diseases and logging damage/chainsaw safety basics; and silviculture.


Regarding goal-setting, Richard said that most landowners “tend to own land for the sake of recreation (hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing), firewood, investment (timber), privacy or aesthetics and to protect water quality. Often the goals landowners might correspond with prioritizing some or all of these items in the long term.”

In managing forest property, he said there are federal and state programs that can assist with plans written for specific property. “For landowners enrolled in the Tree Growth Tax Program, this can be used to help cover a portion of the cost of renewing the plan required of the program,” said Richard.

As for wildlife, “we will discuss the importance of managing land for wildlife habitat. We will also discuss organizations and resources for more information. I am also hoping to have a wildlife biologist from Inland Fisheries attend a class and help instruct.”

Richard also hopes to have a guest speaker on the topic of diseases and pests, either a pathologist or entomologist with the Maine Forest Service. “We are particularly interested in trying to get the word out about management options regarding the Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic invasive insect that has recently made its way into Maine,” he said.

The course will meet on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information contact the SAD 44 Adult Ed office at 824-2136 ext. 1340 or

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