We hope everyone is having a great hunting season. Here is an update on some exciting conservation initiatives and projects that RGS & AWS is moving forward in Maine, thanks to our amazing chapter leaders and members throughout the Pine Tree State.
Downeast Lakes Land Trust Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project:
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust Woodcock Habitat Restoration Project connects two nationally recognized conservation partners with a demonstrated commitment to sustainable forests, local communities, outdoor recreation, and wildlife habitat diversity.RGS & AWS unites conservationists to improve wildlife habitat and forest health for ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and all forest wildlife. Since 2001, Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) has been contributing to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region through the conservation and exemplary management of its forests and waters. DLLT sustainably manages the 57,703-acre Downeast Lakes Community Forest for wildlife habitat, sustainable forest products, and public recreation. RGS & AWS and Downeast Lakes Land Trust are currently pursuing a Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grant application. If this is awarded, the funding will go largely toward the implementation of important forest habitat work on the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.
Habitat diversity is of paramount importance for this project. The purpose is to diversify forest age classes and species composition in tandem with forest wildlife needs to support landscape level forest health and resilience through mosaics and in support of DLLT’s broader stewardship plans and Focus-Species Forestry framework and approach. Together, we will diversify several hundred acres of habitat and implement thirty-one acres of woodcock patch cuts on DLLT’s Daugherty Ridge and Musquash compartments. DLLT and RGS & AWS have already been collaborating on the project planning and design.Low-grade markets for pulp and paper have historically played a key role in providing a commercial outlet for the forest products that are sourced from forest habitat projects and patch cuts in the Downeast Maine region.
In the past, this has allowed landowners like DLLT to dovetail habitat projects like this into their broader sustainable forestry programs. Market conditions have declined in the Downeast Region and are not currently strong enough to allow this project to occur without the funding and support of partners like Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. If this entry is not completed at this time, work that was previously accomplished in 2012 and 2013 will have reduced benefits for wildlife in this area.
Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative With state drummer funding and reserve account support from the RGS & AWS Russ and Carole Dyer and Central Maine Chapters, we are providing match funding along with several other partners to support a three-year PhD research position for the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative. The fall timberdoodle migration is in full swing, and you can check out seasonal woodcock migration updates HERE. The Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative is coordinated by Dr. Amber Roth and Dr. Erik Blomberg and their team at the University of Maine and involves partners like Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society and others throughout the United States and Canada.
Want to learn more about how you can support our forest habitat projects in Maine and across the Northeast? Contact Northeast Forest Conservation Director Todd Waldron at email@example.com or click through to our regional website page HERE. Thank you for your support!