Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership
Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership

Letting Nature Manage Itself

The proposed Mohawk Forest Plan includes using taxpayer money to encourage cutting for wood  pellet production, and otherwise "improving" the forests in our area. That improvement means making forested areas better for commercial timber production. This plan does not focus in restoring any forestlands to their natural state. There currently is mounting pressure on our forests to produce pellets for local and international markets. Who will support forests from becoming degraded by unregulated industrial uses? Who will set aside areas to provide  benefits other than money making ventures? Isn't this what we should support in a "national forest"?

Old Growth Forest Expert, Bob Leverett on

"The Value of Eastern Old-Growth

Natural heritage is no less important than great works of art and architecture. Our ancient forests are more than mere symbols of that heritage. The old trees are the sentinels of the Earth. When they are snuffed out by pollution, or the fiber of their hulking forms converted to paper, all humanity is reduced."


To preserve forest health, the best management decision may be to do nothing

From: Woodlands and Wildlands, A Vison for the New England Landscape, by Harvard Forest, Harvard University May 2010


"Wildland reserves -- Largely free from active management,
these landscapes would be shaped by natural forces,
the ambient environment, and legacies of prior


"Wildlands, protected based on local considerations and ranging in size from 5,000 to 1 million acres.
They strive to accomplish four objectives:
^ Slow the pace of climate change by supporting complex, aging forests that can store twice as much carbon as young forests;
^ Provide rare habitats for a diverse array of plants, animals, and micro-organisms;
^ Safeguard lands of natural, cultural, and spiritual significance; and
^ Serve as unique scientific reference points for evaluation and improvement of management practices elsewhere."




"Adverse forest practices. Following centuries of
impact, most forests today are younger in age and
simpler in structure than their early predecessors
(Foster and Aber 2004). Though maturing in some
areas, many forests remain over-utilized or otherwise
mismanaged (Irland 1999, Elliot 1999). From a wood
production standpoint, many small private parcels and
large areas of forest in the south fall well below their
productive potential (D’Amato et al. 2010). Economic
pressures to maximize short-term profits contribute to
poor practices such as high-grading and clearcutting
(Lansky 1992). Erosion from improperly constructed
forest access roads contributes tons of sediment to
streams each year. And despite regulations, there
has been too much “liquidation” harvesting in which
parcels are purchased, stripped for timber, and split
into poorly planned subdivisions (Lilieholm et al. 2010).
In large industrial ownerships in the north, falling
financial investments and shorter harvest cycles may
reduce future yields. Rising pressures for wood-based
bioenergy to supply the region and other countries may
intensify adverse harvesting practices and substantially
change the timber economy
(Evans and Perschel 2009,
Damery et al. 2009, Benjamin et al. 2009, Cronan et
al. 2010). (Woodlands and Wildlands, A Vison for the New England Landscape, by Harvard Forest, Harvard University May 2010)

Mohawk Trail State Forest
Mohawk Trail State Forest