Several of our preserves have active forest management plans, but the best place to learn how you can create income by managing your own tract of forest land is at our Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson. With nearly 1,000 acres of contiguous forest, our nature center offers an immense natural and educational resource in Midcoast Maine. A small forestry crew applies innovative practices, under the direction of a certified consulting forester, on about 15 acres each year. Our management is designed to enhance the value of timber, wildlife habitat, water quality, and recreation.

The goal is to produce a healthier, more valuable crop of trees for the future and to improve the forest quality no matter how you measure it. We invite you to visit our forestry work while you’re out enjoying the nature center. Everything we do can be applied your woodlot small or large.

Timber Stand Improvement. Every year we thin and prune selected trees on 15 – 20 acres. By removing and making use of lower-quality trees – trees that are out-competed, diseased or in decline – we are investing in our future. The healthiest trees continue grow in value. Our investment will be realized many years down the road. In the meantime, each winter we add about a mile of new trails to our network, improving access to diverse terrain within the nature center.

Protecting Water Quality. Proper forestry practices maintain, and even increase, water quality. Ponds, vernal pools, and streams are scattered all across the forest at HVNC. Our forestry work is done in a way that avoids erosion and contamination; we design our roads with properly sized and placed culverts and bridges; and we work with the Maine Forest Service to model innovative water crossings that are consistent with their best management practices.

You can invest in local value-added products.

We have several products for purchase that come right from the trees we harvest. Proceeds from sales go back into our conservation efforts, giving new meaning to “buying local”. Email Tim for details on availability.

Lumber: The logs we cut are turned into lumber by Richard Hatch’s bandsaw mill. Buy our FSC Certified Green lumber for your building projects and save a bundle compared to big box stores while supporting our work.

Rustic Picnic Tables and Benches:  We have a limited number of tables and funky benches available each summer. They are made from eastern white pine harvested at our nature center. Our forestry products are 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, the highest certification in the U.S. More info here.

Timber frame structures: Each year we hold several 4-day workshops where you can learn how to make a timber-framed home, barn or other structure. At the end of the workshop these buildings are available for sale and they get snapped up quickly. Call to reserve one today.

Hidden Valley Nature Center has won numerous awards and was the State of Maine’s Outstanding Tree Farm in 2014 for our model of sustainable forestry, outreach and educational programs. This would not have been possible without our members and supporters.

Forest Management Plan for HVNC

Day in the Woods: Our 2017 “Day in the Woods” forestry event at HVNC included numerous presentations on forestry. In case you missed it, here are some of the presentations for download:

Exemplary & Low Impact Forestry pt1 – Alec Giffen from New England Forestry Foundation

Exemplary & Low Impact Forestry pt3 – Peggi Clouston from University of Massachusetts

HVNC – Our Model – Tracy Moskovitz, Co-founder of Hidden Valley Nature Center

There are also many great reports on Low Impact Forestry from Mitch Lansky, founder of the Maine Low-Impact Forestry Project, which can be found here.