Mission and History

MISSION


Promoting Stewardship of Maine's Small Woodland Resources

  • Strengthening long-term woodland ownership
  • Improving tree quality and forest health
  • Protecting our waters and wildlife habitats
  • Demonstrating good forest management through our land trust

Providing Information for Better Forest Management

  • Producing Maine Woodlands, our 20-page monthly publication, written by landowners for landowners
  • Hosting more than 50 workshops each year directly related to forestland ownership
  • Conducting our annual Forestry Fair
  • Learning from others through local chapters

Advocating for and Reaching out to Maine's Small Woodland Owners

  • Representing small woodland owners at the State Legislature
  • Answering your woodlot questions
  • Promoting the importance of small woodlands
  • Fighting against unnecessary regulations and for constructive forest policies

HISTORY


Originally known as the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, Maine Woodland Owners was incorporated in 1975 as a non-profit organization under Maine law by a group of private non-industrial woodland owners. Their primary purpose was to design a program to assist each other in learning how to manage their own woodland. The informal slogan of the group was "Feet on the ground, hands on the trees." Meetings were often held on the woodlots of the members themselves. Practices, which had proved successful, as well as those which had not, were pointed out and discussed on-site. Members learned through the experience of others.


Maine Woodland Owners grew. It broadened its membership to include not only small landowners, but anyone who had an interest in Maine woodlands. To reach more people, regional chapters were formed in various parts of the state. Because of its educational function, Maine Woodland Owners was classified as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service, so that dues, gifts, contributions,and bequests, became tax- deductible.


Today, Maine Woodland Owners has a paid Executive Director, a Deputy Executive Director and an Office Assistant - but remains primarily a volunteer organization of several thousand active members. There are ten regional chapters, each with officers and each conducts its own local educational programs. In total, the ten chapters conduct more than 50 workshops and events each year.


In addition to assisting its members, Maine Woodland Owners is concerned with public awareness. The cumulative importance to Maine's economy and ecology of a large number of managed forest units is stressed, particularly in areas experiencing development pressures.


Although a non-governmental organization, Maine Woodland Owners works closely with the Maine Forest Service, the University of Maine's College of Natural Resources, Agriculture & Forestry, Resource Conservation and Development Areas (RC&Ds), the Cooperative Extension Service, and other forestry-related organizations.


In 1990, Maine Woodland Owners established a land trust program through which it accepts gifts of land and conservation easements on productive forest land. The Land Trust program currently has more than 8,600 acres of fee and easement properties.