BANGOR, Maine — One often overlooked aspect of good stewardship is understanding the role that soil plays in forest productivity. The soil provides a foothold for roots, and supplements the trees with essential nutrients and water. The soil determines the species composition of the forest and directly correlates to the quality and vigor of the forest and how it should be managed.
There are many different soils, ranging from: wet to dry; shallow to deep; sand to clay; and so on. Each variation impacts the suitability and productivity associated with that site. These impacts can affect planting or harvesting, growing stock, regeneration, and recovery time from the harvest. Understanding the soil and how it can impact your management decisions can be challenging, but there are Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) experts on these topics ready and willing to help.
NRCS was established to develop an understanding of the soil and how to manage it. It is our mission to “Help People, Help the Land.” One of the ways to help landowners manage their forestland is by completing a Forest Management Plan (FMP), for which financial assistance may be available by applying for a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP). The FMP CAP is a complete inventory of the soils, tree species, stocking rates, stand types, and presence of invasive species in addition to your aspirations and objectives as a landowner in the form of a forest management plan. The plan will outline potential forestry practices that can help you achieve your goals: whether that be the production of high-quality-high value timber, wildlife habitat, aesthetical enjoyment, or a combination of them all. It also is a requirement for NRCS financial assistance for various conservation practices in the future.
Contact your local field office for more information. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/me/contact/local/
–USDA NRCS Maine
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