SFMA

The Scientific Forest Management Area (SFMA)

consists of almost 30,000 acres in the northwest corner of Baxter State Park that is managed primarily for timber objectives, as mandated by Percival P. Baxter’s deeds of trust associated with these lands.  As trustees of these trust deeds, our sole responsibility is to carry out the wishes of the donor.  Below are some of the directives left to us by the donor.

“In my travels in foreign lands I have seen beautiful great forests that for centuries have been producing a crop of wood without depletion. In Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Chile, Russia and elsewhere what has been done by scientifically controlled forestry can be done in Maine. I now make it possible for the state to try a major experiment here at home, an experiment that can mean much for our future timber supply, which all admit is the chief natural resource of our State.”

1955 Baxter Communications to Governor Muskie and 97th Legislature

“This 3,569 area will be available both for recreation and for scientific forestry management and can be made to produce a continuing crop of timber to be harvested and sold as are potatoes or any other product of the soil.”

“It long has been my purpose to create in our forests a large area wherein the state may practice the most modern methods of forest control, reforestation and production….This new 3,569 acres is an excellent location for this purpose.”

“In my travels in foreign lands I have seen beautiful great forests that for centuries have been producing a crop of wood without depletion. In Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, Chile, Russia and elsewhere what has been done by scientifically controlled forestry can be done in Maine. I now make it possible for the state to try a major experiment here at home, an experiment that can mean much for our future timber supply, which all admit is the chief natural resource of our State.”

“The terms of this gift are identical with those of the three thousand five hundred sixty-nine (3,569) acre; Public Park, Public Forest, Public Recreational and Scientific Forestry Purposes and Reforestation. I want this township to become a show place for those interested in forestry, a place where a continuing timber crop can be cultivated, harvested and sold; where reforestation and scientific cutting will be employed; an example and an inspiration to others. What is done in our forests today will help or harm the generations who follow us.”

“This township six (6) range ten (10) is what is termed by woodsmen ‘good growing land’. An area with an abundance of wildlife, especially moose. Fishing and hunting will be allowed under the general Fish and Game Laws of the State.”

Private and Special Laws 1955

Private and Special Laws 1955, Chapter 66

“All harvesting of said products shall be done according to the most approved practices of Scientific forestry and all revenue derived from the sale of said products shall be used by said state for the care, management and protection of Baxter State Park as now or hereafter defined:”

Private and Special Laws 1955, Chapter 171

“The trees harvested may be cut and yarded on the premises but no manufacturing operations shall be carried on within said township. All revenue derived from the sale of timber shall be used by the State IN TRUST for the care, management and protection of Baxter State Park as now and hereafter defined, and the said twenty-five thousand twenty-five (25,025) acres forever shall be held by said State as Trustee in Trust…”

Private and Special Laws 1955, Chapter 2

“The State of Maine is authorized to clean, protect and restore areas of forest growth damaged by Acts of Nature such as blowdowns, fire, floods, slides, infestation of insects and disease or other damage caused by Acts of Nature in order that the forest growth of the Park may be protected, encouraged and restored.”

 

silviculture

The Tenets of our Silvicultural Philosophy

“What is done in our forests today will help or harm the generations who follow us.”

 

 

ecological monitoring

Long-Term Monitoring is not a sexy practice, but one absolutely essential to adaptive management. We try to give our monitoring effort some context by connecting them to larger efforts across the region.

“…practice the most modern methods of forest control, reforestation and production…”

education-recreation

Download SFMA Trail Map.

Tours are a regular part of workflow here in the SFMA, in keeping with our mandate to maintain “a showplace for those interested in forestry”.  Please contact Resource Manager Eben Sypitkowski for more information if your group would like a tour or a talk.

There is a self-guided trail for a fairly quick and family-friendly introduction to forestry and the SFMA.  There are brochures available at the trailhead about a mile west of the Trout Brook Bridge or for download by clicking the map below.  We’ve hung many tree-ID signs at kid-level on this 0.8 mile, fairly flat nature walk.

fit_map


To get more in-depth information on the SFMA, please check out some our planning documents:

SFMA Forest Management Plan 2012
SFMA Forest Management Plan 1998
SFMA Forest Management Plan 1988
SFMA Forest Management Plan 1980
Boody Brook Natural Area Mgt Plan 2001
Frost Pond Forest Mgt Protocol 2003