153 Hospital Street 

P.O. Box 5470 

Augusta, ME  04332 

(207) 621-9872

mtf@gwi.net

About Us

The Maine TREE Foundation was founded in 1989 to provide Maine people with good, accurate information about the forest resource. We sponsor the following core programs: Long Term Education About Forests (LEAF), Project Learning Tree (PLT), the Maine Tree Farm Committee, and the Certified Logging Professional program

The Maine TREE Foundation is an independent, private, non-profit environmental education organization with a focus on the forest. We are supported by contributions from individuals, other non-profits, members of the business community, and by grants from foundations and government sources. We are an IRS 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization; contributions to The Maine TREE Foundation are tax-deductible.


Mission and Focus

Forests are part of the fabric of Maine. In addition to sustaining the natural geological and biological systems, the forests link together and sustain a natural resource community made up of landowners, recreational users, loggers, foresters, mills, workers, and towns that have been interdependent for generations. The diverse uses of the forest and the sustainability of this community are critical to the ecological, economic, and social health of Maine.

Mission : The Maine TREE Foundation educates and advocates for the sustainable use of the forest and the ecological, economic, and social health of Maine ’s forest community.

This is accomplished through developing and sponsoring education programs for schools, government, media, and the general public. Partnerships within the forest community and support programs for forest owners, workers, and users will aid in the effort.

The Vision of the Maine Tree Foundation: The public values and supports Maine 's healthy forest ecosystems, forest professionals, scientific forest management, and sound public policies that sustain Maine 's forest-dependent people and communities. 

Maine has one of the most sustainable ecological, economic, and social systems in the world, centered on our forests and forest communities. This system depends on maintaining the unique condition and synergy which results from predominant private ownership, widespread public access, outstanding recreation values, and wood-based industries. Harvesting forest products is one of the many forces that contribute to the constant state of forest renewal. Using renewable resources to meet society’s demands has far less negative environmental impact than does production from alternatives. Maintaining this forest community will include both sustainable timber production and carefully targeted protection and enhancement of non-timber values.


Key Principles and Messages

The role of Maine TREE is to provide accurate information about the forest community of Maine . The key principles that will form the foundation of our message are:

  • Multiple use of most forests is essential for a sustainable forest community in Maine , including businesses that rely on forest products. This is in the public’s interest.

  • Multiple use includes timber harvesting, wildlife management, watershed protection, and all forms of respectful recreation – this defines the concept of “the working forest”.

  • Wood is the world's most abundant renewable building material and much of the world's most abundant renewable source of fiber for paper products.

  • Forests are not static, they are dynamic - loss of older trees (age, fire, storm, disease, and insect) and renewal of young trees is a completely natural and continuous process. Scientific forestry can mimic these natural processes.

  • Harvesting is not the destruction of a forest. Rather if done properly, it is a process of removing some trees and managing remaining trees and regeneration for the renewal of the forest.

  • Forest management, wood-based manufacturing, and recreation form a powerful ecological, economic, and social system that meets the interests of both the citizens and visitors of Maine.

  • Many families, businesses, and communities are dependent on, and sustained by, this natural resource-based industry. The forestry sector is the largest of Maine 's manufacturing sectors and accounts for more of the value of Maine exports than does any other sector. Forest-based recreation adds millions of additional dollars to the state's economy.

  • Private ownership and property rights to practice good forest management must be respected and protected.

  • Logging and forestry should grow to be more highly respected professions.

  • Regulation is seldom the preferred path to better management.

  • Support and promotion of sound public policy is critical to the health and sustainability of the forest community.


Action Plan

Maine TREE will work to accomplish the desired future condition expressed by its vision in a variety of ways, including:

  • Establish a set of key principles and fact-based talking points that represent the values and message of Maine TREE (above list).

  • Develop a stronger linkage of Maine TREE with the scientific expertise of the University of Maine, including encouraging the University of Maine System to continue to offer forest-related, for-credit continuing education courses for K-12 teachers.

  • Continue to develop close partnerships with other organizations within the broad forest community such as Maine Audubon, Appalachian Mountain Club, SWOAM, Maine Math and Science Alliance, Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility, Maine Forest Service, Maine Forest Products Council, University of Maine and Cooperative Extension.

  • Commit to ongoing contact and collaboration with key stakeholders and supporters.

  • Develop educational messages and programs that support not only the health of the forest but also the health of the forest community.

  • Provide education assistance in developing State policy that supports the forest community.

  • Increase attention to the education of the media, the Legislature, and others who influence policy.

  • Assure compatibility of PLT materials with this message.

  • Identify target audiences and design programs to address each.

  • Improve the understanding of forest use and move public perception about this industry/community to pride and respect.

  • Explore the idea of mandatory natural resource education at the middle school level.

  • Determine means of measuring success; explore potential for tracking public opinion.

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