At 7 p.m. on May 18 at the South Portland Community Center, the Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission and cosponsors South Portland and Scarborough conservation commissions will host a forestry workshop for private landowners, foresters, town officials and land trust staff and members interested in integrating timber management and biodiversity.

Led by Robert Bryan, licensed forester and Maine Audubon forest ecologist, the workshop will review how landowners and foresters can improve or maintain wildlife habitat on their land while managing the land for recreation, timber or other personal goals.

“Managed forests can provide multiple benefits in developing communities, including clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, wood for building homes and furniture, and places to enjoy nature and the outdoors,” said Bryan. “Focus species forestry is an integrated way to achieve those goals.”

The workshop is based on Maine Audubon’s new guide “Focus Species Forestry,” which shows how to manage forest lands for the full range of Maine’s wildlife while simultaneously providing other forest benefits such a wood, clean water, clean air and recreation.

EDITORS: If you’d like a digital image of a focus species, call (207) 781-2330, ext. 241.

Focus species forestry aims to help foresters and landowners develop management plans that support the goals of Beginning with Habitat, an award-winning collaborative program that helps communities plan growth to protect natural areas and, in so doing, prevent sprawl. Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough received a Beginning with Habitat presentation in 2001.

The new forestry management guide is published by Maine Audubon in cooperation with the Maine Department of Conservation, the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine and the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine.

Workshop participants will receive a summary of the guide’s recommendations; copies of the guide will be available for purchase at the workshop.

As the natural setting for most of Maine’s local communities, forests provide much of the state’s

wildlife habitat and local recreational opportunities. Community forests have many owners, with parcels ranging from the back yard to large tracts of thousands of acres.

Useful for small woodlands as well as large tracts of timberland and designed to fit into forest

management programs commonly used by Maine foresters and landowners, focus species forestry is based on the fact that many species inhabit similar forest types and have overlapping habitat requirements.

“On a typical woodlot, by focusing on the habitat requirements of a small number of species, landowners can provide habitat for a wide range of species with similar needs,” Bryan said.

For example, the American marten, red-breasted nuthatch, spruce grouse and black-backed woodpecker require different food and cover, but are all found in medium-age and mature spruce-fir and mixed spruce-fir-hardwood forests. The marten, because it has the largest home range of this group, is the focus species. By managing habitat for the marten, landowners and foresters will also create benefits for species with similar habitat needs and smaller territories.

For more information on the workshop, call (207) 799-3553.

For more information on Focus Species Forestry, call (207) 781-2330 or visit

MAINE AUDUBON works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation, and action.

Support for Maine Audubon comes from its 11,000 members and supporters, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. Members are automatically members of their local Maine Audubon chapter and National Audubon Society, Inc., of which Maine Audubon is an affiliate. Contributions to Maine Audubon are used only in Maine.

With a 160-year history of connecting people with nature, Maine Audubon is the only organization in Maine that uses three different strategies to conserve wildlife: hands-on environmental education, research and wildlife-conservation projects, and action to help shape science-based policy.

Maine Audubon’s 3,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary, community environmental centers, citizen-science projects, and hundreds of programs and trips offer preschoolers through senior citizens wide-ranging opportunities to explore, learn about, and care for Maine’s wildlife.

Maine Audubon maintains some of the most productive, science-based conservation and research programs in the region. Initiatives such as the Maine Loon Project, the Maine Cooperative Owl Surveys, and ongoing programs to monitor and protect the endangered piping plover and least tern are made possible through partnerships with volunteers, public agencies, universities, and other conservation organizations.

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