Gov. LePage’s plan to cut trees for firewood and wood pellet production is long overdue (“LePage: More logging of state forests will increase revenues,” March 19).

However, instead of targeting state forests and public reserve lands (where everyone is in love with trees and doesn’t want any of them cut), I would urge him to focus his efforts on Maine’s 95,000 acres of operable wildlife management areas, most of which have not been touched by a chain saw in 50 years or more.

These are not “public” lands – they are purchased and maintained solely by hunter-generated dollars primarily for wildlife habitat. The public is allowed to use them but contributes nothing to their purchase or maintenance.

Most of these wildlife management areas presently consist of 80 percent mature forest, nearly double the recommended total for “maximum diversity,” which was the plan for these lands when the Pittman-Robertson Act (a tax on guns, ammunition and bows and arrows) was enacted in 1937. Most of these lands have not been touched since then.

Here’s a chance to kill two birds with one stone: Harvest some much-needed firewood and pellet trees and create some new wildlife habitat.

Wildlife management areas are not state forests, public reserve lands, state parks or any other kind of tree museum – and they are not “public.” Give the hunters who own these lands their money’s worth and let’s return these lands to their intended use – wildlife habitat. It’s long, long overdue.

Stephen D. Carpenteri


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