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Bristol Area Lions Club Welcomes Forester Pete Hannah 11/04/2013

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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 Bristol Lion Walt Johansson, right, thanks Pete Hannah for his program on professional forestry

Bristol Lion Walt Johansson, right, thanks Pete Hannah for his program on professional forestry

Consulting licensed forester Pete Hannah was the most recent guest speaker at the Bristol Area Lions Club in New Harbor.

A retired educator from the University of Vermont, Hannah is enthusiastic about explaining the ins and outs of his little-known field, which he admits is often confused with logging.

First established as a profession in the early 19th century in Prussia, forestry came to be recognized as a science in America in the mid-1800s. Not until 1898 was the first forestry school in the US established, at Cornell University. It was followed soon after by a forestry department at Yale University, which today is distinguished among fifty other existing accredited programs as the oldest US forestry school.

Hannah proceeded to explain the role of a forester, which consists primarily of overseeing harvests and writing and carrying out management plans for forests.

As agents for property owners, foresters initiate a project by defining property lines, assessing the owner’s objectives for his or her forest, conducting spot surveys of wood types and ages, assigning grade quality to sample plots, and then developing a written management plan from all of the data collected. That plan is re-evaluated every ten to twenty years.

There are approximately 80,000 small wood lot owners in the state of Maine, who benefit from a tax break for keeping land in tree growth. If a wood lot owner intends to harvest, the job of his hired licensed forester includes tagging specific trees, interviewing loggers and overseeing the establishment of logging roads to access the intended harvest, following up periodically to ensure environmental protection practices are in place.

Hannah ended his comments by mentioning that forests have a great capability to regenerate so that replanting, which is very costly, is not that common. Anyone interested in working with a forester is encouraged to contact the Maine Forest Service for a referral list.

In the business meeting followed Hannah’s talk, the Club discussed plans for the upcoming Second Annual Bristol Area Lions Club Liberty Day program to be held at the Bristol Consolidated School.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, on Monday, November 18, will feature Juanita Roushdy speaking on the many programs offered by Maine Audubon at Hog Island. To make dinner reservations for that meeting please call 677-6191. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact Walt Johansson at 677-2584.

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