Sustainable Farm Forest Management Using Small-Scale Logging Methods

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2002: $98,744.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $46,410.00
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
Andrew Egan
University of Maine

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: trees, ornamentals


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, forestry
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, focus group, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, employment opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Abstract. This proposed applied research, demonstration, and educational outreach program will (a) investigate the efficiencies, effects, and economics of harvesting farm woodlots, as well as other nonindustrial private forests (NIPFs), with methods already available to farmers (e.g., farm tractors and draft animals); (b) develop information that describes the current potential for and conduct of forest management and timber harvesting on farm forests; (c) develop an awareness among farmers of the potential costs and benefits of sustainable farm forest management and timber harvesting; and (d) provide information on how to develop and maintain a profitable, efficient, and safe timber harvesting component to farm income and sustainable farm forests. Focussing on the northern New England region (ME, NH, and VT), this will be accomplished through a program defined by four specific tasks: - Applied research that compares both logging production/efficiency and costs/benefits using tractors and horses vs. conventional skidding with rubber-tired skidders in partial harvests; and forest sustainability effects of farm tractor and animal yarding, including impacts on soil, site disturbance, and residual stand quality. - A survey of farmers in the region who own forestland that elicits information on their interest in and experience with sustainable farm forest management and small-scale harvesting on their farm woodlands. - The development of a permanent small-scale farm forest harvesting demonstration area. - The production/distribution of both a videotape and brochure, and workshops that discuss and illustrate small-scale logging costs, benefits, and safety in the context of overall farm forest management and sustainability. This project addresses the outcome statement of Northeast SARE by (a) helping farmers to diversify their businesses through sustainable farm forest management by using logging methods already available to most farmers in the northeastern US; and (b) researching, demonstrating, and conveying information related to the economic and forest-level effects of these practices.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.