Talk – Crossing boundaries to better understand forest sustainability
November 26 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm| Free
Crossing boundaries to better understand forest sustainability and the influence of forest certification
Erin Simons-Legaard, Research Assistant Professor, School of Forest Resources, UMaine
Multiple, often conflicting forest values are maintained only when management actions are integrated over large areas. To-date, two key mechanisms have been utilized as safeguards for forest sustainability in Maine: regulations (such as Maine’s Forest Practices Act) and certification through programs such as those sponsored by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the Forest Stewardship Council. Maine is considered a leader in the use of certification as a strategy for ensuring forest resource sustainability. Concerns have, however, recently emerged in Maine and elsewhere about if certification can ensure that commercial forestlands meet basic measures of sustainable wood supply (i.e., growth > harvest). Through innovative use of geospatial data, we filled an identified knowledge gap about forest conditions under the current system of regulations and certification, and through engagement with key stakeholders responsible for ensuring forest sustainability in Maine, we identified challenges to cross-boundary management and conservation planning.
Dr. Erin Simons-Legaard is currently Research Assistant Professor of Forest Landscape Modeling in the School of Forest Resources. Erin joined SFR after completing her Ph.D. in UMaine’s Department of Wildlife Ecology in 2009. Erin’s research focuses on ecological forecasting to understand the cumulative effects of land use and landscape change in resource sustainability and wildlife habitat ecology.