Human World

Jo Pierce’s tree farm sustained with careful, long-term thinking

Jo Pierce owns a private forest in rural Maine. He calls his land a “tree farm.” When you’re working with trees, he says, you have to think on the timescale of a tree.

Jo Pierce: When I look at managing my woods and draw up a management plan, I’m thinking of the money I can make and maximizing that over the long, long term – and by long term I mean 100 years.

Management decisions affect the whole system of the forest.

Jo Pierce: Is the pine on land I should really have oak on for efficient growing? But then, if I change it, how about the animals that are there?

According to Pierce, high land taxes and development pressures are the biggest threats to sustaining a private forest.

Jo Pierce: There’s property tax and there’s estate tax. And those are the biggest challenges to sustainable forestry that I can see. If I can’t pay the bill, or my children can’t pay the bill, it’s cut off all the trees, or sell the land and get some money to pay the tax. And then you’ve got houses where there were trees.

Pierce spoke of his family’s deep connection to the forest.

Jo Pierce: It is a business, but it’s something that’s in our hearts. It’s not just in our pocketbook.

Our thanks today to the American Forest Foundation, leading the way in conservation and education.

Our thanks to:
Jo Pierce
Baldwin, Maine

Photo Credit: Sam Blackman (Some rights reserved.)

December 15, 2008
Human World

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