The 2017 summer harvest included several area near Farm Cove Mountain and Fourth Lake Road, with objectives of restoring understory northern hardwoods, such as maple, beech, and birch for food and habitat benefits.
A smaller harvest area along Farm Cove Mountain Road removed overstory eastern white pine to improve regeneration of pine, spruce, and fir. This dense regeneration is intended to provide cover for snowshoe hare and bobcat. Along “Coca Cola Highway,” north of the Amazon Road in Grand Lake Stream Plt., 3-10 acre early successional patches were created for the benefit of ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and other species associated with young forests. The Ruffed Grouse Society provided technical support for the project, which is part of a multi-year management plan that will see future entries in 10-15 years.
Other recent activities in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest include fall grading on the following roads:
A new concrete-decked bridge was installed on the Fourth Lake Road at Scott Brook, about 2 miles west of Grand Lake Stream. Cost-share funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the bridge provides a natural, open bottom for aquatic organism passage and is designed to sustain a 100-year flood event. Although the site is frequently dry in late summer, heavy rains in the fall and melting snows in the spring have frequently flooded Fourth Lake Road at this location in past years. This is the second open-bottomed structure installed on Scott Brook, a cold water stream that provides spawning habitat for fish species.
DLLT hosted a crew from the Maine Conservation Corps in summer 2017. The crew completed several projects on the DLCF including a 1.6 mile extension of the Tower Hill Trail and the new Trail to Tomorrow, a 0.6-mile loop at the end of Tough End in Grand Lake Stream.
The 2018 winter harvest includes several different areas. Along Little Mayberry Cove Road, an 80 acre area will be selectively harvested to improve deer wintering areas. Eastern white pine will be removed to promote regeneration of the target species of hemlock, spruce, cedar, and fir, as they are more desirable species for deer winter cover.
The harvest block to the south of Milford Road, near Grand Lake Stream, is intended to provide a valuable winter food source for deer. Deciduous trees (primarily aspen) will be removed and the branches will be left in the woods for winter browse. Red oak will not be harvested in order to allow improved regeneration of younger trees that will provide hard mast to deer during the fall months. This harvest is part of an ongoing, annual partnership with the town of Grand Lake Stream to benefit wildlife in close proximity to the village. This harvest will be conducted using a hand crew and cable skidders to minimize environmental impact.
Along ATV trail #507 (Amazon Trail) north of Milford Road, individual patches of 3-7 acres in size will be harvested to create ruffed grouse and woodcock habitat. Multiple age classes of early successional hardwoods (aspen and paper birch) are favorable for grouse and woodcock throughout their life cycle. This area is part of a multi-year plan, with scheduled harvests every ten years. This is one of five early successional patches in the community forest, and was planned with guidance from the Ruffed Grouse Society, and with funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).