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November 5, 2018

Woods, mill tour will focus on sustainable Maine forest use

Courtesy / Maine Woodland Owners
Courtesy / Maine Woodland Owners
Steve Chandler, of Chandler Brothers woodlands in New Gloucester, the first stop on Thursdays Maine Wood + Sustainability Tour, sponsored by Local Wood WORKS.
Courtesy / Jamie Salomon
The interior of Friends School in Cumberland, a passive house-designed building that’s the final stop on the Maine Wood + Sustainability Tour Thursday. The school used wood from a Yarmouth woodlot in much of its construction.

Designers and builders who work with wood will get a chance to learn from those who grow, harvest and mill it Thursday on the Maine Wood + Sustainability Tour, sponsored by Local Wood WORKS, a partnership of organizations focused on sustainable Maine forests.

The daylong professional workshop will visit Chandler Brothers woodlands and Maschino & Sons sawmill, both in New Gloucester; Hancock Lumber in Casco, a Yarmouth timber harvest conducted with low-impact equipment and a tour of Friends School of Portland in Cumberland, which is a passive house design using extensive wood paneling harvested from the Yarmouth site.

There will also be a lunchtime panel discussion with Theresa Kerchner, executive director of the Kennebec Land Trust; Ken Laustsen, a biometrician and expert in sustainable forestry with the Maine Forest Service; and Lloyd Irland of the Irland Group, an expert on wood markets.

Billed as "a day in the woods and mills in southern Maine," the tour's aim is to help build momentum for strengthening Maine's brand for quality in forest and wood products, according to Local Wood WORKS. Participants will include architects, engineers and builders, according to a news release from the organization, sponsoring the tour.

"Tour participants will see first hand what sustainable forestry looks like and how wood gets from stump to job site," said Lee Burnett, Local Wood WORKS director. "They'll learn about sourcing wood locally and specifying it in construction documents. And they'll visit a beautiful new school that was especially intentional about local sourcing."

Kerchner, said, "This tour is both practical and inspirational," and will provide valuable information on sustainable forestry, forest practices and Maine wood options.

Partners in Local Wood WORKS are the Kennebec Land Trust, Maine Forest Service, CEI, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, GrowSmart Maine, Nature Conservancy and Northern Forest Center.

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