- Laustsen, Kenneth
Department of Conservation Maine Forest Service Forest Health & Monitoring Division
- Griffith, Douglas
U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Inventory & Analysis Unit Northeastern Research Station
The 2002 inventory report continues to reinforce an improved inventory situation from that of just six years ago. That significant improvement provides additional flexibility and time to address how we utilize existing mature forest resources, while anticipating a major flush of In growth: young, vigorous, and newly merchantable trees, within the next 10 years. The flush of young trees that will come into measurement size soon (5-10 years) is particularly evident int he eastern and northern regions, where some preliminary analysis suggests that the balsam fir ingrowth component exceeds its accretion estimate.
Timberland acreage is also stable; land use conversions in southern Maine are more than offset by agricultural reversions to forestland across the remainder of the state. Inventory remains relatively stable, declining just 1% over the last three years. While the Maine Forest Service expects this small rate of decline to continue for the next five years, we also expect an increase in inventory in five to 10 years due to the ingrowth of young, vigorous trees into measurable size classes.