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Exploring New Deer Habitat Improvement Techniques

October 19, 2018

Maintaining and improving critical wildlife habitat is a central goal of Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s mission.  With more than 55,000 acres of wildlife habitat to manage, we are always searching for new methods and techniques to improve existing habitat and foster healthy regeneration in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.

This fall, DLLT will complete a small harvest that follows a “Thinning For Wildlife” model.  With cost-share funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), DLLT is focused on thinning a 25-acre stand of softwood to improve conditions for wintering deer.  This selective harvest, also referred to as pre-commercial thinning (PCT), will promote the development of a closed canopy to handle greater winter snow loads, and stimulate new growth of palatable species for white-tailed deer, such as cedar and spruce.  The location of this year’s harvest will take place south of the Farm Cove Dam Road entrance.  After this project, DLLT is planning an adjacent 25-acre harvest in 2019.

This harvest was planned and approved by DLLT’s all-volunteer Wildlife Habitat and Forest Resources committees, which are comprised of local wildlife biologists, Registered Maine Guides, foresters, and other community members.  “Thinning For Wildlife” is a model that was developed and tested by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and DLLT is benefitting from the Tribe’s experience in this program.  DLLT maintains more than 14,000 acres of special deer management areas that focus on improving habitat for one of the Downeast Lakes region’s most storied animals.

For more information on DLLT’s habitat management work, please visit our Wildlife page.