Baxter State Park, ME

Forest Statement
by Carol Redelsheimer

The lands comprising the Scientific Forest Management Area became part of Baxter State Park  in 1955 with a dual mission for scientific forestry and recreation.   The stated goals of the Scientific Forest Management Area are:  “….to manage the SFMA in compliance with Percival Baxter’s Deeds of Trust for the area. We hope that by the implementation of sensitive, scientifically sound intervention we can develop a forest which will produce high value forest products growing within a healthy and diverse forest landscape.”  Revenue from operations in the SFMA are used “… for the care, management and protection of Baxter State Park.”

Prior to acquisition by Percival Baxter in 1955, the land which is now the SFMA was subject to a varied harvest and burn history.  Following purchase, however, it was 1978 before the Park hired its first forester to develop a plan for the as yet unmanaged and roadless area.  Following adoption of the plan in early 1981 – and in the wake of a severe spruce budworm outbreak – road construction and harvesting began in 1982.  From 1983 – 1986, operations were conducted under the auspices of the Maine Forest Service.  In 1987 the Park hired another forester.  Since then management has employed a variety of thinning methods and regeneration systems to improve timber productivity and create a variety of habitat types.  All management activities are designed to maintain ecological diversity across the forest.

Forest Statistics and Documentation

  • Acreage: Forest Management Area 29,537 (Park total acres 209,501)
  • Forest Types: Acadian Forests
  • Model Forest Manager: Rick Morrill
  • Primary Uses: timber management, fishing, hunting, backcountry hiking
  • Partnerships: University of Maine
  • Certifications:Forest Stewardship Council – SGS-FM/COC-2513

Downloads of documents and maps: