Weyerhaeuser acquired approximately 1.8 million acres in Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia through a merger with Plum Creek in 2016. The region’s climate is wet and mild with deep winter snows in the northern states.
The geology of the region is dictated by glacial advances 25,000 years ago. Sheets of ice, thousands of feet thick, covered the highest mountains. Rock debris in the base of the glacier scraped the bedrock as it moved. As the glaciers retreated, depressions were left in the Earth’s crust were flooded by the sea, creating major river valleys like the Kennebec and Androscoggin in Maine.
Our forests in this region are extremely diverse, supporting temperate broadleaf hardwoods and mixed conifer species. Species include American beech, balsam fir, birch, cedar, cherry, hemlock, maple, oak, red pine, spruce and white pine. Regeneration is abundant and predominantly natural, augmented by planting where appropriate. Harvesting systems are predominantly mechanical, like cut-to-length and feller-buncher, as well as hand crews where landforms and other situations dictate.
Our environmental stewardship in the region is shaped by responsible forest management, the geography of our ownership and past land management practices. Our forest management plans address biodiversity in line with state and federal environmental laws, collaborative projects with a variety of stakeholders and practices that support the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI). All our forests in this region are SFI certified with third-party audited standards that include 15 separate management objectives.
We create a diverse stand structure while conserving special habitat features like snags (dead trees), down wood and legacy trees (large diameter live trees). This helps protect water resources and riparian areas. It also addresses federal- and state-listed or globally imperiled species and natural plant communities. We also collaborate with private conservation organizations and state and federal wildlife agencies.
Special management areas such as conservation easements in Maine (363,000 acres) and Vermont (86,000 acres) provide habitat for important game species such as white-tailed deer, moose, ruffed grouse and American woodcock. Vernal pools are a key habitat feature protected in our forests which support many species of amphibians. Our young regenerating conifer forests provide winter habitat and snowshoe hare prey for the federally threatened Canada lynx.
RESEARCH AND PARTNERSHIPS
Sustainable forest management includes ongoing study of how forestry activities affect both the economic and ecological health of the forest ecosystem. Here are a few examples of our collaboration and learnings:
- A Winter Deer Habitat Agreement with the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife to protect and manage conifer stands that shelter herds of white-tailed deer.
- Enhanced habitat for Eastern brook trout by increasing in-stream structure and development of pools by teaming with Trout Unlimited, the West Virginia Conservation Agency and the Maine Forest Service in Maine, Vermont and West Virginia.
- Created opportunity for disabled hunters by providing food plots in openings tailored to paraplegic and quadriplegic hunters.
- Partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation in Michigan and Wildlife Management Institute in Michigan to enhance areas for important game species like grouse, woodcock and many other early successional species in need of young forest habitat.
- Gaining new knowledge on bat ecology through our work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Michigan.