By FSM Executive Director Karin Tilberg
Upon taking office in 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills determined that the issue of carbon pollution, and its impacts on Maine’s environment and people, would be one of her administration’s top priorities. Through legislation, the Maine Climate Council was created to develop plans and strategies to reduce Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate damage to Maine’s infrastructure and economy, create and sustain jobs, and more.
In my capacity as executive director for the Forest Society of Maine, I was appointed to a subcommittee of the Council called the Natural and Working Lands Working Group. This group consists of many voices and perspectives including farmers, forestland owners, scientists, and others. I’ve been honored to sit around the table with these people and learn from their expertise and experiences.
FSM, and others, in this group have highlighted an important fact: Maine’s forests are already working hard to address the problem of carbon pollution—naturally. Current research shows that at least half of Maine’s annual carbon emissions are offset by carbon stored by Maine’s forests. Even harvested timber can store carbon in long-lived wood products such as furniture, certain kinds of building materials, and musical instruments.
FSM’s mission is to conserve Maine’s forestlands for their ecological, economic, recreational, and cultural values. By helping landowners to maintain forests as forests, primarily through permanent conservation easements, FSM’s work also helps to ensure that forests will continue to store carbon, while also providing our state economy with useful products and good-paying jobs.
Maine’s forests are a key part of the solution to carbon pollution, and FSM’s work helps keep it that way.
Want to do your part to conserve forests and reduce carbon pollution in Maine? Here are three ways you can make a difference, today: