Maine’s Forests Reduce Carbon Pollution
Most of us can point to tangible ways in which our environment has changed from the “normal” of 20, 30, or 40 years ago. Later winters. Earlier springs. “Historic”-level rain events that seem to happen annually. These changes impact our health, lifestyles, businesses, and communities. More than 70% of Mainers agree that climate change is a serious problem.
The news about carbon pollution can be frustrating and confusing. But, there is good news: Maine is the most forested state in the nation. Current research shows that at least half of the carbon dioxide that Maine cars, homes, and businesses add to the atmosphere, each year, is offset by carbon stored by our forests.
Conserving working forests is an effective, common-sense solution to reducing carbon pollution, while also supporting one of Maine’s most iconic and traditional industries. Permanent conservation easements protect forests, while allowing them to grow wood and store carbon.
In the last 25 years, huge gains have been made in forestland conservation in Maine. According to a recent report, 20% of the state’s land area has been conserved. Yet, for the first time in a century, Maine’s forests are shrinking. More than 8,000 acres of Maine forestlands are lost, in an average year, to non-forest conversion.
The Forest Society of Maine is ready to help. Working with private landowners and other partners, FSM has helped to conserve more than one million acres of Maine forests, and we have exciting opportunities for more forest conservation, on the horizon.
Maine’s forests are already a solution to carbon pollution. Let’s keep it that way.
The first step in mitigating global climate change is keeping forests as forests.” – Paul Catanzaro, Associate Professor and State Extension Forester, UMass Amherst
Learn More about Forests & Carbon in Maine & New England
Maine Climate Council
Maine’s Climate Leadership (United States Climate Alliance, 2019 State Factsheets)
Forest Carbon: An essential natural solution to climate change (Paul Catanzaro and Anthony D’Amato. ©University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2019)
Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, Forest Climate Change Initiative, University of Maine
Climate Change Response Network: Carbon Forest Management