Forestry Technical Assistance
The Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP) provides a variety of services to forest industry, consulting foresters, and forest landowners. These services include property reviews using in-house data, field surveys for rare plants and exemplary natural communities, ecological training, landscape analysis, and management plan review. An increasing component of this work is driven by forest certification. MNAP works closely with staff of the Maine Forest Service.
MNAP conducts a review of its database on rare plants, exemplary natural communities and information from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. MNAP may also use air photos and Geographic Information System (GIS) information to determine the likely presence or absence of such features. While MNAP's database does not comprehensively cover every acre of Maine, we do have over 3,000 records of rare plants and 1,000 records of exemplary natural communities.
If a landowner is interested and the site qualifies ecologically, MNAP staff may visit the site and conduct a field survey using standard Heritage Methodology. Field surveys are best conducted during the growing season (mid May to mid October), with June through August being optimal.
MNAP uses GIS and remote-based information to identify areas likely to support exemplary natural communities or rare plant habitats. This technique is most effective when landowner information (e.g., air photos, stand type maps, on the ground knowledge) is incorporated into the process.
Management Plan Review:
MNAP staff can review forest management plans to determine if sensitive habitats are appropriately identified and managed.