Education & Training Course
SFI: The Leader in Sustainable Forestry Education
SFI is truly unique in its promotion of both the goals of sustainable forestry and the education and training of forest professionals beyond the SFI participating companies. Recognizing that industry-wide change will occur only with wholesale dissemination of the best information, SFI Maine has extended its education efforts to all loggers and others interested in improving on-the-ground forest practices.
SFI: Education for Maine’s Forest Professionals
Maine’s SFI Program has helped establish criteria for logger-training programs in order to further the professionalism of loggers and to help build a foundation for a comprehensive approach to sustainable timber harvesting. Two Logger Training programs are established as meeting these criteria; The Certified Logging Professional Program established in 1991 and The Qualified Logging Professional Program established in 2001. In Maine, over 5000 loggers have undergone training for these standards.
Training Focus Areas:
- Awareness of Sustainable Forestry Principles;
- Best Management Practices including road construction and retirement, site preparation, and streamside management;
- Regeneration, forest resource conservation, and aesthetics;
- Awareness of responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act and other measures to protect and enhance wildlife habitat;
- Logging safety;
- OSHA and wage and hour rules;
- Business management;
- Public policy and outreach.
Maine SFI: Specialty Continuing Education Workshops
In addition to professional logger training, the State Implementation Committee of the SFI has conducted 70 Best Management Practices (BMP) workshops statewide over the last three years.
These workshops have reached more than 3500 loggers, landowners, and foresters.
Workshop Focus Areas
Maine’s SFI sub-committee on Education has developed two levels of training that will help protect water quality.
- Level One BMP is an introduction to harvesting techniques called Best Management Practices. This one-day seminar is intended to provide a foundation for understanding the premise behind BMPs.
- Level Two BMP builds on the foundation of the Level One program by introducing the participants to the planning of a harvest operation with specifics of how and where to apply BMPs.
- Both workshops require attendees to participate in hands-on field exercises.
Special Water Quality Project in 2004
The Maine SFI Education Committee is collaborating with the Maine Forest Service (MFS) to conduct a series of workshops to roll out the new MFS Best Management Practices Manual for Water Quality. At this point over 400 loggers, forester and landowners have attended statewide.
Given the role that aesthetics plays in the minds of the public when they assess the quality of a harvest operation, the Education Committee has also developed a workshop on harvesting aesthetics. The workshop focuses on:
- Techniques to enhance the appearance of areas directly in or around harvest operations and;
- A hands-on approach in the field that allows participants to evaluate and critique effectiveness of applied techniques and evaluate the visual concepts
Sustaining appropriate biodiversity among both plants and animals critical to maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem. Because logging activities can have a range of impacts on forest habitats, it is important for loggers, landowners and foresters to understand the fundamental principles of biodiversity and know where to get more information. The workshop focuses on:
- Biodiversity and Forest Structure
- Importance of Riparian Zones
- Snags and Cavity Trees
- Importance of Mast
- Vernal Pools
- Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species
The one-day seminar includes an afternoon field session designed to evaluate these concepts.
SFI Maine: Training for the Future
The State Implementation Committee is planning future programs to cover:
- Harvest Planning
- Landscape Aesthetics
- Marketing and Utilization of Forest Products
- Forest Measurements
For Information on Upcoming Workshops, Contact:
- Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Pat Sirois, Program Director
- 535 Civic Center Drive
- Augusta, ME 04330
- Telephone: 207-622-9288
- Fax: 207-622-3002
- Email: psirois [at] maineforest [dot] org