Connecting the Forest Industry and Academic Research


The December Northeast Region FRA Forest Forum featured presentations from the University of Maine’s Cooperative Forest Research Unit (CFRU). Founded in 1975, CFRU is among the oldest forest industry / academic research cooperatives, and FRA provides a unique opportunity for on-the ground members of the industry – loggers, foresters, mill procurement staff and others – to connect with researchers, and helps everyone make sure that that academic research stays relevant to real-world challenges.


The first presentation, by Dr. Brian Roth, addressed the Effect of Soil Disturbance on Stand Growth and Species Composition 32 Years Following Whole-Tree Harvesting. Here, the University went back to a site that experienced significant rutting during a harvest 32 years ago (take a look at the pictures in the presentation). Despite the heavy soil disturbance, researchers found no significant effect in a stand-level analysis, a crop tree analysis, or on balsam fir radial growth when measured three decades post-harvest. This doesn’t mean that loggers should feel free to create ruts, but does help demonstrate the resilience of the region’s working forest.

Dr. Anil Raj Kizha then spoke on his work with the state’s forest products truckers. Every day, roughly 2,300 loads of wood leave landings in the Maine woods, headed for mills. Dr. Kizha presented Developing Management Guidelines for the Forest Products Trucking Industry in Maine. As FRA members around the country have noted, finding skilled drivers is one of the largest challenges in forest products trucking. Of interest was data showing how problems facing wood transport have changed in the past 5 and 10 years, as well as suggested solutions to address these challenges.

The FRA Northeast Region’s monthly Forest Forum is a great opportunity for professionals to get together and discuss the issues facing the industry. If you find yourself in the Northeast on the first Thursday of the month, please join us. For look at December’s CFRU presentation, click HERE.