Sustainable Forest Lands


Maine's growth-to-harvest ratio has increased for the past two years

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: A net growth-to-removal ratio of approximately 1:1 will be maintained over time.

Overview Fig. A


The sustainable management of Maine’s forests is measured by the growth to harvest ratio. A net growth value above one means growth exceeds harvest, and a value below one means harvest exceeds growth. Forests cover nearly 90% of Maine’s land area. Private landowners manage 94% of forested acreage, with much of it accessible to the public. Forests provide habitat for wildlife, help protect air and water quality, offer recreational opportunities, and supply raw materials for products ranging from paper to alternative fuels. Sustainable forestry supports Maine’s economy, environment, and quality of life.

Since 2010, Maine has seen slightly more growth than harvesting. In 2021, the growth-to-harvest ratio rose 8% to 1.43. This is within range of the sustainability goal, but harvesting is necessary to maintain the health of Maine’s forests.

Fig. A

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Timberland Growth-to-Removal Ratio

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry