Howland Research Forest
Howland and Edinburg, Maine
Fee Ownership; Completed Project
In November 2007, the Northeast Wilderness Trust purchased and permanently protected the 550-acre Howland Research Forest. Initially established as a research site in 1987 by the University of Maine in cooperation with International Paper, the Howland Forest has hosted scientists from around the world for studies on forest health and climate change. These scientists now have one of the longest records of carbon intake and output (flux) in the world. The Howland Forest is characterized by old-growth spruce and hemlock and provides habitat for species such as moose, black bear, bobcat, and bald eagle.
More than a decade ago, Howland scientists established three meteorological towers on the land to examine how the forest stores carbon and helps stabilize our planet. In 2004, however, Howland Forest was purchased by a timber investor as part of a larger land transaction and was scheduled to be logged. Concerned about the fate of their research, scientists from the University of Maine, Woods Hole Research Center, and the United States Forest Service contacted the Northeast Wilderness Trust to develop a solution. The Northeast Wilderness Trust, with the support of conservation partners, raised the necessary $1 million to purchase and preserve the forest in perpetuity and thereby ensure continuity for the research program there.
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