UNITY — Morten Moesswilde, district forester for the Maine Forest Service, will speak about forest stewardship, management and restoration at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust office, 93 Main St.

Central and mid-coast Maine have a long history of logging and lumbering. Many people today are interested in continuing to derive economic value from their trees — firewood, building materials, etc. — while restoring the forest’s ecological, recreational, and spiritual qualities. Stewardship involves the notion of enhancing and passing those benefits on to future generations. Morten will discuss basic principles of “silviculture” and practical applications for small woodland owners, according to a news release from Sebasticook Regional Land Trust .

The talk is part of the SRLT’s monthly speaker series, “Restoring Connections to Place,” regarding a wide variety of conservation topics of interest to Maine. The programs are free and open to the public at 6:30 p.m., the second Wednesday of every month.

Other speakers in the monthly “Restoring Connections to Place” speaker series:

• Jennifer Irving, Executive Director of Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, will speak Wednesday, Jan. 11, on recent progress and upcoming plans for the Alewife Restoration Initiative. A collaborative of local, state and federal partners, ARI seeks to reconnect China Lake to the ocean, providing free passage for adult river herring and other native migratory fish.

• “Rewilding: Transcending the Human/Nature Divide.” Susie O’Keeffe of Montville will speak Feb. 8 about the rewilding movement, or the restoration of self-regulating land communities. Her talk will briefly introduce six areas of ecological research — extinction dynamics, island biogeography, metapopulation theory, natural disturbance ecology, top-down regulation by large carnivores, and landscape-scale ecological restoration. The presentation will then focus on how history, culture and language shape our experience of wilderness and wildness. Susie is a Research Associate at the College of the Atlantic.

• “Maine in Cold Blood.” Ever held a fascination for the scaly and slimy residents that call our forests, pastures and backyards home? Dr. Matthew Chatfield will lead us in an evening of fun on March 8 as we explore Maine’s beautiful and reclusive reptiles and amphibians, incorporating museum specimens and colorful slides. Chatfield teaches ecology and conservation biology at Unity College and has a special interest in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians.

• The 47-mile Hills-to-Sea Trail is nearly complete with an expected opening of this spring. Join Buck O’Herin and Tom Mullin of the Waldo County Trails Coalition April 12 to learn about this new footpath from Unity to Belfast. The western section from Unity to Frye Mountain in Montville has been open since June 2016, and the eastern side is just miles away from completion. Learn how you can help make it a reality for all.

• Ecologist Aleta McKeage of Belfast will present on invasive plants on May 10, one of the primary threats to environmental health that we face today. Invasive plants take over natural areas, crowding out native species and changing wildlife habitats. Participants can learn which plants present the worst problems in our area, how to identify them, what they do to the ecosystem, and most importantly, how we can control them. Participants can observe striking examples of invasive plant infestations as well as successful control management that is being employed to combat invasive plants locally. McKeage specializes in land stewardship and restoration integrated with outreach and community building. She is an expert in invasive plant biology and control and restoration of native plant communities in natural areas as well as human-influenced landscapes.

• “Lessons from Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center: A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine.” Laura Suomi-Lecker, education and outreach coordinator, will discuss common reasons why birds are admitted to Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom and what citizens can do to help our local birds on June 14. The group will discuss the facilities and recent cases at Avian Haven. 2016 admissions include orphaned and injured eagles, owls, hawks, water birds, including gannets, loons, guillemots, petrels and ducks, and many species of songbirds. Laura Suomi-Lecker is the education and outreach coordinator and long-time volunteer with Avian Haven and also the Technical Director at Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District, where she does a variety of bird-related education and outreach.

These monthly events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Susan Shell at [email protected] or 948-3766.

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