Woods, Water, & Wildlife

Help Protect Sears Island!


Chapter goals forthcoming

Past Reports/ In the News:

June 2020- Monetizing Carbon Offsets for Small Woodlands by Denny Gallaudet from Maine Woodlands

March 30, 2020- Managing a Maine Woodland to Maximize Carbon Sequestration, by Denny Gallaudet

January 31, 2020- Carbon Budget for Maine from UMaine

October 30, 2019- PERC Letter to the Editor in Bangor Daily News

Testimony/Official Statements

See all Chapter submitted testimony here: https://www.sierraclub.org/maine/submitted-testimony-legislature

May 14, 2020- Feedback to Natural and Working Lands Group of Climate Council, Woods Team Chair, Denny Gallaudet

February 14, 2020- Testimony to Natural and Working Lands Group of Climate Council, Colby Laboratory for Economic Studies

January 3, 2020- Testimony to Natural and Working Lands Group of Climate Council, by Peter Hagerty.


What are the Maine Woods?

Maine contains approximately 17.6 million acres of forestland covering 89% of its land area (USDA Report). These forests are critical to biodiversity, wiater quality, and our economy. The Maine Woods contain thousands of miles of clear-running rivers and streams, provide habitat for endangered and sensitive wildlife, and include some of New England’s last old growth forests.

Protect the Maine Woods

The Sierra Club has made the protection of the Maine Woods, the largest expanse of contiguous northern forest east of the Mississippi River, one of its highest national conservation priorities.  The Sierra Club seeks to protect Maine's wilderness heritage through efforts to link existing public lands and unprotected areas, create new opportunities for wilderness recreation, and allow forests to return to a mature and natural state. 

Maine is a state with a rich natural and cultural heritage based on wilderness and a connection to the environment.  Millions of acres of forestland have been changing ownership over the past decade resulting in a striking conversion of timber based industry to real estate investment.  There are many development proposals for the Maine Woods, and it is vital that we work towards a long term vision for permanent protection of Maine's forests.

Resilient Habitats

Resilient Habitats is one of six priority goals nationally for Sierra Club under the Climate Recovery Partnership. Many species are already facing increased pressure due to climate change, and many more will be threatened as the world warms. If we want the world's wildlife and native plants to survive in a changing climate, we must help them adapt by protecting critical habitat and creating corridors that will allow for migration as climate changes and temperatures rise.

The Sierra Club has made the protection of Maine's North Woods one of its highest conservation priorities under the Resilient Habitats program. The Maine Woods have been called "grand central station" for wildlife movement in the Northeast. This unbroken stretch of forest is already home to threatened and endangered species such as the Canada Lynx. Maine's forests will become even more critical to many species as they struggle to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

We can help the Northeast's wildlife and plants to adapt by protecting a large core of resilient habitat in the Maine Woods. The Maine chapter is working with chapters across the Northeast and Canada to plan an interconnected network of large protected areas and corridors to allow species to migrate and survive climate change.

© Larry Allan, courtesy Sierra Club Library

Special Places

The 100 Mile Wilderness

The 100 Mile wilderness is the longest stretch of uninterrupted wilderness on the entire Appalachian Trail (AT) - stretching 100 miles from Baxter State Park to the town of Monson, Maine.

The spectacular 100 Mile Wilderness of the Maine woods represents the longest stretch of uninterrupted wilderness along the entire Appalachian Trail.  Located in northern Maine, the 100 Mile Wilderness is at the heart of the 10 million acre Maine Woods - the largest contiguous forest land east of the Mississippi.  This narrow, protected

corridor is rich in Maine's wilderness heritage providing opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing, remote fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.  Spectacular natural wonders such as Gulf Hagas, the Cloud Forest and the Debsconeags Lakes offer unparalleled vistas, wild forests and waterways.  The area also hosts several 100-plus year-old traditional wilderness sporting camps where sportsmen fly fish for Maine brook trout and watch for loons, bald eagles, moose, bear, lynx and pine marten.

But despite its name, this ecologically rich area is by no means a preserved wilderness.  The vast majority of the 100 Mile Wilderness is privately owned by paper companies who have already scarred the forest with clearcuts and road building - in some places as close as 100 feet from the Appalachian Trail.

Sierra Club has made the protection of the 100 Mile Wilderness and the Moosehead Lake region a top priority.  If true wilderness protection isn't soon secured for the 100 Mile Wilderness it may be lost forever. The Maine chapter of the Sierra Club is actively working with sportsmen, public officials, and local residents to acquire key land parcels and protect a vital stretch of the Appalachian Trail and Maine's wilderness heritage for future generations.

Photo by Leanne Krudner