Ipcar Forest Management
The Georgetown Conservation Commission is responsible for managing Georgetown’s two municipal forests: the 33-acre Ipcar Natural Preserve in the Five Islands Community, and the 30-acre Round-the-Cove forest behind the Georgetown Historical Society and the transfer station on Bay Point Rd.
The Ipcar Preserve is actually two forest tracts, separated by Old Schoolhouse Rd. The tract on the east side (surrounded by Old Schoolhouse Rd.) is dominated by mature spruce of about 90-100 years old. The spruce are growing on very thin soils, characteristic of much of Georgetown, and are beginning to blow down. This presents a fire hazard to the community. Blowdown is becoming an increasing problem for coastal communities all along the Maine coast. This is because many of the coastal forests were established in pastures that were abandoned about 100 years ago. The spruce are even-aged, and now nearing the end of their natural life expectancy.
The Conservation Commission hired a forester to conduct a professional assessment of our options for both Ipcar and Round-the-Cove. The Commission is in the process of evaluating those reports and the options for management. The Commission will post a summary of the options on this web page by February, 2014. Please check back.
One option for Ipcar is to preemptively harvest the spruce before a catastrophic blowdown event occurs. This seems like a drastic measure, but from a long-term forest health perspective, it is a reasonable option. However, another option is to simply let Mother Nature take her course with Ipcar. The tract could blow down incrementally—a few trees each year, or, it could all blow down in one severe storm event. It is impossible to predict. There is no “right” answer for what to do. We just need to understand the consequences of either option.
If you have questions or comments about Ipcar forest planning, please contact Conservation Commission member John Hagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.