Penobscot Valley Senior College
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The Wildlands: Habitats from the North Gate, Orland, ME (Outdoor Course - Limit 20)
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The Wildlands: Habitats from the North Gate, Orland, ME
Exploring specific habitats with specialists and stewards, who have expertise and individual
affinities with their areas in the Wildlands, is a course that is an appetizer for more learning. Held outdoors and concentrated within the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, there will be tailgate presentations, short walks, and targeted examinations of habitat locations. Several of the six sessions will be an expansion of the details of the beautiful interpretive trail signs on the Valley Road.
Broadly described, the six Wednesday sessions (1:30PM-3:30PM) include:
Session 1- Sept. 28: The Orland/Wildlands Landscape (Watershed, Geology, Habitats) through Maps
Session 2 - Oct. 5: Trees and Ferns of the Wildlands
Session 3 - Oct. 12: The Miniature World of Mosses and Lichens
Session 4 - Oct. 19: Softwood, Mixed Wood, and Hardwood Habitats: How They Compare and Hold Up Under Climate Change
Sessions 5 and 6 - Oct. 29, Nov. 2: Tending the Northern Forest: The Importance of Silviculture for Sustainability and Stability
State Covid guidelines for outdoor gatherings will be followed carefully, with distancing and
masking especially when in circle meetings/presentations. Proof of vaccination is required at the first class per PVSC guidelines. There will be rain dates, but the hope is for crispy Fall air, cleansing breezes, and enlightening experiences. Wear walking shoes, possibly light rainwear, and be prepared to walk an easy one to two miles.
Directions: Meet at the North Gate of the Wildlands (GPMCT) on Bald Mountain Road
in North Orland. The North Gate is just 0.2 miles west of Wincumpaugh Rd. or 2.8 miles from the Mast Hill Rd. Watch for the Wildlands sign. Refer to the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer. p. 23.
Plug this “plus” address into your GPS: J9H2+RQ Orland, Maine.
Exact location: 44°37'46.4"N 68°38'52.8"W
Week by Week Schedule and Presenters:
Session 1, Sept. 28: The Wildlands Through Maps
Our adventures in the Wildlands begin by looking at Orland’s landscape as shown on different types of maps, each with its own story to tell. Beginning with a tailgate presentation, we’ll see details of Orland’s geological history on surficial and bedrock geology maps. Putting these together with topographical, watershed, and habitat maps, we’ll see the bigger picture of landscape patterns in Orland and environs, along with intriguing details inviting exploration. Then, shifting from bird’s- eye to profile view and back, we’ll go on a brief tour along the Valley Road, visiting several landscape features depicted on the various maps.
Presenter: Jane Crosen. A longtime member of GPMCT, Jane Crosen helped lay out hiking trailswith the Paths and Stewardship committees. As Jane Crosen, Mapmaker she has created hand-drawn maps showing the Wildlands and Orland, along with many other coastal and lake regions throughout Maine.
Session 2, Oct. 5: Trees and Ferns of the Wildlands
In this session, we will learn about the variety of tree and fern species in the
Wildlands, along the Valley Road and in a large meadow. These two habitats demonstrate the evolving landscape of the Wildlands from a cut over landscape to a forest managed for future generations, prioritizing wildlife habitat over income.
Presenters: Nick and Alice Noyes
Nick and Alice are both recent graduates of the Maine Master Naturalist Program and, partnering with others, have developed a series of interpretive nature signs along the Valley Road of the GPMCT Wildlands, and at Taft Point in Gouldsboro.
Session 3, Oct. 12: Mosses and Lichens
Explore the magical miniature world of mosses and lichens and learn how these pioneer species were among the first living things on earth. Our coastal climate and rocky conifer forests provide a lush environment for observing mosses and lichens. On this easy one-mile walk, we’ll find several species, discuss their growth and reproductive habits, and how to identify them based on their structure and habitat.
Presenters: Nick and Alice Noyes (see Session 2 for their background.)
Session 4, Oct. 19: Softwood, Mixedwood, and Hardwood Habitats: How do they compare? How do they hold up under climate change?
We will explore and compare softwood, mixedwood and hardwood forests in GPMCT’s new acquisition, Dead River West. A ¾ mile trail to the water will be our classroom. Topics to be covered will include species diversity, adaptations, the importance of soil ecosystems, forest management, how forests change over time, and how climate change may affect forests.
Forest Trees of Maine. Pub. 2008 by the Maine Forest Service. This ringbound 6” x 9” book has 78 species, with colored photos, range maps and descriptions, all printed on glossy water-resistant paper. Order directly from the Maine Forest Service for $15 at this link:
Bookstacks in Bucksport also carries this book.
Presenter: Carol Bennati
Carol is a retired environmental science teacher who taught at George StevensAcademy. She is a founding member and current board member of Great Pond Mountain
Conservation Trust. She serves on the Conservation Advisory and Stewardship committees and is a regular volunteer in the Wildlands.
Sessions 5 and 6, Oct. 29, Nov. 2: Tending the Northern Forest: Why silviculture is important for sustainability and stability.
These sessions cover both the “big picture” (Session 5) and “tree-level” (Session 6) approaches to the management of the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust’s nearly 5,000 acres of heavily cut-over woodland. Culminating in the demonstration and application of practices designed to allow the forest to meet biological and ownership goals, these sessions will acquaint the participants with multiple aspects of forest management leading to a better understanding of practical principles that can be applied on one’s own “woodland” from backyards to hundreds of acres.
Presenter: Roger Greene
Roger has been a consulting forester for over 50 years, and is a specialist in forest mensuration and biometrics, silviculture, remote sensing, and forest planning. He is the
author of 23 scientific publications and one book, In the Company of Trees: The Empirical
Forest, 2021. He currently manages the nearly 5,000 acres of The Wildlands - Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust.