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Mel and Betty Ames to be honored as Conservation District Forestry Cooperators of the Year

    ATKINSON — For over 65 years, Mel Ames has been managing “a living trust for future generations” – the forests around him. When Ames graduated from Foxcroft Academy in 1946, the forestry training he received there laid a solid foundation for him to start buying land and managing the trees through a combination of low impact forestry and other sustainable forestry practices.

lo-cooperators-dcX-po-35Photo courtesy of PCSWCD

COOPERATORS OF THE YEAR — Mel and Betty Ames will be honored as 2013 Outstanding Cooperators of the Year by the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District on Sept. 6. The annual tour will feature Mel Ames’ unique forestry practices and conclude with a picnic luncheon and award ceremony.

    The result is that decades later, each acre of the 600 he owns and manages can produce from 35–50 cords per acre, up from about 15 cords per acre when he started. According to Ames, “Here in Maine we are filled with forests and trees like Texas has oil. It is the resource, and we have great potential here!”
    To learn more about Ames’ work, join the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) annual tour and luncheon on Friday, Sept. 6 and help honor Mel and Betty Ames as the Forestry Cooperators of the Year for the legacy they have grown on their land in Atkinson. The tour of the Ames’ land and forestry practices will start at 9 a.m. and will be led by Ames, Maine Forest Service’s Piscataquis County District Forester Gordon Moore and local Forester Sam Brown. 
    The tour will include discussion of forestry best management practices, how to manage timber for wildlife habitat, and how Ames has a diversified approach to forest management based on various stand conditions. Mel will also discuss how his vision on how to manage and market the land has changed over the years, and how he has incorporated his changing vision into his “living trust” estate planning.
    A picnic luncheon will be served following the tour, starting at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will feature seasonal and local foods. Special guests, Toby Hall and Sam Brown, will provide musical entertainment. The luncheon will conclude with the presentation of the annual PCSWCD “Outstanding Cooperator of the Year” award to Mel and Betty Ames.
    The annual tour and luncheon is open to the public and pre-registration is required by Tuesday, Sept. 3 To register, please contact the PCSWCD by calling 564-2321, extension 3 or by e-mailing

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