A Walk in Wicopy Woods
By: Logan Johnson
On August 25th, 2018, a group of 35 foresters, biologists, and other natural resource professionals convened at the Wicopy Woods Tree Farm and Forest Stewards Guild Model Forest in Sebec for a tour to marvel at 50 years of Ecological Forestry. Owned by Drs. Bob Seymour (Professor Emeritus) and Jessica Leahy (Professor) of the University of Maine’s School of Forest Resources, Wicopy Woods is an exemplary 130-acre woodlot that promotes the growth of merchantable timber products, and embraces forest ecology as a whole.
Seymour and Leahy, a husband and wife duo, purchased the property from Ron Locke in 2015. Locke, a forester himself, purchased the property in 1968 as a “run-down farm and woodlot” and then began taking detailed notes compiling seven journal volumes worth of data and details. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Locke’s purchase. Over Locke’s tenure as owner, Wicopy Woods became one of the Forest Steward Guild’s first Model Forest and was named the 1984 Maine Outstanding Tree Farm. Locke, who was in attendance said “I am so pleased to be alive to see the continuity of [this property].”
The walking tour featured discussions from Seymour, Leahy, and fellow University of Maine Assistant Professor Amber Roth. Roth has conducted two bird surveys on the property. Her first survey was in the early summer of 2017 to recreate a survey conducted 20 years prior. She was back in the field the following summer of 2018 to survey the property following the lot’s 2017 fall harvest.
Stepping foot in Wicopy Woods, it is immediately apparent the amount of time and care put into the property, not just in preparation for this most recent harvest, but for the forty-nine years leading up to it.