7,141 Jobs — 257,218 Acres — $220 Million Invested
Since 2005, the Center’s programs have:
- Benefited businesses that provide 7,141 jobs by providing skills training and financial support.
- Helped conserve 257,218 acres of forestland for community benefit.
- Helped to secure and leverage more than $220 million for projects that benefit the region’s communities, the economy and forest stewardship.
The Center's programs deliver results on three levels:
- 30,000 Feet: We provide leadership and regional strategy for the 4-state Northern Forest.
- 10,000 Feet: We coordinate programs and partners to increase resources and deliver maximum local impact.
- On the Ground: We help communities benefit from their forest resources and conserve them for the future.
How We Work
- Locally: We help forest-based businesses and communities create jobs and retain wealth locally.
- Collaboratively: We support collaborative networks and engage in a wide-range of state and regional forums to build the region’s capacity and deliver programs.
- Regionally: We share knowledge and opportunities gleaned through engagement across multiple programs in 4 states to benefit the region as a whole.
We have helped build regional capacity by coordinating federal public policy strategy, building collaborative networks and securing millions of dollars of investment for the region. We leveraged those investments by partnering with other organizations and directly funding locally grounded projects that deliver tangible benefits to people and communities. The Center’s accomplishments include:
"One of the things about the Center that is very compelling to me is that it is on the cutting edge of collaborative conservation techniques that have great promise for the future."
Center programs at work
- Created the Forest Future Economy Initiative with the US Economic Development Administration and the US Endowment for Forestry & Communities to invest $2.6 million in the region’s forest economy, seeking to diversify markets for wood and wood products from the Northern Forest region.
- Partnered with the Aspen Institute and U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to advance innovative rural development approaches in public policies.
- Advocated for increased funding for the Northern Forest, securing $3 million through the Economic Development Administration and $3 million through the Northern Border Regional Commission to support regional forest economy projects.
- Delivered a new strategic plan to guide grant-making by the Northern Border Regional Commission, which invested $10 million in the region in 2017.
- Generated investment of $30+ million in forest conservation, community development and new sustainable economic uses of the forest through the Northern Forest Investment Initiative (2009-2014).
- Led the Sustainable Economy Initiative to create the first economic strategy for the region, earning gubernatorial endorsement and congressional backing.
- Provided thousands of leaders with news of regional challenges and opportunities through the Northern Forest News Digest. Sign up today to get it for free!
- Raised $3.8 million in impact investment for downtown property redevelopment that complements our broader programming that helps communities attract and retain young people and foster resilient rural communities.
- Invested $1 million in the Millinocket Housing Initiative, purchasing and renovating 6 homes into quality rental apartments.
- Began redevelopment of an historic, 11,000-square-foot building on Main Street in Lancaster to create quality rental apartments and first-floor retail space, contributing to community revitalization.
- Generated $520,000 investment in tourism businesses through grants and leveraged support.
- Created the Community Destination Academy with Maine Office of Tourism and originated the program in Greenville, Rangeley and Bethel, Maine.
- Helped support 1,168 businesses with training through Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative workshops on customer service, and management, serving more than 2,250 people.
- Earned nearly $2 million in media promotion for tourism businesses and the region.
- Led regional marketing efforts, including coordinating the Bike Borderlands, and a cooperative marketing effort in the Northeast Kingdom.
Automated Wood Heat
- Installed 167 high-efficiency wood pellet boilers through our Model Neighborhood Wood Heating Initiatives in 4 states.
- Assisted 24 communities with wood heat conversion projects.
- Reduced greenhouse gas by 6,584 tons compared to using fossil fuels.
- Generated $5.7 million in economic impact through automated wood heat.
Wood Products Innovation
- Assisted 123 wood products manufacturers with technical and financial support for innovations and training to strengthen their businesses, help secure the thousands of jobs they provide, and create future employment opportunities.
- Spurred $2.6 million investment in innovation in wood products businesses.
- Created the Northern Forest Board Forum, a peer-learning opportunity, to assist CEOs and other wood products manufacturing leaders with a wide range of organizational and business issues.
- Helped communities establish 10 new Community Forests while advancing several other projects;
- Conserved 257,218 acres of forestland to generate community benefits.
- Helped generate more than $2 million net revenue for towns through sustainable harvesting.
Tax Credit Financing
- Facilitated 7 New Markets Tax Credit financings to advance conservation, community, and economic goals, conserving 315,000 acres of forestland and funding major redevelopment projects.
- Facilitated financing for major investment in Piscataquis County that enabled the AMC to rebuild Medawisla Lodge & Cabins, build new trails, improve local fisheries and more.
- Launched the Tourism Investment Program as an outcome of the Piscataquis County investment.
- Provided critical support to the Millinocket Memorial Library renovation project by facilitating $550,000 in funding through New Market Tax Credits for the project.
- Showcased the region’s history and culture to 130,000 people through the traveling Ways of the Woods museum.
- Published At Home in the Northern Forest: Reflections on a Region’s Identity to explore people’s sense of place in the Northern Forest.