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About CFRU

About CFRU

view of canopyThe CFRU Cooperators consist of Maine forest landowners and other organizations that support the mission and objectives of the CFRU. The CFRU's research is driven by a suite of priorities, as determined by an Advisory Committee, and is funded by a voluntary dues structure. A Research Team consisting of a Director, support staff, scientists, and technical support personnel are responsible for achieving the objectives of the CFRU through approved research projects. Scientists may be Cooperating Scientists who work to meet the overall CFRU mission and objectives, or they may be Project Scientists who work exclusively on specific approved research projects.

Every five years the goals, objectives, and operating procedures of the CFRU are reevaluated and formed into a Program Prospectus that is used by the Advisory Committee, Director, staff, and scientists as a reference and guide for the next five years.


CTRN Field WorkThe CFRU conducts research that focuses primarily on developing applied information that can be used by CFRU Cooperators to improve forestland management. Current objectives included providing better growth & yield models for the full range of Maine forest types, improving strategies for commercial thinning, increasing information about the influence of forest management practices on water quality, and improving our understanding about the effects of forestry practices on wildlife, biodiversity, and landscapes. The CFRU is always open to new research ideas and proposals that have important implications for forest management in Maine.

Because improved forest management often stems from an enhanced fundamental understanding of forest ecosystems, basic research efforts that are closely aligned with applied research objectives are also encouraged. Findings from CFRU projects are promptly disseminated to Cooperators, and completed research is submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Finally, as success of the CFRU relies heavily on the collaboration between Cooperating Scientists and Cooperators, vigorous cooperation is expected from each Cooperator, including direct participation and in-kind contributions for Approved Research Projects.


Created in the middle of the spruce budworm crisis of the mid-1970’s, the CFRU was one of the first collaborative efforts of its kind in its determination to combine the resources of forest landowners and forest researchers in the name of finding effective, science-based solutions to ongoing issues and controversies. At its inception, there was a clear recognition among both forest landowners and forest researchers that there was a need for a more concentrated program of study that combined silviculture research (with the goal of increasing forest productivity) with research into the impact of industrial forestry on the wildlife and ecosystems of the Maine Woods.

Over the years, numerous research projects have been completed including work on the spruce budworm, softwood and hardwood silviculture, soils and site classification, full-tree harvesting, nutrient cycling, vegetation management, beech bark disease, tree improvement and genetics, forest growth and yield, economics, fertilization, remote sensing, mill waste disposal, and wildlife. More than 300 publications have been produced from these research projects, as well as several educational events, including field tours, meetings, and conferences. These research results have had widespread application in the northeastern United States, eastern Canada, and other regions of the world.

See the Forests for Maine's Future 2014 feature article about the CFRU.