Penobscot Experimental Forest

Unlike most Forest Service experimental forests, the PEF is not federally owned. The land was purchased by nine industrial and land-holding companies and leased to the Forest Service for research. In 1994 the landowners donated the property to the University of Maine Foundation. Today the Forest Service continues its work on the PEF through a memorandum of understanding with the University. Current work by the Forest Service on the PEF reflects a long-term agency commitment to research that supports sustainable management of northern conifer, or eastern spruce-fir, forests.

The links below provide more information about the Penobscot Experimental Forest and the Forest Service’s Penobscot Experimental Fores sitet:


More about PEF…

U.S. Forest Service site for Penobscot Exp. Forest…

Smart Forests Technology at the Penobscot Experimental Forest

pefThe 3,855-acre Penobscot Experimental Forest is located in the towns of Bradley and Eddington in east-central Maine. It is the site of long-term U.S. Forest Service research on silviculture of northern conifers (spruce-fir-hemlock) and mixedwoods (softwood-hardwood mixtures). Since the 1950s, researchers have been studying even- and uneven-aged silviculture and exploitative cutting, with a focus on the shelterwood and selection systems, exploitative harvesting, and rehabilitation. The Penobscot Experimental Forest, which is owned by the University of Maine Foundation, also serves as the location of long-term University research on commercial thinning and ecological forestry and a number of short-term ecology and silviculture studies by students and collaborators. The portions of the forest not used for research are managed by the University Forests Office for income generation and demonstration.

Smart forest technology is located in a mixedwood stand near the U.S. Forest Service office at the Penobscot Experimental Forest and includes a weather station, a webcam and two soil profiles. Meteorological data are collected every 5 minutes at the weather station. Measured variables include air temperature and pressure, dew point, relative humidity, wind speed, chill and direction as well as precipitation type and intensity. The weather station is also equipped with a webcam to document seasonal canopy phenology. Soil climate data are collected hourly at two sites near the weather station. Soil measurements include volumetric water content and soil temperature at 3 depths, 10 cm, 20 cm and 30 cm below the surface.

Real-Time Data from Penobscot...

Report: Penobscot Experimental Forest: 60 Years of Research and Demonstration in Maine 1950-2010 (.pdf)