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The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

'Mud season' conditions keeping Maine loggers out of the woods

Micky Bedell
/
Bangor Daily News
Lumber in a Maine woodlot.

The warm winter weather is not just a problem for snowmobilers and skiers, it's also keeping loggers out of the woods.

Dana Doran of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine says loggers depend on frozen ground to cut wood without eroding soils, so winter is usually go time for logging contractors.

"This year is completely different, it's almost a 180, we're in the middle of what seems to be mud season conditions right now, and for the last couple of weeks. A lot of contractors, I'd say the majority of them, have had to shut down for long periods of time,"

Doran says many mill yards at both pulp and paper plants and sawmills are virtually empty, at a time of year when they should be brimming with wood. And as climate change causes milder Maine winters, Doran says January thaws seem to be getting more frequent, and longer.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.