Deforestation is a serious problem in many parts of the world. Recently, deforestation is being reversed in some areas, a process called the "forest transition." This article describes the historic changes occurring in Maine's forests, and discusses the implications of those changes. Large scale deforestation occurred as land was cleared for agriculture in the southern and central parts of the state; the forests in the north were heavily harvested by industry. Recently, a turnaround of sorts has occurred in the condition of the forests, and the latest [2005] forest inventory is quite optimistic. However, it is difficult to argue that a forest transition has occurred because improvements made by some forest landowners are counterbalanced by declines in forest conditions due to the activities of other landowners. As a result, the amount of forested land is likely to fall again as the acreage of agricultural land reverting to forest is overwhelmed by a larger amount of land being converted to housing and development. Moreover, forest quality is poor with almost 79 percent of Maine's forest land in saplings or pole timber. In comparative perspective, the factors that are linked to deforestation and reforestation in Maine are quite different from those identified in the literature on the forest transition.

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