From the age of one, when he lived on his grandparent's tree farm, Keith Maynard has been involved in forestry activities throughout New York. Though he worked in the computer industry as a systems engineer and manager for many years, Keith took an early retirement and began an income tax preparation business. Now, Keith, an enrolled agent, and Marianne, his wife of 34 years, are partners in the business. As partners in Maynard's Tax Service, they handle all types of tax returns, including timber tax. Both Keith and Marianne are members of the Western Finger Lakes chapter of NYFOA and serve on the Board of Directors as Program Directors. Keith is also a Master Forest Owner Volunteer and often advises forest owners on tax planning strategies and issues specific to their situation.

With help from Cornell Cooperative Extension, Keith and Marianne recently organized the seminar, Ties to the Land, for their chapter of NYFOA. During the two-part pilot seminar, Dr. Shorna Broussard Allred, from Cornell, discussed the logistics of how to pass on land to future generations, including the benefits, disadvantages and tax ramifications of such transactions. As Program Director for the Western Finger Lakes chapter, Keith hopes to hold additional Ties to the Land seminars in the future.

In addition to helping to initiate a novel seminar for NYFOA members, Keith and Marianne have also hosted a well-attended NYFOA woodswalk at their Bristol, New York property. Prior to commencing a commercial thinning, the Maynards asked their forest consultant, Bill Morris, to describe why he marked certain trees for harvest as opposed to others. Morris, a long time veteran of forest consulting, who has worked with the Maynards for over 20 years, marked and managed the 2003 thinning, which resulted in over 400 trees being sold. Having conducted only one major commercial thinning since purchasing the property, the Maynards intend to initiate another thinning within the next five years and hope to host a follow-up woodswalk as well, in order to demonstrate the effects of the harvest.

Since November of 2005, after their last child graduated from high school and left to attend college, Keith and Marianne have spent the majority of their time living on the Bristol property. A 110 acre property, their Bristol home is a diverse array of mixed hardwoods and evergreens, including white and Norway spruce. While not on the scale of a commercial thinning, Keith regularly goes about the property thinning and pruning trees and brush in order to maintain the area's access roads and to obtain firewood. The Maynards heat their home with the firewood harvested from this property and their children also cut firewood for their homes. Though he does the minor thinnings without a consultant, Keith makes sure all activities are consistent with the Maynard's forest management plan. As a Certified Tree Farm since 1999, the Bristol property requires a long-term management plan, which the Maynards have drawn up in conjunction with the DEC and the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District.

In addition to the commercial thinning, the Maynards also contracted the construction of a one-acre pond on their Bristol property. Installed 20 years ago, the pond continues to function as a fire control resource and wildlife reservoir, similar to the property's existing pond. Keith weeds the ponds each year in order to keep them free of overwhelming cattails. Both ponds provide ample fishing opportunities for all those who visit and are visited regularly by many types of waterfowl, and an occasional bald eagle. The Maynards not only fish on the property, but they also hunt, hike, cross-country ski and observe wildlife. While their children were growing up, they did a great deal of camping there, including many Boy Scout troop campouts. Keith and Marianne have placed bird feeders and nesting boxes all around the property, which attract a variety of bird species year-round. Marianne and Lauren, the Maynard's granddaughter, are avid bird watchers and spend much of their time replenishing the bird feeders. Lauren, 22 months old, is also a big fan of the trees and deer on the property and is becoming more involved in forestry with each wildflower she picks.

Lauren, the daughter of the Maynard's oldest son, Keith II and his wife, Sueann, takes after much of the family with her interest in the outdoors. Keith II, along with the Maynard's two other sons, Marty and John, built their father a groomer to maintain the ski trails during the winter. Marty competes in biathlon and has constructed a biathlon shooting range on the property. Not only have the boys constructed equipment for their father and helped out with forestry activities over the years, but they are interested in becoming more involved in the management of the properties as their time allows. The Maynard's are planning to pass their forest properties on to their children, and hope to keep the property in the family for many years to come.

When not on their Bristol property, Keith and Marianne can be found on their 25-acre Oswegatchie, New York property, where they live for a few months of each year. Originally Keith's grandparent's property, the 25 acres were part of a larger parcel of land purchased during the early 1900's. When his grandparents passed away, the Adirondack property was transferred and divided among their children and Keith eventually acquired a small portion for himself. In the future, he hopes to expand his 25 acres by acquiring some of the property that belongs to his Dad.

At the time Keith acquired his Oswegatchie property it had been logged of the best trees. The remaining trees had no significant value. He estimates that another 20 years, at the very least, will have to elapse before any trees can be harvested and sold. In the meantime, Keith thins only what is necessary to maintain access to the property as well as a couple of pine stands. Keith, Marianne, and their youngest son, John, have also kept busy by constructing a cabin on the property. Made mostly of materials from the family lands, the Maynards gradually completed the rustic cabin in 2003, complete with running water and electricity.

Though the Maynards do not spend as much time on the Oswegatchie property as they do in Bristol, they enjoy each equally. Marianne, who grew up in suburbia, finds it exceptionally satisfying to see their efforts cumulate in two healthy and well-maintained forest properties.

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