The history of Maines lake watersheds includes natural phenomenon like glaciation, hurricanes, tornados, and forest fires as well as man-made changes due to logging, damming, agriculture, road building, development and lake use. Today large portions of most Maine lake watersheds are mature second- and third-growth forest. These forests are critical both to the high-quality water observed in most Maine lakes and the economy of Maine. Changes in the forest cover and forest health are therefore critically important. Don Kretchmer will talk about the forests in our watersheds using historical accounts and photographs, analysis of sediments, old maps and computer simulations to shed some light on what our lakes might have looked like in the past when watersheds were cleared. That knowledge can also be used to predict what lakes might look like in the future depending on what happens in the watershed. The talk will finish with some recommendations for how we can support the variety of functions the forest provides.