Today’s Browntail Moths are Preparing for Next Year’s Offspring – Toxic Caterpillars

Now is the time to destroy browntail moth eggs in Maine (WGME) — Browntail moths have already begun laying clusters of eggs in fuzzy brown egg sacks that will become next year’s toxic caterpillars. That’s why now is the time to eliminate as many of those egg sacks as possible.

Learn how to identify – and eliminate – the egg sacks by visiting the Maine Forest Service webpage dedicated to this invasive threat.

Rotational Grazing Workshop Offered by Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District

Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) will be welcoming 16 working livestock animals – Katahdin sheep, donkeys and goats – to the Law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. The animals will stay for the summer where they will be moved between pastures as needed to increase soil fertility, implement permaculture practices, and decrease the use of motorized mowing fuel and costs.Want to see how it’s done? Would you like to learn more from an experienced farmer? We are pleased to announce that Wendy Russell from Widdershins Farm LLC will be presenting another Rotational Grazing Workshop on July 26th from 9:30-12pm at the Law Farm to demonstrate the general care and instruction of working livestock sustainably on your land. Wendy will be discussing types of equipment for grazing both cows and sheep, which includes maintaining, transportation and types of equipment that work best. She will also demonstrate how to train the animals, how to move the fence as well as what animals and age groups work best together. Topics will also include watering, shelter needs and the conditions of grass to browse and graze. Wendy will also discuss how often to move, awareness of poisonous plants, wet holes, predators, the public’s safety and insurance. She will give instruction on how to plan your paddock for consecutive moves, start and stop spots for moving animals in and out and containment for catching and loading the animals.

There is a registration fee and space is limited for this workshop. For more information and to register, please contact the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District by visiting the District’s website, or Facebook page, or by calling (207) 564-2321 ext. 3, emailing the District at  info@piscataquisswcd.org or by stopping in the District office in the USDA Service Center at 42 Engdahl Drive in Dover-Foxcroft, ME.

Hancock County SWCD – Forest Roads, Farm, and Wildlife Workshop in Blue Hill, ME August 12, 2021

Want to learn more about controlling erosion on your wood roads? Need solutions to some of the challenges running your small farm? Advice and tips on woodlot management? Register for the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District in-the-field workshop to hear from experienced presenters – land/woodlot owners, experienced experts, state and federal conservation professionals – about maintaining, protecting, and enhancing habitat, soil health, and water quality. Technical and financial assistance opportunities will be discussed while walking the property. See registration information here .

Compost Demonstration / Wildlife Habitat Workshop – Central Aroostook SWCD

We are very excited to announce the debut of
our compost project along with our compost
study. On Friday July 16th from 9 am to 3pm
we will be hosting an all-day event at
Staples’ Farms in Parkhurst Siding. Signs
will be posted along the East Presque Isle
Road and on the Johnson Road where the
event will be held. We will be showcasing
our vegetable compost trial and will discuss
the use of different pesticides on rotational
crops. 1 pesticide credit has been applied
for. There is no fee for this event, however,
registration is required. Lunch will be
provided thanks to a grant from Maine DEP
Waste Diversion Program. NRCS, Catholic
Charities Maine, The Good Shephard Food
Bank, Maine DEP, Maine IF&W, and The
Xerces Society will be present to answer
questions and make presentations.

This is one event you won’t want to miss!

Contact Randy Martin, Executive Director

Central Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District

Presque Isle, ME 04769 (207) 760-4602 

Maine Natural Resources Conservation Service – State Technical Committee Meeting, June 15, 2021

Maine Natural Resources Conservation Service held a virtual State Technical Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, from 8:30 to 11:30 am. As described on the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) webpage, the State Technicial Committee advises NRCS and other U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies, “… on the implementation of the natural resources conservation provisions of Farm Bill legislation. Committees are intended to include members from a wide variety of natural resource and agricultural interests. Chaired by the NRCS State Conservationist in each State, these Committees are composed of representatives from Federal and State natural resource agencies, American Indian Tribes, agricultural and environmental organizations, and agricultural producers.”

For more information on the meeting, visit the ME NRCS webpage .

Are You a Conservation Advocate?

Maine’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts have leadership opportunities!

Maine’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are non-regulatory subdivisions of State Government, governed by locally-elected volunteer Boards of Supervisors. There are sixteen SWCDs in Maine which generally correspond to county boundaries (see the map at the State of Maine website) . SWCDs establish priorities for conservation efforts with emphasis is on issues that are identified locally, as well as state-wide.

The volunteer board, which is responsible for guiding the District’s business affairs and operations, comprises three elected and two appointed supervisors, who each serve overlapping three-year terms. In addition, the SWCD Board welcomes Associate Supervisors, members appointed by the Board, who may have an interest in the general activities of the District or a specific area of interest or expertise to share.

Supervisors are local residents with careers or interest in farming, forestry, wildlife, urban ecology, conservation enthusiasts and supporters with an interest in aiding their communities.

Anyone interested in 1) running for the office of supervisor, or 2) voting in the election must be a registered voter within the boundaries of the local service area. Candidates need have only an interest in conservation and a willingness, at a minimum, to participate in a monthly board meeting at the District office. To run for an elected position, a candidate must submit a nomination paper signed by 25 county residents.

Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more about volunteer leadership opportunities.

Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts Provide Virtual Environmental Education and Resources

Across the State, students are preparing for the virtual natural resources competition.

Envirothon – Educating today’s youth to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders.

Maine Association of Conservation Districts is delighted to host Envirothon 2021. This natural resource competition for high school aged students will be held virtually over a four day period from May 18-21, 2021.

Thanks to funding from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund , a series of four presentations – each representing one of the Envirothon ‘stations’, provided information to students and advisors to prepare for the event. These presentations were recorded and the videos are available to all.

Thanks to the efforts of Ali Clift and Christopher Brewer, of Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Dale Finseth, Maine Envirothon Coordinator and Director of Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District conservation resource experts volunteered to present information focused on Maine’s natural resources.

YouTube WILDLIFE Presentation Missy Brandt, York County SWCD

YouTube FORESTRY Presentation Andy Schultz, Maine Forest Service

YouTube AQUATICS Presentation Jenna Martyn-Fisher, Cumberland County SWCD

YouTube SOILS Presentation Greg Grainger, ME Natural Resources Conservation Service

Maine Forest Service Ranger Specialist Kent Nelson Receives the Silver Smokey Bear Award

Congratulations to Ranger Kent Nelson, Maine Forest Service, one of two people to earn this national recognition in 2021, according to the DACF. This is the first time since the 1990s that a Mainer has won the award.

For twenty years, Ranger Nelson has worked in the Maine Forest Service as Maine’s wildfire prevention specialist. Administrator for Maine’s wildfire prevention and FireWise programs, he also works to raise public awareness on these issues.

Click HERE for more about Ranger Nelson’s achievement, and the Smokey Bear Award.

Maine’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts Hosting Invasive Forest Pest Webinars

Protecting Maine Forests from Invasive Forest Pests

Maine’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts will host two informational webinars in May. Both webinars are free to attend and have continuing education credits. For more information and to register visit Cumberland County SWCD .

May 4, 2021

Maine already has several invasive forest pests targeting our trees and spreading throughout the state. There are additional invasive forest pests in neighboring states that we don’t want moving to Maine.

Join our discussion with local experts on Tuesday, May 4th from 3:00-4:30 PM to learn more about protecting our forests from these invaders. The Maine Board of Pesticide Control has approved this webinar for 1 credit. The Society of American Foresters has approved this webinar for 1.5 Category 1 credits.

May 18, 2021

The spotted lanternfly is a new invasive species that is spreading like wildfire along the eastern U.S. The number of trees and crops it feeds on has reached triple digits with devastating losses reported from grape growers. Initial research is showing that spotted lanternfly may not survive well in most of Maine but could be successful in southern areas, especially where its preferred host, the invasive tree of heaven, grows. Learn how to spot the spotted lanternfly and tree of heaven to help detect and report sightings in Maine.

Join our discussion with Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation staff on Tuesday, May 18th from 3:00-4:00 PM to learn more about protecting our forests and crops from these invaders.

The Society of American Foresters has approved this webinar for one Category 1 credit.

Webinars are free and funded by USDA-APHIS.

Stock Your Private Pond Through the PCSWCD’s Annual Trout Sale!

New in 2021, customers can place their orders online at http://www.piscataquisswcd.org/product-category/2021-trout-sale/. Of course, the traditional order forms mailed into our office at 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 will also be accepted!

Phone:  (207) 564 – 2321, Extension 3

Customers who pre-order brook trout must have a current, signed permit from the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife department. A copy of this permit must be submitted along with your order and brought with you for pick up of the trout, as this permit is both your stocking and transporting permit. The person on the permit must be the person picking up the trout. If you need to have someone else pick up the trout, they must be added by IF&W to your permit. If you do not have a permit you can download the application from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website at www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/forms_applications.htm.