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.

Southern Aroostook SWCD Winter & Spring Ag School March-May 2021

Southern Aroostook SWCD’s eagerly anticipated and popular Ag School 2021 classes are online and in-person this year. All classes require pre-registration. Please be respectful of others and follow mask guidelines as needed.

Topics covered for the Winter & Spring Ag School this year will be: Beekeeping, Small Woodlot Owners Walk & Talk, Updates on Soil Health, Intro to Permaculture, Raised Bed Gardening, Vernal Pools, and Beginning Women’s Chainsaw Safety. In some instances, credits will be available.

For updates, details, and contact/registration information, visit the Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District website:

http://www.saswcd.org/index.php/education/winter-ag-school

2021 Winter & Spring Ag School is presented by SASWCD with assistance from Maine Forest Service and Workshop Speakers. Funding for Soil Health Class made possible through US-EPA under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

You are Going to LOVE Real Maine!

Looking for the REAL MAINE ? Experience local food, recipes, activities, shopping, and more by visiting the Real Maine website. Maine made items from maple syrup to lavender sachets are featured, as are farmer’s markets and CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture. Check out the REAL MAINE website when you’re planning that next in-state road trip and discover new-to-you destinations that will take you off the beaten path.

Maine Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Technical Committee Meeting

The first State Technical Committee took place virtually on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. As described on the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) webpage, the State Techncial 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.”

State Technical Committee Meeting info is available to learn more about the meeting.

Piscataquis County SWCD 2021 Tree & Plant Sale – Pre-order deadline Friday, April 23

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) is happy to announce that the 2021 Tree & Plant Sale has begun and the early birds get the worm! 🐦

This year, PCSWCD’s Tree and Plant Sale pre-order deadline is Friday April 23rd, with a curbside pickup date on Saturday, May 8th from 9AM-12PM at the Law Farm Nature Trails located on Lee Cemetery Rd, Dover-Foxcroft. This is one of PCSWCD’s biggest fundraisers with proceeds from the sale directly supporting our educational programs and outreach.

PCSWCD is very pleased to announce we have sourced all our flowers, herbs, shrubs and fruit trees from local, organic producers. New in 2021, we are adding two new suppliers and even more products! All of our producers are located in Maine and some are very close to home! When you support us, you’ll be supporting them too!

What’s more is when you pick up your plant order on May 8th you will have the chance to speak one-on-one with Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Soil Scientist, Alaina Kresovik and ask questions about soil health for your garden.

The catalog goes well beyond a listing of trees, shrubs, and plants for sale. Also included is detailed information, planting advice, and wit! To learn more, visit the PCSWCD website .

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses Found in Maine -No Live Spotted Lanternflies Found

September 29, 2020 News Release: The Maine Department of Agricultural, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) today announced finding egg masses of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) on trees in Maine communities and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest. The egg masses were found on trees from Pennsylvania, where SLF is established and planted in Boothbay, Freeport, Northeast Harbor, and Yarmouth.

Read the full news release by clicking the link below.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/bulletins/2a34f4b

The Maine Association of Conservation Districts is offering free regional webinars to highlight how to protect Maine forests from invasive forest pests. Webinars will be presented by local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff and will focus on statewide and regional pest problems.

 Click here to register for the webinar series.