PROGRAMS TO ASSIST MAINE LANDOWNERS

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service – Cost Share Programs –
Application to Implementation
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2022 6 – 7:30 PM

Join Joe Dembeck, executive director at Somerset County SWCD, to learn about USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost-share programs available to provide financial support to woodland owners managing their land for timber quality, wildlife habitat and forest health. Virtual program.

We’ll discuss both the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), from application to implementation, and hear about Dembeck’s experience conducting a CSP project on forestland that he and his wife own in Maine.

THIS EVENT IS PRESENTED BY THE LOW-IMPACT FORESTRY PROGRAM AT MAINE ORGANIC FARMERS & GARDENERS ASSOCIATION (MOFGA).

REGISTER HERE.

Somerset County SWCD has additional learning opportunities scheduled ~ visit their website events page for information about apple tree pruning workshops, an online presentation on helping Maine’s grassland birds, joining the Yankee Woodlot morning snowshoe stroll, and more!

Southern Aroostook SWCD offers its popular Winter Ag School, February – April, 2022

Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District’s Winter Ag School classes for 2022 begin Thursday, February 17. They offer a diverse mix of both online and in-person classes such as Conservation Landscape Certification for Landowners, Viewing Your Woodlot from a Wildlife Perspective, Fruit Tree Grafting, Forestry Night, and more. CEUs are offered upon completion of some classes, and all classes require pre-registration. Here’s the link to the webpage for more information, or contact Angela Wotton at Southern Aroostook SWCD in Houlton, ME at (207) 254-4126.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Lead Contamination in Urban Soils – Free Webinar Virtual Panel

Hosted by Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District

 
What’s in Your Soil? Let’s Talk About Lead in Maine’s Soils
Free Webinar Tuesday, September 22nd 4:00 to 5:30 PM   Join us for a virtual panel to learn about healthy soils and lead contamination in Maine’s urban soils. The panel will cover soil health, testing for contaminants, exposure pathways, and safety on soils.   Register Here          
    VISIT OUR WEBSITE!

In addition to the webinar, we are organizing the Portland SoilSHOP at the Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 26th. A SoilSHOP is a free soil testing event where anyone can drop off soil samples to be screened for lead contamination for free.