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BIG NEWS —  OUR MOVE TO NEW BUILDING

The Kennebec SWCD is moving again.  The USDA and we are moving into a new building. We will be co-located again at 2305 N. Belfast Ave. in Augusta. That is out on Rts. 3, 9 and 202. Our new building is right across the street from Knights Farm Supply. You can give us a call at the NRCS shared number i.e. 622-7847 x3.

This will be the new USDA Service Center for Kennebec & Lincoln Counties. It includes offices for Natural Resources Conservation Service [NRCS]; Farm Service Administration [FSA]; and Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District.

We intend to move during the week of January 11th and be back open for business during the week of January 18th.  Given our Covid 19 procedures you should call ahead before stopping by the office.  It will take awhile until we get arranged. The good news is that we will all be in one place and have all of our materials in one location.  It won’t be much longer that we need to work out of boxes of paper and files.

District Elections

The Kennebec SWCD completed our election of Ken Laustsen from Oakland to start a new three-year term of office on January 1, 2021.  Congratulations to Ken. Before being elected he had served for a couple of years as an Associate Supervisor.

Covid-19 notice.  

Our office is currently open by appointment and arrange to meet with physical distancing arrangements.

Our Board of Supervisors will continue to meet on the first Tuesday of each month by phone conference or with physical distancing. You must call ahead to receive materials and the needed conference call information.

Forest Pest updates

The Lowes stores has located nearly all the Ash trees they had been looking for which had been sold in Maine.  So that is good news.

OTHER INVASIVE INFORMATION

**Wondering what to plant in your yard? Choose native plants to safeguard Maine’s native habitat for the birds and pollinators. Check out the Wild Seed Project, a Portland based nonprofit, for native plant inspiration! https://wildseedproject.net/

**Did you know that certified heat-treated firewood is the only firewood that is safe to travel with? All other wood may contain invasive insects & diseases. If you plan to camp somewhere far from firewood sellers and decide to bring wood with you, buy USDA certified heat-treated firewood. Look for labels with “certified heat-treated firewood” that had been heated to 160 degrees for at least 75 minutes to make sure your wood is pest free!https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/map/maine/

**90% of Maine’s forest is privately owned. Help prevent the spread of deadly invasives by checking your wood lots for signs of pests & diseases!

**Did you know that moving firewood spreads invasive insects and diseases that kill out trees? An easy way to prevent the spread of invasive species is to buy firewood where you plan to burn it! Find local firewood sellers all over Maine here: http://www.firewoodscout.org/s/ME/.

#NISAW#InvasiveSpecies#Firewood #BuyLocalBurnLocal #MaineBugWatch

**An astounding 89% of Maine’s land, 17 million acres, is covered in forest. All of Maine’s forests are protected by not moving firewood.

#MaineArborDay #DontMoveFirewood #BuyItWhereYouBurnIt #MaineBugWatch

This tiny green pest bores D-shaped holes in the bark of Ash trees to feed and lay its eggs, starving the tree of water and nutrients. Once the Emerald Ash Borer has settled in, the Ash tree will die within 5 years.

The Emerald Ash Borer is quickly spreading in Maine because of the movement of

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We’re talking about Oak Wilt Fungus . #NISAW #OakWilt

This nasty fungus can kill a Red Oak within weeks and a White Oak within two years. Oak Wilt spreads by sap-eating beetles carrying the fungus and once one tree is infected, the fungus can spread quickly through the roots to other oaks. Signs of Oak Wilt include leaves turning brown in spring or summer.

Luckily, Oak Wilt has not yet been found in Maine. The

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Spotlight is the Asian Longhorned Beetle. #NISAW #AsianLonghornedBeetle #Unwanted

This invasive beetle has been found as close as Boston and Worcester, MA but luckily has not yet made it’s way to Maine. Asian Longhorned Beetles easily spread by hitchhiking on firewood. Every tree infested with Asian Longhorned Beetles eventually die. #BuyLocalBurnLocal #DontMoveFirewood

The Asian Longhorned Beetle looks very similar to our natiive “Pine” Sawyer

See More

  • Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB): Pest Survey (CAPS): Division of Animal and Plant Health: Maine Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry (DACF)
    DACF Home → Bureaus & Programs → Bureau of Agriculture → Division of Animal and Plant Health → Pest Survey (CAPS) → LHB Resource Page
  • Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB): Pest Survey (CAPS): Division of Animal and Plant Health: Maine Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry (DACF)
    DACF Home → Bureaus & Programs → Bureau of Agriculture → Division of Animal and Plant Health → Pest Survey (CAPS) → LHB Resource Page
  • See more at MAINE.GOV

OTHER BIG NEWS


The Maine State Envirothon 2020 is not accepting registrations. Regionals are on May 19 in Houlton, May 20 at MOFGA, May 21 in Bethel and May 22 at Leonard Mills in Bradley.  This year’s State competition in in Augusta on May 29th.
Check   www.MaineEnvirothon.org   for more info.  

In other news:

  • The Kennebec SWCD has recently received a new grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts to provide  Technical Assistance to our local NRCS partners. While the grant has already begun, we intend to delay the start of most work until we become a co-located operation again after the first of the year.
  • The Kennebec and Knox-Lincoln SWCD’s continue a project awarded to the Maine Natural Areas Program to address  terrestrial invasive plants. It includes support to help landowners IMap the invasives they have, learn techniques to manage those invasives, and provide workshops to spread the word. We have recently received an additional award from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund [MOHF] in collaboration with both Knox-Lincoln and Waldo SWCD to expand the project of “invasive surveys”.
  • Given the impact of the Covid 19 limitations our technical assistance to the China Regional Lake Association, Togus Pond, Belgrade Regional Lakes Alliance and 30 Mile Watershed Association has been severely curtailed during the 2020 field season.
  • The Kennebec SWCD  is part of a statewide group of SWCD’s providing  Forestry Pest outreach. We are just beginning a new contract which will include some changes.   The 2019-20  “Forestry Pest”  activities are primarily focused on digital outreach and providing materials to people and groups.
  • The Kennebec SWCD has received the award from Maine DEP for a new Watershed Based Plan for Great Pond. That work with partners is ongoing.
  • The Kennebec SWCD has also received the award from Maine DEP for a new Watershed Based Plan for China Lake. That work is ongoing and includes a watershed survey planned for 10/3/2020.