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KENNEBEC SUPERVISOR ELECTION

Tom Doore has been re-elected as District Supervisor for the Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District. His three year term starts in January, 2022.


Kennebec-Lincoln Local Working Group

The Kennebec-Lincoln Local Working Group meeting is currently scheduled via Zoom for Wednesday, January 5, 2022 from 10-noon.

USDA Funding for Kennebec & Lincoln counties is the focus of the Local Working Group [LWG]: How Should Money be Spent? The Kennebec and Knox-Lincoln  Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office in Augusta, will host virtual meetings of the Kennebec-Lincoln Local Working Groups (LWG).

Taking into account local resource concerns, these Local Working Groups make recommendations to NRCS on how to spend USDA Farm Bill funds for conservation practices on private lands. This year’s meetings will be held on Zoom as follows: Kennebec-Lincoln will meet on January 5, 2022 from 10am-noon.  If you are an agricultural producer; forester, logger or private woodland owner; member of an environmental or watershed organization or land trust; knowledgeable in soil, water, plant, wetland or wildlife sciences; and/or are familiar with agricultural and natural resource concerns in Kennebec of Lincoln counties, we invite you to attend this meeting to help 1) identify and prioritize local conservation concerns; and 2) recommend how local funds for USDA Environmental Quality Incentive Programs (EQIP) will be distributed by NRCS to alleviate problems. Meetings will be held online. To attend either of these meetings, please contact your local soil & water conservation district for the meeting link:  Kennebec: Dale at 480-3927, dfinseth@kcswcd.org. If you are unable to attend, you may send comments to your local soil & water conservation district.


The Kennebec SWCD and the USDA  are co-located  at 2305 N. Belfast Ave. in Augusta. That is 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.

As 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.

Given our Covid 19 procedures, you are still asked to call ahead before stopping by the office.

Covid-19 notice.  

Our office is currently open by appointment. Arrange to meet with physical distancing.

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 meeting arrangements.


The Maine Forest Tick Survey is a collaboration between The University of Maine and volunteer landowners in southern and coastal Maine. Together, we are studying the relationship between land management and tick populations and tick-borne pathogens. Volunteers will collect ticks from their wooded properties, and we will identify and test them for pathogens. All volunteers will get a personalized report on which tick species and pathogens are present on their land. Online training sessions will take place in June and tick collections will occur on three separate days in July. Volunteers need to own between 5 and 1,000 acres of wooded land and live in one of the following counties: Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Waldo, York.  For more information, and to sign up, please visit: umaine.edu/ForestTickSurvey

Forest Pest updates for 2022

January

Locally harvested trees and holiday greenery can be put in your brush pile or taken to your transfer station for mulching.       #BuyLocal #DontSpreadInvasives #MaineBugWatch

Have you checked your trees recently? Now is a good time to check and prune for Browntail Moth webs and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, as well as to safely prune oak trees while oak diseases, like oak wilt, are less likely to spread.    https://youtu.be/LiCK8XBtXAU        #TreeMaintenance #CheckYourTrees #Prevention #MaineBugWatch

 

 

 

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!

**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.

Oak Wilt Fungus .

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
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OTHER BIG NEWS


 

 

 

The Maine State Envirothon 2021 was done virtually. A Spruce Mt. team took 1st place and will be representing Maine at the virtual National Envirothon.  Teams from Mt Ararat placed 2nd and 3rd at the Maine Envirothon.
Check   www.MaineEnvirothon.org   for more info.  

The 2021-22 Envirothon season is just getting started. Three Fall Field Day events were held in September and October in preparation for schools. At this point we are still planning for an “in person” Maine Envirothon event in the spring of 2022.

In other news:

  • 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 North Pond. That project is just getting started with most of the work planned for 2022.
  • The Kennebec SWCD is just finishing work on the grant to develop a Watershed Based Plan for China Lake. That work is expected to be completed by the end of the 2021 calendar year.