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BIG NEWS —  OUR MOVE TO NEW BUILDING

The Kennebec SWCD has moved.  The USDA and we are in a new building. We are 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.

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,  call ahead before stopping by the office.  The good news is that we will all be in one place and have all of our materials in one location.

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

April

April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. One of the invasive species that’s spreading closer to Maine is Oak Wilt. Oak Wilt is an invasive fungus that kills all oak trees, with red oaks being particularly susceptible. Red oaks can die within months, or even weeks of infection, while white oaks die slowly over the course of several years, increasing the potential for the oak wilt fungus to spread to other oak trees.          #InvasiveSpeciesAreNoJoke           #IPPDAM

March

Need to build your wood pile back up? You can find over 200 firewood retailers located all over Maine on http://www.firewoodscout.org/s/ME/. Selling firewood? Make sure you’re listed!
Using local firewood helps prevent the spread of invasive forest pests already in the state and from new pests arriving.        #FirewoodScout   #BuyItWhereYouBurnIt

Invasive pests and plants?! The invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle will infest invasive Norway Maple trees. Norway Maples have dense canopies that shade out any plants (from grass to native trees) trying to grow below it.            #InvasiveSpeciesAreEverywhere

Once a maple (or any other tree) is infested by Asian Longhorned Beetles, it will eventually die from the inflicted damage and stress. Help prevent Asian Longhorned Beetle from coming to Maine by not moving firewood.         #DontMoveFirewood

Maine maple syrup generated over $14 million in 2019. Support a local sugar shack this #MaineMapleSunday! Do you prefer light, medium, or dark amber?                        #DarkAmberForUsPlease

Maine has five native maples (Mountain Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Striped Maple, and Sugar Maple) and two invasive maples (Norway Maple and Amur Maple). Asian Longhorned Beetle infests all maple species.             #MaineMaples #ProtectMaineForests #MaineBugWatch

Pancakes or Waffles? Either way we’re putting #MaineMapleSyrup on them! Our maples are one of the many trees that would be impacted by Asian Longhorned Beetle spreading to Maine.  #KeepYourCornsyrup #MapleSyrupIsBetter #RealMaine #ProtectMaineForests

Asian Longhorned Beetle targets healthy hardwood trees like maples, birches, elms, willows, horsechestnuts, and others. These trees are common in Maine and hardwood trees make up over half of Maine’s annual harvest. Keep your eyes open for signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/caps/ALB/ALBdamagepics.shtml             #AsianLonghornedBeetle

90% of Maine’s forest is privately owned. Check your wood lots for signs of pests & diseases and report any sightings to bugwatch@maine.gov          #CheckYourTrees        #ForestPests

Prune out your Browntail Moth webs before the caterpillars emerge, and things get itchy… Learn more at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/browntail_moth_info.htm
#ItchyJustThinkingAboutIt #BrowntailMoth #MaineBugWatch 

February

Asian Longhorned Beetle targets most hardwood trees, like maples, birch, elm, willow, horsechestnut, poplar, and mountain ash. Once a tree is infested with Asian Longhorned Beetle, the tree will eventually die and it must be cut down to prevent the beetle from spreading to other trees. Learn more at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/caps/ALB#AsianLonghornedBeetle #DontMoveFirewood

Oak Wilt is a fungus that kills all oak species once infected. This fungus can be spread by sap beetles, root grafts between oak trees, and moving infected wood. https://youtu.be/hFThVO7kLB0    #OakWilt

Spotted Lanternfly isn’t picky – it has over 120 host plants it uses (and that’s just the lists of plants we have here in Maine).  Right now you should look for their egg masses (which look like mud splotches) on trees, vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment, and other surfaces. Hatched Spotted Lanternfly egg masses were found on plants in four Maine towns in Fall 2020 and it’s unknown if they hatched and spread after being planted in Maine. For more information: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/caps/slf/index.shtml     #SpottedLanternfly #Prevention 

Emerald Ash Borer has been found in both southern and northern Maine (spreading from New Hampshire and Canada). @Mainedacf needs your help looking for this pest. Watch for increased woodpecker feeding on ash this time of year. https://youtu.be/SawDPmGrTPo   #EmeraldAshBorer

It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week the last week of February. Invasive species management costs the US Economy an estimated $120 billion every year. The best way to protect Maine’s ecosystems from invasive species is to prevent them from getting there in the first place.   #NISAW;   #InvasiveSpecies;  #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

See More

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.
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.