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BIG NEWS —  OUR MOVE TO NEW BUILDING

The Kennebec SWCD and the USDA  are in a new building. We 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,  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. 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

June     

Do you know how to play and have fun outside without spreading invasive plants and pests? Take a few minutes to check your clothes, gear, and pets for seeds, plants, eggs, and insects before and after each adventure to help prevent the spread. https://youtu.be/8cg-T87ab4w        #PlayCleanGo #StopTheSpreadofInvasiveSpecies #MaineBugWatch

As part of #NationalTrailsDay, enjoy a day in the Maine woods! If you see an invasive forest pest (or signs of one), report it to bugwatch@maine.gov.      #NationalTrailsDay   #ProtectMaineForests #HomeSweetHome 

May     

Wondering what to plant in your yard? Find the perfect native plants for your yard to safeguard Maine’s habitat with this easy-to-use tool from Maine Audubon: https://mainenativeplants.org/.
Maine has three kinds of ash trees, White Ash, Green Ash, and Black Ash (sometimes called Brown Ash). White Ash and Green Ash both have deeply furrowed bark in the shape of diamonds. Black Ash bark is corky in appearance. Learn how to detect Emerald Ash Borer with this video: https://youtu.be/KxDDrCB4n9Q  

#ISpy #AshTree #ID

Do you know what ash trees look like? This month we’re giving you a hint by tagging ash trees all over the state to raise awareness of #EmeraldAshBorer. Each tag will have the economic value of the tree but don’t forget these trees provide cultural and environmental value to our forests too! Study up at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/caps/EAB/EABtrees.shtml        #Ispy #AshTrees #InvasiveSpecies

 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 is accepting registrations.
Check   www.MaineEnvirothon.org   for more info.  

In other news:

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (Department) invites the public to comment on proposals to update existing water quality standards.  See explanation below .

Maine’s water quality standards describe what uses, such as recreation or fishing, are appropriate for which waterbodies, and which criteria and antidegradation measures are in place to protect those uses.  More information on Maine’s water quality standards can be accessed on DEP’s Water Quality Standards page.  The federal Clean Water Act and Maine law require that at least once every 3 years public hearings are held to review, and as appropriate modify or develop, water quality standards in a process known as the Triennial Review.

Under its current Triennial Review, the Department has received proposals to update existing water quality standards.  Following internal review, the Department has developed recommendations for changes to existing water quality standards and is now inviting public comment on those recommendations.  At a virtual meeting on Friday, May 21, 2021, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Department will provide an overview of the proposals and offer an opportunity to provide input.  Registration for the meeting is available here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUoduivrD8iE9KnZM9IdLycsrlCvoDjod5dPublic comments may also be submitted electronically until 5 p.m. on May 26, 2021.  A list of proposals received, and the Department’s recommendations for action, is available on the Department website Triennial Review Maine’s Water Quality Standards.  During the public comment period, the Department also invites the public to submit additional proposals for changes to Maine’s WQS.

During the summer of 2021, the Department plans to request that the Board of Environmental Protection schedule a public hearing (likely this fall) and receive public comment before making recommendations on water quality standards changes to the Maine Legislature.  The Legislature is responsible for making statutory changes for Maine, but ultimately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must give final approval to changes made by the State of Maine.

  • 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.