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    Conservation News

    Welcome to Conservation News, the District's news journal. Our goal is to highlight the latest news from USDA, K-LSWCD, as well as other farm, food, and conservation news.

    Subscribe to articles via RSS Feed using the link in the sidebar.

    Feel free to add your comments -- and don't forget to sign up for our e-newsletter or visit us on Facebook for more farm and food news, videos, events, and announcements.

    Caveat: We do not necessarily endorse the following programs, events, or organizations. We leave it to you to decide if the articles and links are useful.



    Mainers: Sign Up for Free Disposal of Banned, Unusable Pesticides by Sep 26 

    AUGUSTA—This October, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) will team up with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help Mainers dispose of banned pesticides or unusable pesticides.

    This free disposal program is open to homeowners, family-owned farms and greenhouses. Collection will occur at sites located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta and Portland. To qualify, people must register by September 26, 2014.

    Click to read more ...


    IFW Seeks Comment On Proposed Changes To State Threatened And Endangered List

    Public hearings set for August 4 in Portland and August 5 in Farmington; written comments accepted through August 15

    AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking comments from the public on proposed additions and changes to the State of Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list.
    The proposed changes include recognition of six new species under the Maine Endangered Species Act, including three bats and three invertebrates. Three cave bats are experiencing catastrophic declines from a prolific disease called White Nose Syndrome, first documented in 2006. Little Brown Bats and Northern Long-eared Bats are proposed for endangered status, while the Eastern Small-footed Bat would be classified as threatened.

    Click to read more ...


    New LMF Grants Boost Conservation, Recreation

    from Maine Land Trust Network Infoline - 7/30/14:

    For the first time since 2010, Maine’s award-winning Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program has granted voter-approved bond funds to land conservation projects around the state. The nine-person board agreed to invest more than $9 million in 30 projects. These investments will bolster tourism-related businesses, increase access for outdoor recreation, and enhance the State’s traditional natural resource-based economy.

    The LMF Board approved local, regional, and statewide projects in 13 counties, including the following:

    • Cold Stream (Somerset County): prime brook trout and white-tailed deer habitat.
    • Brave Boat (York County): wildlife and recreational corridor connection in Kittery.
    • Nezinscot Farm (Androscoggin County): organic, diversified dairy farm in Turner.
    • High Island (Knox County): accessible coastal island available for camping and exploration.
    • Gulf Hagas/Whitecap (Piscataquis County): working forest within Maine’s 100-mile Wilderness.
    • Howard Hill (Kennebec County): family-friendly trails within walking distance of State Capitol.
    • Eagle Bluff (Penobscot County): premier rock climbing destination.
    • Lily Pond (Hancock County): freshwater access for swimmers and small boats
    • Erica’s Seafood (Cumberland County): deep water access for commercial fishing in Harpswell

    For complete list of 2014 grants (incl. four in Knox & Lincoln counties):

    Contact Land for Maine's Future:
    Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
    Land for Maine's Future
    28 SHS, 90 Blossum Dr./Deering Bldg
    Augusta, Maine 04333-0028

    Ed Meadows, LMF Director
    (207) 287-7576

    Click to read more ...


    Land Conservation Strengthens Rural Communities: Examples of the Land and Water Conservation Fund at Work

    A canoe on the shoreline of Pond of Safety in the Randolph Community Forest in Randolph, NH. White Mountains National Forest, Ammonoosuc River watershed. Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman/ Used with permission

    A canoe on the shoreline of Pond of Safety in the Randolph Community Forest in Randolph, NH. White Mountains National Forest, Ammonoosuc River watershed. Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman/ Used with permission - See more at:

    Pond of Safety, Randolph Community Forest, White Mts Natl Forest, NH. Photo: Jerry & Marcy Monkman

    A canoe on the shoreline of Pond of Safety in the Randolph Community Forest in Randolph, NH. White Mountains National Forest, Ammonoosuc River watershed. Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman/ Used with permission - See more at:
    A canoe on the shoreline of Pond of Safety in the Randolph Community Forest in Randolph, NH. White Mountains National Forest, Ammonoosuc River watershed. Photo: Jerry and Marcy Monkman/ Used with permission - See more at:
    Posted by Leslie Jones, Senior Advisor, Natural Resources and Environment - See more at:

    The Forest Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund investment in national forests and grasslands has ripple effects that extend far beyond the Forest Service and the land that is protected.

    The Land and Water Conservation Fund, created by Congress in 1964, provides resources to federal, state and local governments for the conservation of important lands, waters and historical sites.  Using no taxpayer dollars the Fund uses earnings from offshore oil and gas leasing to help preserve our history, protect our lands and strengthen our economy. Nationwide, over 7 million acres have been protected.

    Click to read more ...


    Maine Agriculture is “Up” in More Ways than One

    Posted in USDA Blog by Gary Keough, New England Field Office State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service

    Maine's agriculture and farm-related demographics are growing and diversifying each year. Check back next Thursday to learn more about the 2012 Census of Agriculture results as we highlight another state.

    When examining the status of Maine’s agriculture using statistics derived from the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the words “up” and “increase” appear quite often. Our state’s agriculture and farm-related demographics are growing and diversifying each year.

    Both the number of farms and land in farms in Maine increased since the last Census of Agriculture in 2007. In fact, we have the most farms of the New England states, and the land in farms is up eight percent from 2007.

    Click to read more ...


    AMA application deadline for 2015 funding: Aug 15, 2014

    For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center:

    Knox: Autumn Birt, District Conservationist, Knox & Waldo; 207-338-1964 x3
    Peter Abello, District Conservationist, Lincoln & Kennebec; 207-622-7847 x3


    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Announces Online Hay and Grazing Acres Locator Tool

    For many years, FSA's Hay Net website  has been the "go to" online resource for agricultural producers to list information concerning the need for hay or the availability of hay.

    Now, in response to requests from livestock producers and landowners, FSA has expanded the site to include the option to list a need for grazing acres or to list acres available for grazing.

    Click to read more ...


    Woods Wise Wire: Jul 1, 2014

    In this issue:

    • Presque Isle and Moose River adopt statewide standards for timber harvest in shoreland areas
    • Forestry Rules of Maine booklet available
    • Skidder bridge workshop in Ashland Jul 18
    • 2013 Maine Forestry Water Quality Best Management Practices Report available on MFS website
    • Widespread white pine needle loss symptoms. MFS Info Sheet#24: Insect and Disease Pests of White Pine

    Click here for full text


    First Participants in Conservation Stewardship Program Can Renew for Five More Years

    Bangor, ME, June 27, 2014 – Producers with expiring U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Stewardship (CSP) contracts have from July 11 until September 12, 2014 to submit an application to renew their expiring CSP contracts.

    CSP is offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and is the Farm Bill program that helps farmers take conservation investments to the next level

    Click to read more ...


    Habitat Conservation Mowing

    by Laura Suomi-Lecker, Technical Director
    Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District 

    In recent decades, grassland birds, including species such as Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Savannah Sparrows, are showing the steepest population declines of any group of birds in the Northeast and all of North America, making them a continental conservation priority. As grassland has been developed, overgrown, or replanted to alfalfa, habitat loss is thought to be one of the major contributing factors to their decline.

    Click to read more ...


    USDA announces support for beginning farmers

    USDA has unveiled, a one-stop shop for new and beginning farmers entering agriculture. It’s a practical, workable tool that will help farmers and ranchers of tomorrow tap into the range of USDA resources today. It features direct links to USDA programs and services, as well as case studies about how USDA support is being put to work to for America’s agriculture future

    Click to read more ...


    Community Conservation Series: Native plants can help create a pollinator-friendly landscape

    We often enjoy aesthetic benefits of native grasses, shrubs, trees and their flowers. Not only do they add charm and character to land, they also provide important habitat for wildlife, including pollinators and beneficial insects.

    Click to read more ...


    NRCS Announces Deadline for Conservation Programs

    he USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the application deadline dates for two of its conservation programs—the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program.  The Fiscal Year 2015 application deadline for both of these programs is August 15, 2014.

    Agricultural producers and foresters are encouraged to sign up now for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides financial and technical assistance to address varying natural resource priorities. The Fiscal Year 2015 funding consideration application deadline for most EQIP fund pool categories will be August 15, 2014.  This does not include the EQIP National Water Quality Initiative and Conservation Innovation Grants.  These deadlines are yet to be determined.

    Click to read more ...


    USDA, Partners Usher in a New Era in Conservation

    New conservation initiative goes beyond traditional government efforts

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the launch of what he calls “a new era in American conservation efforts” with an historic focus on public-private partnership.

    “This is an entirely new approach to conservation,” Vilsack said. “We’re giving private companies, local communities and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations.”

    The new conservation program, called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and will benefit areas all across the nation.  RCPP streamlines conservation efforts by combining four programs (the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative, and the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion) into one.

    Click to read more ...


    Maine NRCS Conservation News - May 2014

    Inside This Issue

    • A Note from the State Conservationist
    • 2014 Farm Bill  
    • Your Guide to the new Farm Bill Program Application Deadline for FY15 
    • Personnel 
    • Soil Health  
    • Getting Started with NRCS 
    • Stream Smart Road Crossing Training 
    • Bee Facts and Tidbits
    • 2012 Census of Ag Released 
    • 2013 Digital Photo Contest 1st Place 

    To read newsletter: Maine NRCS Conservation News - May 2014


    Community Conservation Series: Managing nutrients leads to better yields, cleaner water

    Nutrients can help or harm, either leading to bountiful harvests or contributing to water quality issues. How we manage nutrients affects how much is taken up by plants and how much is lost from our farm fields.

    Nutrients come from many sources in rural, suburban and urban America. Farmers and ranchers play an important role in finding solutions to prevent nutrients from making their way into our streams, rivers and other water bodies, including Lake Megunticook, Chickawaukee, Damariscotta and Pemaquid Lakes, to name a few.

    Click to read more ...


    Community Conservation Series: Field borders allow farms to filter, clean water & provide homes for wildlife

    Sometimes in a quest for bigger harvests, producers put every inch of land to work. But more land for crops or pastures doesn’t always lead to bigger yields.

    It’s best to use land for its greatest purpose, enabling more than a traditional yield. In addition to the harvest, the farm or ranch provides habitat for wildlife and benefits our soil, water and air. Producers in Maine and across the United States use a number of conservation actions, or practices, to best use working lands. One common way producers do this through conservation is field borders.

    Click to read more ...


    Community Conservation Series: Save big by planting trees on your home, farm

    Did you know the cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is the same as having 10 air conditioners operating 20 hours every day?

    In addition to their cooling power, trees provide other benefits – no matter if you live in the city or in the country. Trees growing along the banks of rivers and streams keep the soil and nutrients on your land and ensure the water running off is cleaner downstream. These same trees also help prevent floods by slowing down water during periods of heavy rain. As the water slows, it helps recharge underground aquifers that supply fresh water for drinking wells and irrigation.

    Click to read more ...


    USDA Encourages Early Registration for FSA Programs

    he U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today recommended that farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in FSA programs register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to their local FSA Service Center before April 15, 2014.
    Enrollment for the disaster programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, including the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will begin by April 15, 2014.

    Click to read more ...


    FSA APRIL Newsletter: Kennebec-Knox-Lincoln



    Click to read more ...