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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.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Wednesday
    Oct152014

    Maine’s Conservation Districts Highlighted by Commissoner of Ag

    State Officials stress the importance of districts to soil health, water quality and wise use of land, forest and water resources  

    Augusta – Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) officials are highlighting the important work of Maine Soil and Water Conservation Districts in speeches in Skowhegan and Gorham this week. Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and Deputy Commissioner Dave Lavway are scheduled to speak at meetings of the Maine State Grange and Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District about the value of Conservation districts to Maine communities, agriculture and the natural resource economy.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Oct142014

    Landscaping at the Water's Edge

    A new publication from UNH is available for download here: Landscaping at the Water's Edge

    More info on conservation landscaping at: Landscapes and Gardens for Maine

    Tuesday
    Oct142014

    Woods Wise Wire: Oct 14, 2014

    In this issue:

    • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) update
    • Invasive Insects of Trees – New and Emerging Threats - Belgrade
      Friday, November 7, 2014, 3:00 – 5:00 PM 
    • AboutMyWoods, a new App to Help Forest Landowners

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Sep092014

    2014-2015 Master Gardener Volunteer program for Knox, Lincoln & Waldo counties starts on Thursday, Oct 2!

    When:   Thursdays from 5-8pm (13 sessions)
                 Oct 2–Nov 20, 2014 & Mar 26-Apr30, 2015

    Where:  Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension office in Waldoboro (& Belfast)

    Cost:     $220 for 45 hours+ of instruction, materials, and field trips
                 (scholarships available)

    Apply:   Applications due Thu, Sep 18.
                 Apply online or FMI or a paper application form, contact Liz Stanley at Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension: elizabeth.stanley@maine.edu or call 207.832.0343 or 1.800.244.2104

    FMI:      2014 - 2015 Master Gardener Volunteer Program:
                 http://umaine.edu/knox-lincoln/educational-programs/master-gardeners/

    Learn about soil health, composting, botany and how plants work, insect and disease life cycles, how fertilizers and pesticides function (and are often misused), growing fruits, vegetables, supporting pollinators, and more.  

    Certification requires an initial 40 hours of volunteer work, with only 20 volunteer hours in subsequent years. Projects include school gardens, growing food for food pantries and soup kitchens, doing educational talks and demos, and much more.  It's easy, meaningful, and fun!

    Tuesday
    Sep092014

    2014 Farm Bill Informational Meetings

    USDA Farm Service Agency is holding Farm Bill informational meetings across the state. There are two groups of sessions - dairy support sessions are in October; general support sessions are in November. For more info regarding these and other sessions, contact your local county FSA office (http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=me&agency=fsa).

    Local Dairy sessions, October:

    Augusta                                                       
    October 7, 2014 from 11 am to 1 pm
    Maine Forest Products Council
    535 Civic Center Drive
    Augusta, ME  04330
     
    Waldoboro
    October 8, 2014 from 11 am to 1 pm
    Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension
    377 Manktown Road
    Waldoboro, ME  04572

     
    Local General information sessions - November

    Augusta
    November 10, 2014 from 11 am to 1 pm
    Maine Forest Products Council
    535 Civic Center Drive
    Augusta, ME  04330
     
    Waldoboro
    November 12, 2014 from 11 am to 1 pm
    Knox-Lincoln Cooperative Extension
    377 Manktown Road
    Waldoboro, ME  04572

    Read more for statewide dairy and general sessions..

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug262014

    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 ...

    Sunday
    Aug032014

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jul312014

    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): www.maine.gov/dacf/lmf/index.shtml

    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
    Ed.Meadows@maine.gov
    (207) 287-7576

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Jul252014

    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/EcoPhotography.com. 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/EcoPhotography.com. Used with permission - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/24/land-conservation-strengthens-rural-communities-examples-of-the-land-and-water-conservation-fund-at-work/#sthash.vpo49ptp.dpuf

    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/EcoPhotography.com. Used with permission - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/24/land-conservation-strengthens-rural-communities-examples-of-the-land-and-water-conservation-fund-at-work/#sthash.vpo49ptp.dpuf
    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/EcoPhotography.com. Used with permission - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/24/land-conservation-strengthens-rural-communities-examples-of-the-land-and-water-conservation-fund-at-work/#sthash.vpo49ptp.dpuf
    Posted by Leslie Jones, Senior Advisor, Natural Resources and Environment - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/24/land-conservation-strengthens-rural-communities-examples-of-the-land-and-water-conservation-fund-at-work/#sthash.8NApeeyC.dpuf

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jul102014

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jul032014

    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  autumn.birt@me.usda.gov; 207-338-1964 x3
    Lincoln:
    Peter Abello, District Conservationist, Lincoln & Kennebec  peter.abello@me.usda.gov; 207-622-7847 x3

    Thursday
    Jul032014

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

    For many years, FSA's Hay Net website www.fsa.usda.gov/haynet  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 ...

    Wednesday
    Jul022014

    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

    Monday
    Jun302014

    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 ...

    Saturday
    Jun282014

    Habitat Conservation Mowing

    by Laura Suomi-Lecker, Technical Director
    Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District
    www.somersetswcd.org 

    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 ...

    Wednesday
    Jun252014

    USDA announces support for beginning farmers

    USDA has unveiled www.usda.gov/newfarmers, 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 ...

    Monday
    Jun162014

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jun052014

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jun052014

    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 ...

    Monday
    May192014

    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