Preview: MFS News
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Firewise Day in Georgetown considered a success
Tue, 11 Oct 2016 10:47:42 EDT
Maine has eight nationally recognized Firewise Communities. In order to remain active with the Firewise program, each community is required to have one "Firewise Day" fire prevention and education event and one "Hazardous Fuels Reduction" day.
(image) http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/images/firewise_day_georgetown_2016.jpg" alt="This photo was taken at the Firewise Day event in Georgetown, Maine on July 9th. Forest Ranger Specialist Kent Nelson is shown with Indian Point Firewise Board members Bruce Patterson and Chip Bailey. The Firewise booth was set up at the 41st annual Georgetown VFD auction." />
This photo was taken at the Firewise Day event in Georgetown, Maine on July 9th. Forest Ranger Specialist Kent Nelson is shown with Indian Point Firewise Board members Bruce Patterson and Chip Bailey. The Firewise booth was set up at the 41st annual Georgetown VFD auction.
For more information on NFPA's Firewise Communities USA / Recognition Program, please visit:
Maine Forest Service urges caution this weekend with all outdoor fires
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:25:57 EDT
Recent fire activity, unseasonably dry weather, lack of precipitation and projected environmental conditions over the holiday weekend make wildfires a greater threat
Augusta- The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Maine Forest Service is requesting people be extremely careful with any outdoor fires, especially over the holiday weekend. There has been an increase in wildfires this year and with the current forecast for warm and dry weather over the fourth of July, there could be more. The recent precipitation was not consistent statewide and some areas received less than ½ inch of rain. Lightning associated with thunderstorms may have also ignited dry timber and slash.
So far in 2016, there have been 464 wildfires throughout Maine that have burned a total of 752 acres. This is roughly 12% more fires and affected acreage than from the entire 2015 fire season. The most common causes of wildfires are escaped debris burns and equipment (machine) caused fires. Most of these fires are caused by people being careless and are preventable. Either the fire gets away from them, or they fail to fully extinguish the fire and it rekindles the next day.
Wildfire activity this past week:
- Mount Abrams Township - 43 acres
- Cathance Township Fire - 30 acres
- Harpswell - 3 acres
- Gouldsboro - 2 acres
- Weld, near Mount Blue - 1 acre
The Maine Forest Service advises people to check with their local fire department before burning their brush piles or having a campfire. Burn permits are required for burning brush and in some municipalities, campfire permits are also required. For those who want to burn in the unorganized townships, please contact the Regional Headquarters for the Maine Forest Service Monday through Friday 8 - 4 p.m. Augusta (207) 624-3700, Old Town (207) 827-1800, Ashland (207) 435-7963.
The Maine Forest Service also has an online burn permit system for brush pile fires only. Please visit http://www.maineburnpermit.com for more details.
Browntail Moth Pest Alert
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:24:13 EDT
I had a BROWNTAIL caterpillar infestation and now I have cocoons!
What to do: Use caution - cocoons are full of the hairs THAT CAN CAUSE A RASH. Remember that these hairs will persist until next year or longer.
If you want to remove the cocoons (different from the overwintering webs):
- Wear protective clothing
- Wet down cocoons before removing them
Pressure wash or scrape cocoons off structures or clip out of favorite plants:
- Put a drop cloth under area to collect them
- Let soak overnight in soapy water and compost or dispose in trash
Browntail caterpillars wander and form their cocoons anywhere in the area. Favorite places are:
- Under the eaves on a building, on the underside of anything
- In the leaves of any plant
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Spruce budworm citizen science project seeks volunteers
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:25:06 EDT
The Budworm Tracker program, a component of the Healthy Forest Partnership, is expanding and looking for volunteers to join its Budworm Tracker citizen science program in Northern Maine.
The Budworm Tracker Program is part of a large scientific initiative aimed at better understanding how spruce budworm populations rise and spread. Spruce budworm is one of the most damaging native insects affecting balsam fir and spruce trees in Canada and northern Maine. Outbreaks, such as the one currently in Québec, Canada, often result in widespread tree growth loss and death with effects that can last for decades.
"The Budworm Tracker team wants to engage interested citizens to help us conduct research and monitor spruce budworm populations in their own backyards and woodlots," said Program Coordinator Emily Owens. "Our team is trying to better understand the extent that migrating moths coming from an outbreak, such as the current on in Québec, might play a roll in the rise and spread of spruce budworm."
The program was launched in 2015 to help scientists increase their understanding of the spruce budworm by having citizens assist with the collecting and sharing of scientific data.
In Eastern Canada, several hundred volunteers have signed up for the 2016 season in and the program is looking to add 30-40 volunteers in northern Maine. These volunteers range from families who are interested in science and forestry, to industry and forestry stakeholders. As citizen scientists, they are asked to trap and collect spruce budworm moths at least once per week during the flight season, between June and August, and send the data back to the research team. The traps are supplied for free and come with simple instructions. A short video also describes the program.
In ME, the research team is particularly interested in recruiting volunteers in locations as southern as Bangor and as northern as the border with Québec and New Brunswick.
Individuals working or living in these areas who are interested in becoming a citizen scientist can visit www.budwormtracker.ca
">http://www.budwormtracker.ca/">www.budwormtracker.ca or call:
Emily Owens, Biologist
Forest Protection Limited
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Gov. LePage, Budworm Task Force to release risk assessment and response plan
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:16:21 EDT
AUGUSTA - Gov. Paul R. LePage and members of the Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force will unveil "Coming Spruce Budworm Outbreak: Initial Risk Assessment and Preparation & Response Recommendations for Maine's Forestry Community" at a news conference in the Cabinet Room on Wednesday, March 16 at 9 a.m.
"Maine assembled an impressive team of experts in advance of this spruce budworm outbreak to learn from the last outbreak and take steps to help minimize damage from this one," said Gov. LePage. "I commend members of the Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force for their time, expertise and recommendations on how to address the infestation. The last SBW infestation cost Maine's forest-based economy hundreds of millions of dollars and had a devastating effect on the forest products industry in Maine."
The eastern spruce budworm is believed to be the most damaging forest insect in Maine and North America. Outbreaks of the insect that kills balsam fir and spruce trees occur every 30 to 60 years. Severe defoliation already has occurred in an area the size of Maine in southern Quebec. An update will be provided at the press conference on the infestation's progress toward Maine.
During the last outbreak, which lasted from 1970-85, the insect decimated up to 25 million cords of spruce/fir wood, 21 percent of all fir trees in the state, according to the Maine Forest Products Council. The infestation cost the state's forest-based economy hundreds of millions of dollars and had lasting effects on forest management.
The Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force formed in 2013 to determine the economic and ecological effects another outbreak might have on the state and a strategy to minimize those effects. Leading the task force were Wagner, Patrick Strauch, executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council; and Doug Denico, director of the Maine Forest Service. Task force teams included about 65 experts who focused on wood supply and economic impacts; monitoring and protection; forest management; policy, regulatory and funding; wildlife habitat; communications and outreach; and research priorities.
A draft of the report was released for public review in November 2014. Task force team leaders presented the report to municipalities, environmental groups, the legislature, logging contractors and economic development consortiums. The report includes about 70 recommendations, several of which have already been implemented.
The report's recommendations on preparing for the outbreak include increasing monitoring efforts, applying insecticides where needed, changing forest management strategies such as harvesting, and seeking markets for presalvage trees that likely would be lost.
Printed copies of the report, as well as an executive summary and a brochure will be available at the press conference and, at its conclusion, online.
Dr. Robert Wagner, Henry W. Saunders Distinguished Professor in Forestry Director, Center for Research on Sustainable Forests and Cooperative Forestry Research Unit, (207) 581-2903, firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Denico, Maine State Forester, (207) 287-2791, email@example.com
Patrick Strauch, Executive Director, Maine Forest Products Council, 207-622-9288, 207-841-6869 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.orgFact">http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=671550&an=1">Fact