Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts received a grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation (DACF) to present programs for the Invasive Forest Pest Outreach Project- as well as displays at fairs and other events – throughout the state in 2017.
Since 2009, with funds provided in part by a grant from the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Maine DACF has been educating Maine citizens about invasive pests. Maine conservation districts are now taking up that outreach to educate the public and municipalities about the threats of non-native forest pests:
Those that occur in Maine include:
- emerald ash borer, recently found in Madawaska
- hemlock woolly adelgid & elongate hemlock scale, recently found near Waldo County
- winter moth
- gypsy moth
- browntail moth *Browntail moth caterpillars defoliate trees; contact with toxic hairs can cause severe dermatitis and respiratory problems.
Those that do not YET occur in Maine, but are close by in NH and MA:
- Asian longhorned beetle
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald ash borer was discovered in Maine for the first time in May of this year. Emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees across the Eastern US. In areas where it is established, ash trees are generally completely wiped out. Ash tree species are an important component of Maine forests, providing lumber and other wood products, wildlife food, and materials for First Nations basket makers.
Here are two good publications from the Maine Forest Service on what landowners, foresters and loggers should know about managing and planning for this serious pest:
Other Information on Managing EAB Infestations
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
The hemlock woolly adelgid is in Maine and has nearly reached or may have reached Waldo County. WCSW currently has initiated a volunteer monitoring program to look for HWA called Take a Stand. With potential biocontrols (predators that eat HWA that can be released in Maine) in development, finding this pest early may allow us to save hemlock trees. WCSW can provide assistance to county landowners, including land trusts and municipalities, in planning for and managing HWA infestation. Please contact us for more information.
How do invasive pests get here?
Forest pests typically get moved around unintentionally. They get moved long distances:
- in wooden packing material (pallets and crates);
- on infested plants in the nursery trade;
- in soil of plants that people bring to summer homes or when they move.
Buy it where you burn it!
One major vector for the movement of forest pests over long distances is FIREWOOD.
Maine currently bans bringing out of state firewood across state lines, but you can just as easily transport pests from one part of the state to another.
To help folks find local campwood and firewood, Maine has joined Firewood Scout.
At Firewood Scout, you can find local firewood, sell your local firewood (under “About Us”), and reduce the movement of invasive pests.
To learn more about invasive forest pests, attend a presentation in your area!
Forest Pest Programs
These programs are designed to help landowners and users, landscape and forest professionals, and all residents of the state to
- identify current and potential invasive forest pests and their host species,
- understand the threats to our forests and woodlands posed by these pests, and
- learn how to report suspected pest sightings or damage to trees that may be a result of pest infestations
Waldo County SWCD Programs
- Help us monitor for hemlock woolly adelgid in Waldo County through our Take a Stand program. Contact us to learn more.
- All participants receive an information packet with fact sheets about the major pest species, a list of host trees that the species may be found on, and other relevant information.
- All workshops are free
- Recertification credits These programs are reviewed and may be approved for the following recertification credits (depending on lenght of program):
- Professional CFE credits by the Society of American Foresters. Category 1-CF: 2.0
- Pesticide Applicator credits by the Board of Pesticides Control: 2.0
If you would like to attend a presentation in your area, please contact your local conservation district.
Upcoming Events in 2018
Look for us at the following events (and check back for more) to pick up information, ask questions, and share your experiences!
- Jun 7 Hiway Congress in Skowhegan (Somerset Cty)
- Aug 18-25 Union Fair (Knox Cty)
- Aug 22-23 Maine Farm Days in Clinton (Kennebec Cty)
- Aug 23-26 Acton Fair (York Cty)
- Sep 17 Farmington Fair Ag Day (Franklin Cty)
- Sep 21-23 Common Ground Country Fair in Unity (Waldo Cty)
For more information and fact sheets about invasive forest pests:
- Visit the new Invasive Species Portal at maine.gov
- Link to Maine Bugwatch on Facebook and sign up for Invasive Pest Outreach updates.
- New EAB fact sheet from Maine Forest Service: EAB for Landowners
To report a suspected sighting of an invasive pest, contact email@example.com or (207) 287-2431.
To find local firewood or campwood, visit Firewood Scout at http://firewoodscout.org/s/ME/
This material is made possible through a grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry and is funded in part by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The USDA and DACF are equal opportunity providers and employers. Some content provided by Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District.