Monday, October 24, 2011

Salmon Falls Watershed Workshops announced

“Your Land, CLEAN WATER, Your Legacy" 

A panel of local landowners, foresters, and staff from state and local conservation organizations will discuss practices that can protect the water quality of the Salmon Falls Watershed and the types of financial and technical assistance programs that are available to implement them.

Join us for one of 3 workshops being offerred in the Salmon Falls Watershed.

November 7th, 6:00pm at the Governor's Inn in Rochester, NH (please register at

November 16th, 6:oopm at Noble High School in N. Berwick, ME (no registration required)

December 7th, 6:oopm at the Acton Town Hall, Acton ,ME  (no registration required)

Come learn how communities and landowners can work together to protect water quality and other key natural resources to keep the Salmon Falls River Watershed healthy, vibrant, and economically viable.  Hear how you can contribute through voluntary measures such as forest management plans, conservation easements and more.  Find out about the financial and technical assistance that is available to help implement these measures.

The Salmon Falls Watershed was recently identified by the US Forest Service as the watershed most at risk in the US to suffer a reduction in water quality due to land development within the next twenty years.  A watershed is a region where all runoff flows into the same major waterway, such as the Salmon Falls River.  Some pristine head water lakes of the Salmon Falls River already show declining water quality and the river itself has shown signs of stress for several decades. The risk for the future is that thousands of acres of working farms and forest land could be converted to development, with more negative impacts on water quality, local tourism, property values, and the regional economy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Changes to the District Forest

If you have recently driven by the Sid Emery Demo Forest on Brock Road you will have noticed a few changes. We have just finished a managed harvest using modern logging equipment on the property. This harvest is part of a forest management plan designed by Erik Grove of Southern Maine Forestry Services & the District Forestry committee. The original managment plan was funded through a Project Canopy grant & calls for several different types of harvest techniques to help create a working forest. Landowners can walk the trails & can see how a particular type of harvest will look on the land.

We chose the modern, larger equipment harvest first because, if done right, the impact on the land is minimal & the harvest is efficient. This saves both the logger & landowner time & money.

Hardwood was removed for pulp & firewood releasing the understory of young pine that can now grow to maturity. We also had a load of red pine poles cut to thin out the planted stands.

We have also created a wildlife opening as part of the landing site. This 1 acre clearing will become prime habitat for game birds, rabbits, deer, moose & bear. The scrubby growth that will emerge in the spring will provide food & shelter. You can also expect blackberry bushes to sprout. Those seeds have been hanging out in the soil for decades just waiting for an opportunity to sprout & grow.

The Demo forest is open to non-motorized use. This is a day-use area so fires & camping are not allowed.
Hunters please be aware that many folks hike the trails, walk their dogs & ride horses on the Demo forest. We also have folks looking for geocaches on the property. Everyone needs to wear blaze orange during hunting season. Please take the time to put on a vest & hat so you can be seen.

We hope you visit the Demo Forest & enjoy the quiet trails. If you would like to voluteer to help us out in any way feel free to call the office at 201-324-0888 X 214 or email

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Planned Harvest in Action

Join us on Saturday September 17th from 9:ooam - 12:00 pm for a tour of an active harvest on the Sid Emery Demo Forest off Brock Road, Lyman. Forester Erik Grove will lead the tour to look at how a carefully planned harvest is a successful harvest. Watch modern logging equipment at work & see how efficient the big machines can be even on a small harvest.
The YCSWCD work with Erik Grove  & utilizing a Project Canopy Grant to create a sound Forest Management plan. The objective of the District is to provide a place to show proper forest management in a working forest. We will host other workshops at this site in the future as well.
Please call our office if you have any questions.  Please dress appropriately for the weather & woods walking.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Farm & Forest Program Sign ups

Here are several program sign up deadlines on the horizon for farmers.

Maine Farms for the FutureThe Phase 1-Business Planning Grant provides up to $6,000 for farmers to develop a written business plan that includes detailed cash flow analyses and profit & loss statements.  Successful applicants receive 17 months of technical assistance - from the Maine Department of Agriculture and the University of Maine Small Business Development Centers - to research & analyze their "idea for change".  The grant funds also enable farmers to hire professional consultants, researchers and other key advisors of their own choosing. The deadline to apply for a Round 11 - Phase 1 grant, is Wednesday, October 5th, 2011.  Grant awards will be announced in early November.

September 2, 2011 Sign up Deadline

·        Maine landowners who would like assistance in developing, improving, or managing wildlife habitat or restoring natural ecosystems, are encouraged to apply for the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP). Through WHIP, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property.

·        Funding through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is available to assist Maine forest land owners with forest land planning and management under the New England/New York Forestry Initiative, improving wildlife habitat, forest health and productivity, and water quality. Eligible conservation practices include forest stand improvement, integrated pest management, early successional habitat development and management, tree and shrub establishment, upland wildlife habitat management, stream crossings, riparian forest buffer, fish passage, stream habitat improvement and management, forest trails and landings, conservation cover, access roads, road/trail/landing closure and treatment, wetland restoration, tree and shrub site preparation, and wetland wildlife habitat management.

·        Applications are being accepted for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), which provides financial incentives to help producers restore farmland, including pastures, which were once wetlands to create fully-functioning wetlands again. This is a great opportunity for many landowners who may have land that is poorly drained and difficult to cultivate, landowners who are looking to cut back on farming but don’t want to sell the land, or those landowners interested in establishing and protecting prime wildlife habitat.

For more information go to or contact your nearest USDA Service Center, listed online at or in the telephone book under United States Government, Agriculture Department.
Since 1935, NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources. NRCS employees provide technical assistance based on sound science and that is suited to a customer’s specific needs, and provides financial assistance for many conservation activities.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
For more information on the above programs contact your local NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) USDA Service Center.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

York County IPP Week - Survey your lake front!

This week is the official YC Lakes Survey week. So get out there with your boat (or you can snorkel) & start looking for those invasive aquatic plants that could be lurking just below the surface. It's simple enough & you can do your lake front property in under an hour - though I will warn you that once you start looking you might just keep going!
We are focusing on the littoral zone - basically where light reaches the bottom. FMI visit or upcoming training opportunities visit .

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

2011 YCIASP Symposium - Building Invasive Plant Patrol Teams

Just a reminder that the YCIASP Symposium: Building Invasive Plant Patroll Teams is scheduled for tomorrow night in the Anderson Learning Center on Bradeen St in Springvale starting at 6pm. We will be meeting downstairs in the Heritage room - please use the Bradeen St entrance. This program is FREE & open to the public. Call 324-0888 X 214 FMI

Thursday, July 28, 2011

2011 YCIASP Symposium - Building Invasive Plant Patrol Teams

The 2011 York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project (YCIASP) Symposium - Building Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) Teams - has been scheduled for Thurs., Aug. 4, from 6-9 PM. It will be held at the Heritage Room (lower level) at Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., in Springvale, ME. Here is the Google link to that location -
The symposium will be a combination of presentations & discussions related to already-existing active IPP teams, "currently-being-constructed" IPP teams and displays of equipment, tools, reference materials and live plant samples. The event is being held to help bolster the efforts of groups in York County that are working hard to develop IPP teams on their waterbodies, watersheds or in their local regions. You do not need to register for this symposium event.
So, please join us at the symposium and share your hopes for building a team, your tales of trials and tribulations or your stories of success in building a team. We hope to gather ideas that will help folks be more successful at building a team and sustaining it over the years ahead.
Attached is a late July updated YCIASP flyer - updated as of today - with a list of upcoming planned events and other information. The August flyer, with some more specific dates for some events, will be available by week.
Again, thanks for your continuing interest in this project and we hope you can make it to the symposium next Thurs. evening.
This symposium is supported by a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation & York County Soil &Water.

Monday, July 18, 2011

York County designated Soils of Local Importance List

Last month, a list of Locally Important Soils compiled by NRCS Soil Resource Specialist Dave Wilkinson was approved & submitted to NRCS State Conservationist Juan Hernandez by the York County Soil & Water Conservation District (YCSWCD) Board.
Today we are happy to announce that we received word that the list has been accepted!

What does this mean?
Locally Important Soil (LIS) types are those soils that are significant for production of crops including vegetables, hay, grains, etc. Having soil types on this list also help leverage funds for conservation groups to obtain easements as well.

The list is a compilation of additional soils not found on the prime & statewide significance list. In York County it is important to note that the soil on the LIS list are
ONLY areas that are currently NON-FORESTED OPEN FARMED LANDS.

Here is the list in it's entirety.



Alb      Allagash very fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
BcB     Becket fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
MaB    Madawaska fine sandy loam, 0 to 8 percent slopes
MrB    Marlow fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
On       Ondawa fine sandy loam
PeB     Peru fine sandy loam, 0 to 8 percent slopes
SkB      Skerry fine sandy loam, 0 to 8 percent slopes


AdB    Adams loamy sand, 0 to 8 percent slopes
AlC     Allagash very fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
BcC     Becket fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
BuB     Buxton silt loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
BuC    Buxton silt loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
CoB     Colton gravelly loamy coarse sand, 0 to 8 percent slopes
CrB     Croghan loamy sand, 0 to 8 percent slopes
EmB    Elmwood fine sandy loam, 0 to 8 percent slopes
EmC   Elmwood fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
HeB    Hermon fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
HeC    Hermon fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
LnB     Lyman fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
Po       Podunk and Winooski soils
SeB      Scio silt loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
SeC     Scio silt loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
SkC     Skerry fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes

ONLY areas that are currently NON-FORESTED OPEN FARMED LANDS

AdC    Adams loamy sand, 8 to 15 percent slopes
AdD    Adams loamy sand, 15 to 40 percent slopes 1/
BcD     Becket fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
BeB     Becket very stony fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slope s
BeC     Becket very stony fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
BeD     Becket very stony fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
BuD    Buxton silt loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
CoC    Colton gravelly loamy coarse sand, 8 to 15 percent slopes
CoD    Colton gravelly loamy coarse sand, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
HeD    Hermon fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes          1/
HmB   Hermon very stony fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
HmC   Hermon very stony fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
HmD  Hermon very stony fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
HnC    Hermon extremely stony fine sandy loam, 3 to 15 percent slopes
LnC     Lyman fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
MrC2 Marlow fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes, eroded
MrD2 Marlow fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes, eroded 1/
MvB    Marlow very stony fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes
MvC   Marlow very stony fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes
MvD   Marlow very stony fine sandy loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
Sc        Scantic silt loam
SeD     Scio silt loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes 1/
SrB      Skerry very stony fine sandy loam, 0 to 8 percent slopes
SrC      Skerry very stony fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes

1/    ONLY areas that are currently non-forested open farmed land IN PERMANENT VEGETATION

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are you harboring an Alien?

Aliens come in all shapes & sizes. They can be ugly, pretty, destructive, enjoyable & a nuisance. Now, I am not talking about those green faced, large eyed Martians from the movies. I am talking about something more sinister, creeping into your backyard during daylight hours, floating on a warm summer breeze, hitching a ride among unsuspecting travelers. They are Invasive plants & they are in your neighborhood right now!

One of the largest invaders into our yards is the Norway Maple. This large tree is similar to our own native Sugar Maple, but is actually a European invader. First introduced to the US in 1756, this tree can grow upwards of 100 feet tall. The gray bark has regular shallow grooves, almost like netting. The Norway Maple generally has green leaves that turn yellow in the fall although there is a variety that has dark red leaves. This tree has historically been a favorite for parks, yards & cities. The biggest problem that this tree creates is aggressive growth resulting in native trees & plants being out competed for nutrients & sunlight. This eventually leads to decreased plant diversity & a change in the native forest habitat. There are solutions. Obviously removing the tree is the first option that comes to mind, however in many situations that is not practical. If a tree cannot be removed or a home owner would prefer to keep the tree then regular checks & removal of seedlings by hand or saw is recommended.

Alien #2 is the dreaded Burning Bush. This ornamental shrub is a popular invader. It is easy to grow, likes full sun to shade as well as any type of soil. But it’s the fall colors that attract us like bees to honey. In the fall this Asian invaders’ leaves turn a crimson red, but don’t let that beautiful color fool you. This shrub can live almost anywhere, crowding out native species & dispersing far distances by birds that eat the fruit & deposit the seeds.

Another bad alien is the Barberry. This plant  is commonly dispersed by birds. Introduced to the US in the 1700’s from Europe, the Barberry was grown for hedges, jam made from the fruit & a yellow dye from the plant. In addition this plant has nasty long spines just waiting to grab you! Ouch! Banned from sale in many states, Barberry can still be found in Maine.
Both the Burning Bush & Barberry can be controlled by hand pulling. Herbicides can be used on all three of these invaders but must be applied properly by a licensed applicator.

Although none of these aliens will steal your first born, or perform experiments on you (at least I don’t think so…) they are ones to watch out for. Many terrestrial invaders can still be found for sale in Maine since these plants still bring in a profit. Many nurseries are aware of these invaders & can suggest other alternatives.

There are several common ways that these invasives arrive in our backyards such as dispersal by the wind or birds, and planting by unsuspecting homeowners. But the most common way is through the construction of new homes and roads when large amounts of gravel & soil are trucked in. Tiny seeds & plant fragments are often hidden in the soil. Once delivered to a new site & spread the seeds begin to grow into plants that will out compete native species.

There are many more terrestrial & aquatic invaders threatening our New England landscape. Our website has a list of these invaders & many links to management information at
Happy Gardening!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2011 York County Lake Survey

We are in need of local stewards who are interested in joining a great team of folks monitoring our lakes, ponds & rivers for Invasive Aquatic Plants. You can join an existing team or start your own! Training is available. All that's required is access to a watercraft (snorkels & floaties work nice!) & an insterest in floating in the water!
In order to prevent the devastating effects that infestations of non-native invasive plants we need eyes in the water! Please contact our office at 324-0888 x 214 FMI!

IPP Survey Field Methods Workshop

Mousam Lake is the host site for the IPP Survey Field Methods workshop on July 23 starting at 8:30am. FMI visit .