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 www.me.nrcs.usda.gov or contact your nearest USDA Service Center, listed online at http://offices.usda.gov 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 http://www.mainevlmp.org/ .

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