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Invasive Pest Workshop in Milo to Address Threats to Maine’s Forests

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Invasive Forest Pest Workshops are being offered statewide in 2017 by Maine Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) through a grant from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The upcoming Invasive Forest Pest workshop at the Milo Town office in Milo, Maine, hosted by the Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) will be held on Thursday, March 16 from 9:30AM to 11:30AM (Snow date March 17) and will feature presenters Allison Kanoti, Maine Forest Service Entomologist, and Heidi Reinhard, PCSWCD Program Coordinator. The statewide and local chapters of the Maine Woodland Owners (formerly SWOAM) are co-hosts of this workshop.

The focus of this free workshop is to train landowners, landscape and forest professionals, as well as the general public, to identify current and potential invasive forest pests and their host species, to understand the threats to our forests and woodlands posed by these pests, and to learn how to report suspected pest sightings or damage to trees that may be a result of pest infestations.

Invasive forest pests like the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the emerald ash borer (EAB), hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and others have the potential for landscape scale damage to Maine’s forests. Although ALB and EAB have not been found in Maine, the emerald ash borer has been found in New Hampshire, near to the Maine state line. HWA is established in coastal locations in Maine. The best defense for our trees and forests is early detection by people who work with trees, those who enjoy the outdoors and those involved in community education.

Training topics will include the potential impact of ALB, EAB and HWA in the state of Maine, current management activities, pest and infestation identification, pest life cycles, infestation reporting, host tree identification and Community Response Planning. This training will prepare folks with the necessary tools and information to help protect our forests from these invasive pests.

Allison Kanoti joined the Maine Forest Service as a forest entomologist in 2006. She is responsible for administering state forestry-related quarantines and cooperating with USDA APHIS on federal quarantines. In addition, Kanoti coordinates survey and management activities for several insect pests and responds to inquiries regarding forest and shade-tree insect concerns. Allison is currently stationed at the Maine Forest Service office in Old Town, ME.

Prior to working as a forest entomologist, Kanoti received a B.S. in forest biology from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in forestry from the University of Maine. Between earning her degrees she worked for the forest inventory project in several capacities for both the US Forest Service and the Maine Forest Service.

Heidi Reinhard has been involved with conservation issues and the outdoors for nearly the entirety of her life; as an AT hiker since the mid 1970’s, a volunteer and/or member of Audubon for over the last 20 years. Reinhard received her degree in Earth and Geographic Sciences. Since living in Maine, Reinhard has served as a volunteer for the PCSWCD particularly on projects related to sustainable forestry. Since becoming the Program Coordinator in October, 2016, Reinhard has focused her work on forestry and water quality issues in Piscataquis County.

All Invasive Forest Pest Workshop participants will 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. This program has been reviewed and is approved for professional CFE credits by the Society of American Foresters (SAF), Category 1-CF: 2.0. SAF Credits are approved for continuing education by the State of Maine Board of Licensure of Foresters. This program is also approved by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control for 2 Pesticide Applicator Credits.

Pre-registration for this workshop is required by Monday, March 13th. For more information or to register, please contact the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District by phone at (207) 564-2321 ext. 3, by email at info@piscataquisswcd.org, or by stopping in at the office at 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. Early registration is encouraged.

This material is made possible through a grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and is funded in part by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The USDA, DACF, MACD and PCSWCD are equal opportunity providers, lenders and employers.