BANGOR (Oct. 13, 2016) – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has selected a biologist with nearly 20 years of experience in natural resource issues to serve as the new District Conservationist for Hancock County.
Jeremy Markuson started in the position at the USDA Service Center on Broadway in Bangor on Oct. 3, and will oversee NRCS partnerships with agricultural producers and private landowners who are interested in addressing natural resource concerns in Hancock County.
“I’m really looking forward to working hand-in-hand with private landowners and other partners in Hancock County to protect and enhance our natural resources and improve agricultural productivity,” Markuson said. “Although I have a lot to learn about the current natural resource concerns and challenges in Hancock County, I believe we can provide the tools and conservation practices that will ensure the conservation of our natural resources and the long-term sustainability of agriculture within the county.”
Markuson is a native of Colorado, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and a Master’s of Science in Forest Science from Colorado State University before serving as a biological science technician for the National Park Service Endangered Species Program in Colorado. During his career he continued to serve with the National Park Service as a biologist/project coordinator at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, and later as a biologist at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. In 2010 he served as a resource advisor with the National Park Service in Gulf Breeze, Fla., assisting in damage assessments during oil spill cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
Most recently Markuson worked as a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Southeast New Jersey.
An avid runner, cyclist, and alpine and nordic skier, Markuson said he planning to take full advantage of the cultural and outdoor opportunities in the area since he now calls Maine “home.”
“It looks like ‘Down East’ has a lot to offer for an outdoor enthusiast like myself!” Markuson said. “I’m excited to start exploring the area for fly-fishing, trail running, and hunting opportunities. I’m also excited to look for areas to nordic and backcountry ski once the snow starts falling.”
As a branch of the USDA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial assistance, technical expertise and conservation planning for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners wanting to make conservation improvements to their land.
NRCS-Maine Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations Dan Schmidt explained that the selection of Markuson is an example of the commitment NRCS makes to the agricultural community in Hancock County.
“When we select our conservationists, we look for professionals who are skilled in the hard sciences of natural resource conservation,” Schmidt said. “But we also make sure those professionals can work closely and effectively with our partners. They must have good communications skills and be able to comfortably walk the fields and forests with farmers and landowners. They have to be able to make sound judgments when recommending a conservation plan on someone’s land.
“We’re confident that our partners in Hancock County will benefit from working with Jeremy and his staff for many years,” Schmidt added.
Markuson’s office is located in the USDA Service Center, 1432 Broadway, Suite 4, in Bangor. The NRCS office can be reached at (207) 947-6622.
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