The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) in conjunction with the Maine Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) is dedicated to informing the public about how the community can work to lessen invasive forest pests and aquatic plants in Piscataquis County and beyond. This year the National Invasive Species Week is Feb. 26 through March 2.
The term “invasive” refers to non-native species that have been introduced into habitats such as forests, fields, or waterbodies, and become dominant and disruptive to native species. The PCSWCD works to alert landowners andcommunities to the threat of invasive species. Mainers are all too familiar with the spruce bud worm from our past events, but there are several other pests that can be very destructive and are on the rise. The Emerald Ash Borer(EAB) has done considerable damage in southern New Hampshire. This invasive pest could be transported into Maine on or in fire wood and threatens all ash trees in North America. Brown ash has been used for generations for basket weaving as well as small tool handles and baseball bats.
The Emerald Ash Borer is but one example of an invasive pest on the rise and there are several others. The Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has created a list of 33 plants that can no longer be sold in nurseries for landscaping. Additionally, boaters have been encouraged to check for ‘hitchhikers’ or plant matter on their boats that can be transferred from one water body to another. The increasing number of these pests not only impacts our forest and tourism economy, they pose a considerable threat to our native wildlife habitat and our environment.
The PCSWCD has information in the office regarding these species as well as many others already here in Maine and those just over the border. Stop in Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., at our office in the USDA Service Center, 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover Foxcroft, ME 04426. Check out our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/www.piscataquisswcd.org during National Invasive Species Week (and year round) for links to family-friendly activities, information and more.