Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Successful Partnership Wrapping UP

                                      Marcia Baker, Chairman, Deer Forage Project

Results Gratifying:  We are more than satisfied with the success of our plots as this  three-year community partnership comes to its planned closure.  We have planted around 12 acres of plots scattered throughout the Rangeley area.  The are approximately 35 plots, big and small,  some more productive than others.  The active project covered the years 2010-12.  

Seven Islands and Wagner Forest Products,  our most important partners have made a commitment to continue to plant our high-protein seed mix.  I especially want to commend them for their willingness to learn new procedures in preparing the log landings for our use.  In fact Wagner has received the very prestigious 2013 "Land User of the Year" Award sponsored by IF & W and the Maine Snowmobile Association, partly because of their dedication to this and other conservation projects. 
I also want to thank Re-Energy Biomass Energy Plant in Stratton for donating and transporting the clean wood ash to a central Rangeley Depot.  M & H  Construction donated many hours of free labor and equipment hauling ash, excavating landings and providing a central ash distribution center.  Trucking was also provided by Mark Beauregard, Doug Burlingame,  and Ron Ray.    Michael KoobDave Borman , Bill Carter andFrank Cerminara used their equipment to spread the ash on the plots.  A special thanks to Rick Baker andRon Ray,  who devoted many long hours using their ATV's to rake and seed the plots.  Over 30 RRG&SA volunteers contributed manual labor.  Acknowledgment also goes to  IF & W, Bob Cordess; Franklin County Soil & Water Conservation Service, U of Maine Extension Service; and  Patti Cormier of Maine Forest Service.   A big thanks goes to Senator Tom Saviello,  who introduced legislation so that wood ash could be stream-lined as a natural soil neutralizer for the use in wildlife food plots.

Please consider patronizing  these businesses as a thanks to their generosity.

As of December 6, 2012,  deer were still frequenting some of our plots, loading up on forage to fatten them up for winter. Because of this warm week,  the clover, what remained of it, was still bright green.  There were also signs of moose, turkey and grouse.  The turnips are fist-sized and their tops are disappearing to hungry mouths!

But the DEER FORAGE PROJECT  is not just going away yet.  We are consulting to interested land-owners through out the state and conducting workshops sharing her knowledge.  A planned partnership with the state biologist, Joe Wiley,  to do a demonstration plot, using wood ash, on Rangeley area Public Lands.  The DFP is also partnering with Andy Weik,  biologist,  Ruffed Grouse Society,  to manage the Bald Mountain Public Land Unit for grouse. 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012


One of our more prolific plots.  Different moose and deer photoed with trail camera every day.  This plot is south-facing and lies along the migration route.

Moose browsing

Moose and deer browsing together.  I thought that doesn't happen.

Deer at night

What's this?

Getting a mouth full

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Thanks to Senator Tom Saviello,   new legislation allows clean wood ash to be stock-piled,  as long as "run-off" guidelines are followed.  Joe Haley of M&H has graciously offered his Oquossoc shale and gravel pit as a central distribution center.   
Special thanks to Stratton's ReEnergy Biomass Plant for transporting their wood ash biproduct  to our  Rangeley distribution center.  It's a win-win:  We take their unwanted biproduct, and they don't have to transport the ash to a transfer Station in Norridgewock.  
 From Oquossoc Shale and Gravel Pit,  volunteer trucks, like Mark Beauregard,
 M & H, and Doug Burlingame, load  the ash to take it to nearby log landings.

Joe Haley, big supporter from the start,  checking out the dumped ash on a Seven Islands' winter road .

Micheal Koob, from Koob's Garage, after long hours,  spreading ash with his Kubota and raking it into the soil at dusk.  Only took 45 minutes, wow!

And finally,  Rick Baker seeding the Seven Islands' winter road. With the ATV-attached seeder, it only took one hour.  The evenly-scattered  seed spreads about 8 feet on each side.  Ron Ray of Cupsuptic Fabrication  also seeds.  


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Three Year Old Plots Continue to Produce

N0W:  Plot going on Third Season
 A stroll in our original plot made in spring, 2010.  This is a Wagner sponsored log landing.  The three year-old clover is knee high,  and timothy and self-seeded oats still thrive.  
Deer or Moose Browsing Signs
Then: Early 2010 Plot in its Infancy 

Volunteers Prepare Landings for 2012 Season

There was a big turn-out to clear debris on    the new 2012 landings for  dragging, laying out wood ash,  and seeding.  Thank you Don Curtiss, Don Montevani, Don Chase and Don Miller...   (Huh, Are we in Sicily?!)  Also, Marge Miller, Claire Chase, Aaron Vryhof and Rick Baker. 

Don Miller, Aaron Vryhof and Rick Baker taking a break.
Left to Right:  Don Curtiss, Marge Miller, Dick Moore,  Claire  Chase and Don Miller.  This plot really has a room with a view!  This plot already shows a lot of promise. 

Don Chase and Don Montevani 

Already,  there is lots of sign of deer and  moose. Even a grouse covey.  Not to mention two snakes, a vole, a rat , song birds and a toad.  
Marge Miller swinging it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Forage Seed Mix Available at River's Edge, Oquossoc

We have been checking our first and second season's  deer plot crops just this week.  I am pleased to announce that we have seen many grouse coveys foraging and deer browsing.There are also browsing signs of moose and beer too.  The clover aroma is overwhelming and a foot high. Song birds are busy eating the bees and insects.   This seed mix really works,  and of course the wood ash helps a little too!

The Rangeley Standard Seed Mix is still available at River's Edge Sports in Oquossoc,  864-5582.  A 12 lb. bag will cover 1/8 acre and is $40.  Always make sure that your soil has a ph of 6.0.   Use lime or wood ash to build up your soil to the proper sweetness.  Composed of Winter rye, buck forage oats, buckwheat, forage turnips; and  white dutch- medium red- and alsike clover. 

We also introduced a new Low Ph Seed Mix,  which should grow in soils 5.0-5.5.  It is experimental.  Sorry we are sold out,  but you can order this seed mix through Easter Sales, Pownal 688-4991.  A 12 lb. bag cost 65$ and covers an acre.  Composed of Chicory, cowpeas, annual winter rye, buckwheat ,  crimson clover, Durana white- and Alsike Clover.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Deer Feeding: Helpful or Harmful

Jerry Levigne,  retired deer biologist has written an article regarding the complex issue of feeding deer in the winter. For anyone who has fed the deer or is contemplating this activity,  you should read this first.    Please click on this link :