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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