What is an invasive plant?
An invasive plant is defined as a plant species that is not native to the Maine ecosystem, whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species often lack natural predators, diseases, and other pathogens that keep them in check in their native habitats. They have competitive adaptations; for example, invasive plants benefit from early leaf-out, aggressive reproductive strategies, and efficient dispersal methods.
The Somerset County SWCD provides landowners with information and technical assistance in the identification and management of invasive plants.
What is the impact of invasive plants?
Invasive plants: 1) Outcompete native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in our natural habitat; 2) Create monoculture stands devoid of biodiversity; 3) Overtake productive farmland and forests; and 4) Reduce habitat for native wildlife, like butterflies and birds.
Conservation Innovation Grant
Somerset County SWCD has partnered with Maine Natural Areas Program and SWCD staff in Kennebec, Lincoln and Waldo counties on a new initiative to identify and support the management of invasive plants on working lands. Through the project, District staff are available to work in partnership with eligible landowners to:
Identify invasive plant species that are the highest priority for removal on working lands,
Leverage cost-share funding opportunities to support the management of invasive species, and
Implement targeted invasive species control projects on participating properties.
We are working with six landowners in Somerset County in 2019 to identify and prioritize invasive plant concerns. We are now recruiting properties for the 2020 program. If you own property in Somerset County and want to better understand the extent and impacts of invasive plants, please contact Joe to discuss how we may best assist.