Plant survey continues on Saco River

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OXFORD — The Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District is continuing the mapping of invasive plants along the upper Saco River throughout the spring and summer. Assisting partners are The Nature Conservancy, the Saco River Recreation Council and the Saco River Corridor Commission.

The mapping project is funded by a Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grant with match provided by assisting partners. The project encompasses approximately 20,000 acres of highly vulnerable river floodplain areas and tributaries.

Previous years mapping has found infestations of several species along the river and inland. Invasive non-native plant species are a threat to native ecosystems and can quickly take over an area, adversely affecting native plants and animals. One goal of the grant is to develop an action plan to slow the spread of the invasive plants into other areas.

Volunteers are welcome and can assist team leaders as they map, learning as they help. Landowners may also survey their own land if they wish, using materials provided.

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Landowners within 250 feet of the Upper Saco River floodplain in the towns of Brownfield, Hiram, Fryeburg, Denmark, Stow, Lovell and Sweden, who do not wish to have their land surveyed, may contact the district.

For more information, to volunteer or to refuse entry to land, contact the district by e-mail at susan.gammon@me.nacdned.net, call 743-5789, ext. 1 or mail to Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District, 1570 Main St. Suite 10, Oxford, ME 04270.

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