Rangeley, ME– For the fourth season RLHT will be working with the Maine Forest Service and Seven Islands Land Company to continue its annual installationn of spruce budworm (SBW) traps. Multiple traps have been placed on four separate RLHT properties and will be taken down by September to be sent to MFS for estimations on population size and spread.

Spruce budworm is a native species of moth larvae in Maine that feeds on black and red spruce, larch, fir, and hemlock trees. A single tree can be defoliated in as little as two years’ time, and this rapid loss results in reduced forest value and an increased potential of wildfires. Spruce budworm outbreaks occur every 30-60 years and are very severe. The last outbreak in Maine was in the 1970s, so we are at a high risk therefore annual monitoring is important for forest health.

Although a native species, the SBW mimics many of the core traits of an invasive like its immense number of offspring, and through the results of climate change, Maine is continually becoming a habitable place for invasive & harmful species to spread.

Outbreaks or single trees can be controlled on the ground using pesticides approved by the EPA and the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, but the key to preventing massive tree die offs and other major forest disturbances is early detection.

We are being proactive in an effort to make our outbreak control easier, should it occur. To learn more about the Spruce Budworm, we urge you to visit the Maine Forest Service at: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/.

About Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust maintains traditional public access and uses of over 14000 acres of conservation land for recreation, education, and scientific study.  They operate EcoVenture Youth Camp, Headwaters Lake Protection Program, and offer remote and traditional camping through Cupsuptic Lake Park & Campground. 

To learn more about RLHT or how to get involved, visit rlht.org.