RANGELEY – Local businesses in Rangeley and Oquossoc have teamed up to provide an exciting event for Columbus Day weekend in the legendary Rangeley Lakes Region. Celebrate the colors, taste and sounds of fall at Rangeley Oktoberfest in the beautiful Western Mountains of Maine. Featuring food, entertainment and a cornucopia of beers in a unique
The Deer Forage Project (DFP) community partnership, as planned, will come to a close this summer. The three-year project was created to address the sharp decline of the area deer herd. The whole community partnered to grow highly-productive food plots designed specifically for Rangeley’s inhospitable soil and harsh climate.
High protein food plots are known to fatten up deer, better preparing them to overcome winter starvation. Efforts were made to grow plots near deer yards and on south-facing slopes. Since its inception, over 35 plots were completed in the surrounding Rangeley area in empty log landings provided by two Large Land Owners (LLO); Wagner Forest Management LTD and Seven Islands Land Company.
The Project was conceived and coordinated by Rangeley Region Guides & Sportsmen’s Association (RRG&SA) board member, Marcia Baker. This project was the first in North America to experiment with wood ash as a sweetener and natural fertilizer of deer food plots. A specially-designed seed mix, created by Maine IF&W biologist, Bob Cordess, and the LLO’s agreed to replace it with their standard “conservation mix” used for erosion control.
Besides purchasing the new seed mix, Seven Islands and Wagner selected and excavated appropriate log-landings to be converted to food plots. Community businesses used their heavy equipment to spread the ash and then it was seeded by RRG&SA volunteers.
Marcia Baker would like to thank Stratton’s ReEnergy Biomass Energy that donated and transported the clean wood ash to a central Rangeley depot. M&H Logging devoted 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 Koob, Dave Borman and Brian St. Louis of Sunrise Farms, used their Kubotas to spread ash. Rick Baker and Ron Ray of Cupsuptic Fabrication used their ATV’s to seed the plots. Over 30 RRG&SA volunteers contributed manual labor. Much acknowledgment also goes to the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation Service, U. of Maine Extension Service, and Maine Forest Service for their assistance.
A special thanks goes to Senator Tom Saviello, who introduced legislation so wood ash could be stream-lined as a natural soil neutralizer for use in agriculture and food plots.
Results Gratifying. There is ample evidence that deer and other wildlife are using the food plots. Besides deer, other wildlife such as moose, bear, turkey, grouse coveys, and song birds are thriving on the landings. These plots produce ten times the forage grown without wood ash or lime preparation. This increase tonnage adds confidence to the benefit it has for wildlife sustainability. A low ph seed mix is now being experimentally seeded on Seven Islands plots, and they have indicated a willingness to use the two new seed mixes in the future. As RRG&SA steps down, Wagner will continue using ash to remedy the soil intended in the original project. Two deer plot workshops have been conducted with small land owners, and Baker now consults state-wide to other land owners hoping to grow private deer plots. Another educational workshop is being planned for Farmington in November. There is an educational blog http://deerandwildlifeforageproject.blogspot.com/ to further elaborate on the project. The Rangeley Seed Mix is available for sale at River’s Edge Sports in Oquossoc.
Rangeley’s community partnership serves as a model that is already being emulated by other state areas threatened with deer shortages.
SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Matthew Madeira of Rangeley, a senior in finance, was recently named to the spring semester dean’s list at Bryant University. Bryant is a student-centered university, focused on providing rigorous academic programs that integrate business and liberal arts to develop the skills and critical thinking essential to every profession.
A special note of thanks to all those who helped make our Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Festival and parade a huge success this year. A two-day event takes legions of volunteers and many hours of behind-the-scenes preparation that often go unrewarded. Add to that the generous donations of materials, sponsorships and other miscellaneous items from area businesses and organizations.read more