Patriot LWM to Present on Innovative Concepts for Ecological Restoration & Natural Resource Management to the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance

Join the Monocacy & Catoctin Watershed Alliance on February 27th at 1pm for their upcoming meeting featuring an exciting presentation by Patriot Land & Wildlife Management Services, Inc., as well as partner updates and networking. Patriot Land & Wildlife Management Services, Inc. will be presenting on their on-the-ground experiences with innovative concepts for ecological restoration and natural resource management. Selected practices include: Utilizing goats for invasive species control; wildflower & pollinator plantings; a new custom cover crop planting service; Biohaven® floating islands; and alternative agricultural production concepts like diversionary wildlife food plots and the incorporation of sustainable agricultural practices on managed lands. Please RSVP to Heather Montgomery.

Location:

Thurmont Regional Library Community Room

76 East Moser Road Thurmont, MD 21788

 

Patriot Office Christmas Tree Drop Off Program

Christmas Tree Drop Off

Christmas has come and gone, but it is still the season for giving. As you get the last few days out of your beautifully decorated Christmas tree and begin to ponder the best way to haul it out of the house without creating the inevitable mess, it’s also time to think about what to do with it once it’s back outdoors.

Kick it to the curb for sanitation to come pickup and trash? Haul it to the dump? Throw it in the woods along a slow country road (we hate when people do that)? Drop it off at Patriot Land and Wildlife in Dickerson free of charge where we can repurpose it for wildlife habitat all across the area for little critters like rabbits, ground nesting birds, and even fish to enjoy? OF COURSE! What better sense does it make to complete the circle by harvesting a tree for you and your family to enjoy during the holidays, then return it to nature in a still usable state for wildlife to utilize once again! These repurposed trees provide nesting areas for birds, hiding areas for rabbits and other ground-dwellers, and even shady areas in the summer for fish.

So bring your trees on by our office between 8 AM – 4 PM, Monday – Friday. 22300 Dickerson Road, Dickerson MD 20842. Please proceed through the blue gates and place your tree in the pile past the board fence on the left side of the driveway. Please remove all non-organic material (stands, tinsel, etc.) from the trees prior to drop off. We will use these trees across the local area to create new and enhance current wildlife habitat. It feels good to give back, doesn’t it? Happy Holidays from the Patriot Land and Wildlife family to your family!

Call us at 240-687-7228 if you have any questions!

Montgomery County DEP Releases Summer 2012 Stormwater Maintenance Tips

Patriot Land & Wildlife’s stormwater and aquatics division has been hard at work these past few months on stormwater & pond related issues for our clients. Stormwater facility maintenance has been a major focus for the Patriot LWM team to ensure our clients are in compliance with EPA and local government regulation issues long before the inspector arrives on site.

Here is an example of Patriot LWM low impact tree removal on a stormwater outfall pipe for a client this summer

Patriot Land & Wildlife is based in Montgomery County, Maryland, a county which coincidentally has been on the forefront of the stormwater management issue for many years. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection publishes some great informative newsletters for homeowners associations, property managers and stormwater contractors on a quarterly basis. Below is an excerpt from the Summer 2012 edition which you can read fully by clicking here. The newsletter describes very well many of the tasks Patriot Land & Wildlife preforms on a daily basis as a Montgomery County certified Stormwater Facility Maintenance Contractor.

From Montgomery County DEP:

“Summer Maintenance Tips

*Avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides in and around your stormwater facilities — these products pollute our streams. If manual removal of invasive weeds has been ineffective, limited applications of aquatic-friendly herbicide may be applied by a qualified professional certified by the State of Maryland.

*Removing non-native invasive weeds as soon as you see them in your bioretention facility or sand filter will help to prevent more significant repairs later on. Ask DEP for a copy of your bioretention design if you are unsure what plants should be there. Replenishing mulch to a 3 inch depth (but no deeper) can also help to reduce weeds.

*Contact Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) if a facility holds water for more than 72 hours or if a wet pond has a higher than normal pond level, as this could indicate a problem (Call 311 or email MC.Stormwater@montgomerycountymd.gov).

*With large thunderstorms, comes the movement of trash and debris that can deposit in stormwater facilities or drain inlets. Please continue to remove all trash and debris monthly from your property, especially in and around ponds, filters, and bioretention structures.

Picture from Montgomery County DEP

*Controlling Algae & Other Pond Vegetation – Nutrient Management –Pond algae is often associated with excess nutrients washing into the pond from nearby lawns. Property-owners in the pond’s watershed can help prevent excess algae by only fertilizing at the recommended time and frequency. To learn more about healthy lawns, your community association, along with other residences that may drain into the pond, can contact the Montgomery County Master Gardeners (301-590-9650 or mgmont@umd.edu).

Using fountains, bubblers or other devices may also help control algae in ponds. Be sure to also pick up pet waste, which is a source of bacteria and nutrients in ponds and our local streams.” – End of Citation

Failing stormwater riser structure. *photo by Montgomery County DEP

Preventive maintenance goes a long way, like Patriot crew members painting stormwater riser structures to prevent future failures for our clients.

Patriot’s Stormwater & Aquatics Division prides itself on it’s low impact, environmentally sensitive stormwater maintenance techniques and client services. Contact Patriot today to learn how our preventative stormwater maintenance services can save your HOA or property money and headaches. Visit us at http://www.PatriotLWM.com or call 240-687-7228 for more information.

Summer Derecho Blasts Through Maryland – Patriot Crews Begin Cleanup

It was a scary few hours around the home base of Patriot Land & Wildlife in the agricultural reserve of Montgomery County, Maryland. Trees came down, power was lost, but luckily the corn is still standing and no major damage to the buildings or equipment. Unfortunately the same was not true for some of our neighbors. 

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Watch for falling trees…

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The following is a excerpt from Jason Samenow at the Capital Weather Gang

“Between 9:30 and 11 p.m. Friday night, one of the most destructive complexes of thunderstorms in memory swept through the entire D.C. area. Packing wind gusts of 60-80 mph, the storm produced extensive damage, downing hundreds of trees, and leaving more than 1 million area-residents without power.” CLICK HERE to read more from Jason.

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Radar sequence of derecho thunderstorm complex. Storm traveled about 600 miles in 10 hours at an average speed of 60 mph. (Storm Prediction Center)

Crews from Patriot Land & Wildlife have been working hard to assist our clients with storm damage cleanup in Montgomery, Howard & Frederick counties of Maryland. If you would like a Patriot crew to help out on your property, contact us today at 240-687-7228 so we can help get you back on track!

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Patriot Crews Working on Storm Damage Cleanup

Patriot Environmental & Site Services

In the eyes of Patriot Land & Wildlife & our clients, a full service ecological company should be just that, full service. With the connection of erosion control and site stabilization measures with water quality, stormwater management and the overall health of the environment, it only makes sense that a company skilled in land, water & wildlife management be truly diverse in their skill set.

Patriot Land & Wildlife is proud to offer a full set of environmental & site services, including:

Erosion & Sediment Control Services:

  • Super Silt Fence Installation
  • Silt Fence Installation
  • Stabilized Construction Entrance
  • Hydroseeding
  • Soil Stabilization

Planting & Protection:

  • Reforestation Planting
  • Shrub & Tree Planting
  • Wetland Plantings
  • Non Native Invasive Species Management
  • Sod Establishment
  • Tree Protection Fence Construction
  • Orange (& Other Colors) Construction Safety Fence Installation

Ecological Product Installation:
  • Floating Treatment Wetlands
  • SlopeTame
  • GrassPave & GravelPave
  • Other Products from Invisible Structures
  • Other Specialty Eco-products

Patriot Land & Wildlife is a truly full service ecological restoration company with divisional support in Environmental & Site Services, Stormwater & Aquatics Management, Ecological & Agricultural Services and Wildlife Management. Contact Patriot today for more information or add us to your bidders list for specific job pricing information.

Patriot LWM in Montgomery Sentinel Deer Article

Doah! A Deer Problem . . .

County still searches for solutions to growing deer population

One of the county's many deer residents.  -PHOTO BY HELEN HOCKNELL
One of the county’s many deer residents. -PHOTO BY HELEN HOCKNELL

Published on: Thursday, September 29, 2011 CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE LINK

By Helen Hocknell – The Sentinel Newspapers

Scientists call them Odocoileus virginianus, Disney names them “Bambi,” but farmer Ben Allnutt just calls them “rats with antlers.”

As the growing population of white-tailed deer continues to create problems for Montgomery County, farmers, gardeners and county officials seek solutions.

In the early 1900s, deer were nearly extinct in this region due to unregulated hunting. Hunting restrictions and reintroduction efforts in the decades that followed contributed to a dramatic population increase that has negatively impacted farm production, compromised road safety, and thrown the forest ecosystem off balance.

“What you have in Montgomery County is the perfect storm,” said Joe Brown, president of Patriot Land and Wildlife Management Services, located in Barnesville, MD. His company works with land owners and local governments to provide a variety of environmental management services, including deer population control. “By taking away natural predators and limiting hunters’ ability to hunt, we’ve created their ideal habitat, which has lead to this population explosion.”

The rate of reproduction for deer is a big part of the problem. “Lifespan varies, but deer in suburban environments can live to 10-12 years, in absence of hunting or car strike,” explained Wildlife Biologist Bill Hamilton of the Montgomery County Department of Parks. Female deer can begin breeding at 1.5 years of age, and continue to produce fawns throughout their lifespan, generating as many as 1-3 fawns per year. “Does in good health tend to have twins and triplets during their prime,” said Hamilton.

This means population reduction efforts are most effective when targeted at mature, reproductive-aged females, since bucks can mate with multiple does. “It really goes back to an effort vs. results equation,” explained Brown. “Say you have three hunters, each with three hours a week to give. Each hunter kills a deer, but two kill a buck and one kills a doe. With the doe, you’ve essentially taken three deer out of the population, but the hunters who got the bucks just took one out.”

In general, archery season in Montgomery County is permitted Mondays through Saturdays, September 15 through January 31 each year, and is also open on the 1st Sunday in November.  Bow hunting is not permitted during the firearms and muzzleloader seasons.  Firearms season occurs for two weeks, beginning in late November and again for two days during early January.  Hunters in the county may use shotgun, muzzleloader, and archery equipment during the firearms season.  Muzzleloader season occurs during Mid-December and runs for approximately two weeks, typically ending around January 1.

While the county has eased restrictions in the past to include more Sundays and extend the season, some hunters still feel that the county could do more to encourage hunting.

“A lot of hunters are working people who don’t have as much free time except on weekends,” explained Wayne Long of Laurel, MD. “The way the regulations are set up, that leaves only Saturdays or maybe holidays, which may mean only one day for several weekends,” said Long. He has used a crossbow in the past, but prefers hunting with traditional firearms like muzzleloaders, which is restricted to only a couple weeks a year.

Another obstacle for hunters is simple: limited freezer space. “A hunter may harvest one or two deer per season because that’s all their personal freezer capacity allows. They aren’t going to kill an animal for the sake of killing it – that’s illegal and not what the sport of hunting is about,” said Agricultural Services Manager Jeremy Criss of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. So the county partnered up with Patriot Wildlife Management Services to coordinate the collection, processing and donation of venison to local area food banks. They set up cold boxes in Poolesville and Laytonsville where hunters could drop off field-dressed deer. In the 2010-2011 season, 401 deer were donated, providing 16,040 pounds of venison for food banks across the county.

The county also organizes a managed deer hunting program from late October through January, which hunters can apply to online after demonstrating knowledge and experience by completing a state-approved hunter safety education course and passing a background check. This year, managed hunts are scheduled to occur in eight locations.

“We currently have an active roster of approximately 325 approved participants,” said Hamilton, who explained that they typically remove approximately 500 deer annually through that program.

“We also utilize specially trained Park Police officers to remove deer during hours of darkness in specific parks.  This method is highly effective, but more costly than managed hunting, and can occur in more developed areas of the county. We remove 450-600 deer annually from approximately 11 park locations using this program,” explained Hamilton, adding that this method of removal allows them to meet standards of humane euthanasia as established by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

But in the city of Rockville, Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio doesn’t feel an organized hunt would be appropriate. “I’d like to see if there’s a way we can deal with this issue without resorting to culling the herd,” said Marcuccio. “My fist concern is, what are you saying to children? If something’s in your way, to just kill it? We have to manage the surplus, but you’re talking about trying to do some kind of major event in a city which is heavily populated that already has gun control rules that prevent you from firing a fire arm within city limits.”

While county and city officials work to figure out appropriate solutions for their jurisdictions, the impacts of deer overpopulation continue to present challenges to farmers and gardeners. The economic damage caused by deer eating farmers’ crops is significant, as a single deer can consume up to 2,000 pounds of grain per year.

“In 2004, farmers came to the county government and said that the greatest threat to Montgomery County agriculture is the white-tailed deer,” recounted Criss. The farmers showed aerial photos of their fields that illustrated stunning losses per acre.

“Well, people aren’t going to buy half an ear of corn with a big bite out of it,” said farmer Ben Allnutt of Homestead Farms, “and you can’t have people coming in to pick strawberries and have them kneeling in deer poop.”

Ten years ago, Homestead Farms was suffering such high crop losses due to deer browsing that they were at risk of going under. “We had to do something,” said Allnutt. “We could go out of business, or put a fence up.”

Allnutt invested around 65 thousand dollars to put up roughly 3.5 miles of fencing around 270 acres of crops. They used their own labor and planned to pay it back over five years, but the fence paid for itself in just two. “After two years, we were struggling with high yields,” explained Allnutt. “When you don’t have anything missing all of a sudden, you get a real handle on what they were actually consuming.”

While farmers seek ways to mitigate crop damage on a larger scale, frustrated gardeners have turned to everything from cayenne pepper, coyote urine, and intricate nets and fencing to protect their plants. Sherrye Schenk at the Potomac Garden Center says that while they don’t carry products that contain coyote urine because of inhumane collection methods, there are lots of other great products that work well if used correctly.

“If the plant is not edible, I would recommend a Liquid Fence. It’s basically rotten eggs and garlic,” said Schenk, adding that it can protect your garden against rabbits as well as deer. It’s a spray, so it may wash away in heavy rain. “If you’ve got an all-day soaker, you may want to re-apply,” said Schenk.

For vegetable gardens, Schenk recommends Deer Scram. “It’s a powder, so just sprinkle a perimeter around your garden. It contains dried sow’s blood, garlic, white pepper, and cloves. Animals think something has died there, so they avoid the area.”

Putting up a physical barrier around your garden may work to keep deer out, but sometimes bucks’ antlers can get caught in netting. “If you’re doing fencing, you want to make sure it’s at least 7 feet high, otherwise the deer will jump over it,” added Schenk.

Meanwhile, deer over-browsing continues to throw forest ecosystems off balance. “It’s a huge problem,” said Forest Ecologist Carole Bergmann of the Montgomery County Department of Parks, which oversees 35,000 acres of parkland. “There are not many people to manage that area and a heck of a lot of deer,” she explained.

Bergmann described a “browse line” that is easily visible in areas with high population densities of the keystone herbivore. “It’s just a big blank space,” said Bergmann. “If you walk in the woods, there’s nothing from about 4 or 5 inches off the ground – no shrub layer, no understory layer – going all the way up to about 5 feet high where deer can’t reach.”

The effects can be seen all up and down the East Coast, and it is exacerbating the problem of invasive plant species. “Deer won’t eat the invasives – they’ll only feed on native plants,” explained Bergmann. This further endangers native species that are already struggling to compete with the recently-introduced plants that are taking over.

In the face of a complex and growing problem, some remain optimistic. “Montgomery County is unique – they have one of the most proactive park systems in deer management in the country,” said Brown. Unfortunately, officials face an uphill battle.

As Criss explained, “we’ve got a long ways to go, and in this economic environment, we’re not going to have as many resources available to deal with the problem.”

Patriot LWM to Present at the 2011 Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Patriot Land & Wildlife is proud to announce that we will be presenting along side BlueWing Environmental Solutions & Technologies, LLC at the 2011 Chesapeake Watershed Forum organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

2011 Chesapeake Watershed Forum

The Chesapeake Watershed Forum is a three day/two night conference held in Shepherdstown, WV that brings together representatives from local watershed organizations and local governments to learn the latest restoration science and direction, network with other groups facing similar challenges, and be inspired to continue the work of preserving and restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The 2011 Forum will be held at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.

It will be held on September 30th through October 2nd with two pre-forum workshops scheduled for September 29th.

The 2011 Chesapeake Watershed Forum will be broken into 6 tracks which aim to cover all aspects of conervation, outreach and restoration. Patriot LWM will present as part of Track 1, Science and Practice.

Track 1: B: Friday, Sept 30, 1:30 – 3:00 Biomimicry with Floating Wetlands

The workshop will provide general information on how the BioHaven floating wetland islands work, explain the science behind their development and function, demonstrate ecological and environmental benefits of the floating wetland system and show some projects undertaken in the US and around the world.


For more information on the forum CLICK HERE