ORONO — The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk on bringing together diverse interests to slow the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer and protect Maine’s ash trees on Monday, April 11 from 3–4 p.m.

The emerald ash borer poses a potentially devastating threat to all three species of ash tree (brown, green and white) found in Maine. The insect is of particular concern to Maine Indian basket makers, who rely on brown ash (Fraxinus nigra) to make Indian ash splint and sweetgrass baskets, the oldest documented arts tradition in New England. 

For the past eight years, John Daigle, professor in the School of Forest Resources at UMaine, and a team of researchers have been working to mobilize diverse interests —Wabanaki people, basket makers, tribes, state and federal foresters, university researchers, landowners and others — to respond to the ash borer threat. In this talk, Daigle will provide an update on the team’s work and discuss potential next steps.

Daigle is a citizen member of the Penobscot Nation and has worked at UMaine since 1998. He teaches courses with an emphasis on the application of social science concepts and methods to outdoor recreation and natural resource planning and management. Before coming to UMaine, he served with the National Park Service as a park ranger and the U.S. Forest Service as a research forester.

All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and will be offered both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono. Registration is required to attend remotely via Zoom; to register and receive connection information, see the event webpage.

Please note that face coverings are required for all persons attending Mitchell Center talks. For the latest health and safety guidance, please see umaine.edu/return.

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth at 207-581-3196 or hallsworth@maine.edu.