Promoting St. John Valley Nature through
Habitat Management, Natural Science Education,
& Outdoor Recreation
*Free Science Info*
The USJRO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on promoting deep appreciation of our local nature.
We promote wildlife habitat and biodiversity enhancement, and soil & water quality conservation, and focus our efforts in the St. John Valley international boundary area.
We offer Free Downloadable Science & Nature Publications from this website.
The Towns of Frenchville and Grand Isle have designated community-owned
Habitat Management Areas (HMA).
A detailed forest habitat assessment was completed on these parcels with grant sponsorship from the National Science Foundation, the University of Maine at Orono, EPSCOR, and the
Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.
A Dark Sky Observatory was erected at a Frenchville site in 2018, and interpretive nature trails are planned in 2019.
We have employed university students and others for inventory and management activities, and plan to expand these opportunities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is interested in protecting habitat
of the Furbish's Lousewort plant,
which only occurs along the
ice-scoured banks of the St. John River.
The USJRO attained 501c3 non-profit status as a Land Trust in 2019, and we are pursing conservation easements to protect
and restore these important
St. John River shoreline habitats.
We are also actively pursuing conservation easements and ownership of land
in other areas managed
for wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
We have adopted Standards for Wildlife Habitat & Biodiversity assessments and management, which are available for download below.
The Upper St. John River Organization will contribute to sustainability of the region by increasing knowledge and awareness of the many values of our forests, aquatic systems, and other natural resources, and providing services for their conservation, sustainable management, and sustainable development.
The Upper St. John River Organization will help to sustain our natural resources by providing planning, organization, project management, field work, and GIS-based information technology services and support for projects related to natural resource conservation and management, natural science education, outdoor recreation, and sustainable development.
The geographic scope of the USJRO includes the drainages to the St. John River in the international border area of
the United States and Canada.
The main office and executive directorship of the Upper St. John River Organization will be located in the St. John River Valley in the U.S., and >50% of the Directorship of the USJRO will be located on the U.S. side of the border.
The USJRO was created from the Fish River Lakes Water Quality Association, and these lakes will remain a focus of our interest and activities.
Northern White Cedar, a.k.a. Arbre de Vie or Arborvitae is of concern to us, and will continue to be a focus of our conservation and wildlife habitat and water quality enhancement efforts. CedarWorks from Rockport Maine provides cedar seedlings for our annual give-away. The USJRO has partnered with the Aroostook County Conservation Association in free distribution of 11,000 Northern White Cedar seedlings per year from 2015-2018.
Maine is the most forested state in the US. Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec, neighbors in the Acadian or Northern Forest Ecoregion, contain about 25 forest types, each providing certain habitats at each development stage. The USJRO will strive to maintain and enhance forest biodiversity through appreciation of the complex matrix of forest and non-forest habitats.
The USJRO has adopted official Standards for Wildlife Habitat & Biodiversity measurements and management, and natural science education. Click the following link to download.
One of the ways that the USJRO promotes our Nature is by providing Free Downloadable Nature and Conservation Publications.
We will continue to build this Free Online Nature Library with additional publications that we believe are Reference Standards.
Learn about Our Nature. Go Deep.
GIS layers for use in ArcMap or other software. Keep similarly named files in separate directories.
The ACCA has been the main partner of the USJRO for over a decade.
The ACCA had its beginnings focusing on predator control to help white-tailed deer in northern Maine.
Now, the ACCA promotes the Standards for Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity Assessments and Management as the USJRO.
Cedarworks is a Maine company located in Rockport that manufactures playsets and other products with Northern White Cedar.
Cedarworks donates thousands of Northern White Cedar Seedlings to the USJRO and ACCA annually (11,000/year from 2015-2018).
The USJRO and ACCA care for an distribute these seedlings for free to interested landowners, and conduct planting trials on community-owned parcels.
Call us for trees or to help with tree distribution or planting.
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is interested in conservation of the Endangered Furish's Lousewort plant.
The USFWS has partnered with Steve Young of One World Artisans through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for over a decade.
The USFWS is interested in the USJRO owning properties or holding conservation easements for conservation and restoration of Furbish's Lousewort habitats along the St. John River.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered to sponsor the Maine Deer Habitat Partnership project in 2012.
Many landowners expressed interest in long-term habitat management partnership, which the USJRO will pursue.
The USJRO will continue to promote partnership and agreement for wildlife habitat management with the MDIFW to meet common goals.
The NRCS is active in Aroostook county with 3 District offices. The USJRO will seek to expand partnership to meet common goals.
The NRCS was main sponsor of the Maine Deer Habitat Partnership project in 2012. Individual Wildlife Conservation Activity Plans were developed by Steve Young as a Technical Service Provider for the NRCS in Wildlife Conservation Activity Planning.
The University of Maine FBRI provided grant funding for the St. John Valley Community Forest Project from 2007-2009.
Detailed forest inventories and forecasts were created for individual sections of community-owned forested parcels.
Some of these properties have been designated as Acadian Forest Habitat Management Areas for habitat, education, an recreation.
The NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) provided grant funding for the St. John Valley Community Forest project through the University of Maine.
Students at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and local professionals were employed to map parcel sections with geographic information system (GIS), and systematically collect forest information.
There are excellent opportunities for follow-up forest growth & yield inventories for wildlife habitat and biodiversity management.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife MOHF program provided grant funding to the Upper St. John Valley Community Forest Project from 2007-2009.
Detailed forest inventories and forecasts were conducted on community parcels, and some have now been officially designated Acadian Forest Habitat Management Areas.
This project led to the formation of the Upper St. John River Organization, when project leader Steve Young revived the Fish River Lakes Water Quality Association with expanded scope.
The Upper St. John River Organization attained 501c3 non-profit status in 2019!
We will pursue conservation easements with those interested in long-term conservation including our communities.
Do you own property that you want to continue to provide wildlife habitats?
Please Contact Us if you are interested in conservation or sustainable management of your property
We offer help with GIS-based land management planning and habitat enhancements, and we distribute cedar, silver maple and other trees and shrubs for water quality protection and habitat enhancement. Please contact us if you want to participate.
Frenchville and Grand Isle have designated Acadian Forest Habitat Management Areas. Opportunities on these parcels include natural science inventories and monitoring, hiking, and bicycling. Dark sky and nature observatories are planned for some of these parcels.