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UMaine Researchers Seek To Protect Forest Workers From Ticks

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
via Associated Press
A blacklegged tick - also known as a deer tick.

A team of researchers at the University of Maine has been awarded more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to try to help protect forest workers from tick-borne diseases, such as lyme disease.

UMaine School of Forestry Resources Professor Jessica Leahy says the money will be used to study land management practices that in turn affect forest conditions conducive to higher tick populations.

“They've discovered that there's higher tick populations in areas where there are invasive plants because that keeps the forest floor more moist, and then we also know that forest landscapes that are fragmented, that have been parcelized and have a broken up, maybe lots of edge, that that's also related.”

Leahy says forest management practices that don't promote large populations of small mammals or large concentrations of deer may also help prevent the spread of tick-borne disease.

Leahy says the three year project will include research, outreach and education.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.