It’s coming, it may even be here — a beetle capable of destroying Maine’s forest canopy. Midcoast District Forester Morton Moesswilde will offer the facts in a presentation entitled, “The Invasion of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle,” at the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition’s monthly meeting Thursday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library.

Moesswilde will show a 30-minute documentary, “Lurking in the Trees” to give participants an overview of the discovery and response to this beetle outbreak which took place in Worcester, Mass., two years ago. This means the destructive beetle is less than 100 miles from the Maine border, Moesswilde said. Now is the time for the public to learn how to protect wooded lawns, small wood lots, and our forests to reduce the risk from this destructive pest.

It was a vigilant citizen who first discovered this insect, which had quietly been making its way through trees in the Worcester area for 12 years before being identified. And the public in Maine can also play an important role in watching for early infestations and in taking preventive measures. Following the film Moesswilde will lead a discussion of what individuals can do to aid in stopping the spread of this invasive beetle.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Morton Moesswilde is the Midcoast district forester for the Maine Forest Service in Knox, Lincoln, Kennebec and Waldo counties. He has been with the Maine Forest Service for 10 years and previously worked as a self-employed consulting forester in the Midcoast.

The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition is a group of individuals working to support conservation and stewardship of natural, scenic, historic and public access resources in the watershed through research, community-building and education.