Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week of November 4, 2007

Updated November 9, 2007

Boston, MA: Countdown to Deforestation

BOSTON, MA - The Franklin Park Coalition (FPC) says the park’s tree canopy will be gone in 30 years. The cities’ Parks and Recreation Department isn’t so sure. But both organizations recognize that maintenance of Boston’s largest park is an immediate priority, and they are getting to work.

The FPC predicts in the current draft of its Woodland Management Plan that, “The age and condition of the tree canopy in the park indicate that most of the large trees that define the park’s woodlands will be gone within thirty years.”

Heavy use and the establishment of invasive species have prevented the woodlands, which cover about 200 acres of the over 500-acre park, from fully regenerating themselves over the 125 years since they were originally planted, according to the report. Link


Maine: Rep. Jayne Crosby Giles honored for supporting invasive plant legislation

AUGUSTA, ME (Nov 2): Rep. Jayne Crosby Giles (R-Belfast) was honored for her support of policies protecting Maine’s environment during the first session of the 123rd Legislature. The first-term lawmaker received a 5 out of 5 score from the Maine League of Conservation Voters in the 2007 Environmental Scorecard for legislators. Five pieces of legislation monitored by MLCV were used in the organization’s rating process, including control and prevention of invasive plant infestations. Link


New York: Control Invasives to Protect Tourism

LAKE PLACID, NY — What does a lack of uniform cell phone and broadband service, invasive species control, and accessible bicycle paths mean for the tourism industry in New York state? A lot, according to representatives from the state Hospitality and Tourism Association.

Government officials and tourism leaders from across the state gathered in the Adirondack Park to discuss those issues. Needs include controlling invasive species of plants and bacteria that can cause major damage to streams and forests, especially in the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, which can hinder tourism. Hilary Oles, program coordinator with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program in Keene Valley, said invasive species are the “visitors we don’t want coming to the Adirondacks.” Link


Gypsy Moths in Maryland

THURMONT -- If you thought this year's gypsy moth infestation was bad, just wait until next year. Gypsy moths munched their way through more than 15,000 acres of trees in the spring of 2007, and state officials expect the leaf-eating pests to defoliate more than that in 2008. How much more is anybody's guess. The state was caught by surprise in 2007 with many more gypsy moths than expected. At the same time, the federal government cut back the amount of money it provides to states to fight the invasive pest. Link


Hydrilla: A Benefical Role in the Chesapeake Bay watershed?


A recent trip up the Chickahominy River and one of its tributaries, Morris Creek, revealed one of the tidal freshwater spots in the lower Chesapeake Bay watershed where grasses — though already dying back at the onset of fall — seem to be making steady comeback. ...Kenneth Moore, a scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has been studying the struggling conditions of the Chesapeake's grasses since the 1970s. In some of those cases, the resurgence is led by an Asian species of grass that is not native to the Chesapeake ecosystem. Called hydrilla, it was likely introduced to East Coast waters as an aquarium plant and somehow made it to the wild.The species can become a nuisance and invasive. But it has played a beneficial role, Moore said, and is better equipped to thrive in less than ideal conditions. Native species also seem to grow alongside it in many ecosystems, Moore said, and fish find it suitable as habitat. Link


Hillary Clinton: Invasive Species Wreak Unnatural Havoc

From a recent speech by Ms. Clinton: "Two years ago as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation, I traveled to Barrow, Alaska. That's the northern most point of the United States. And I also traveled through on my way there the Yukon Territory in Canada. Traveling over those vast coniferous forests that blanket those harsh unforgiving latitudes, I looked down to see dead trees as far as the eye could reach. These trees are part of an ecosystem formed to survive brutal conditions. But the giant spruce trees of the Yukon, some centuries old, are no match for a relative newcomer: a tiny insect known as the bark beetle. The forests, it turns out, were once protected by cold, cold winters. The beetle could not survive. But warmer temperatures have allowed this invasive species to travel into higher latitudes and wreak unnatural havoc. In once pristine forests, there was devastation. Millions of acres infested. Whole swaths of land - once green - now brown." Link


Eurasian Watermilfoil Plan

2008 Statewide Strategic Plan for Eurasian Watermilfoil in Idaho (Oct 17, 2007; PDF 2.16 MB) Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Prepared by the Idaho Invasive Species Council and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture


Japanese Knotweed in Vermont

Demo site winding down, mapping project gearing UP! Keep an eye on us:


Carp Management and Control Plan

Management and Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver carps in the United States (Oct 2007; PDF 3.62 MB) Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Maine Towns Combat Invasive Species With Beetles

By CHARLES McMAHON, Democrat Staff Writer

KITTERY, Maine — Agents from the state Forest Service have released 900 beetles in Kittery and York to combat another invasive species of bug, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Link



The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is pleased to announce the second annual Request for Proposals (RFPs) in its Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program (WHPRP). Project descriptions and detailed directions for submitting Letters of Intent (LOIs) are now available. Please click here .


Asian Earthworms: Hooked on Destruction

By Lee Shearer, OnlineAthens

They're big, they're bad, and they may be wriggling soon to a patch of dirt near you. They're Asian earthworms (Amynthas agrestis). Fishermen love them, because they're good bait. They're sometimes called "Alabama jumpers," because they actually can flip themselves out of a bait cup, said Mac Callaham, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Forestry Science Laboratory in Athens. Full article


Educating Rhode Islanders About Invasive Plants

By Dotti Farrington, The Jamestown Press

Jamestown Conservation Commissioners last month decided to develop a brochure for homeowners to be able to identify and to remove invasive plants from their properties. The educational pamphlet will supplement the commission's effort to identify and control invasive plants on town properties and along island roadsides. Full Article


Sea Lamprey: Vermont and New York Lampricide Debate

Vermont and New York tried to resume a program Wednesday to poison Sea Lamprey. For several years, anglers have been lobbying Vermont officials to crack down on the parasites by kick-starting the program that first began almost twenty years ago. Lamprey attack and kill sport fish like trout and salmon. But environmentalists have tried to put the brakes on the program. Full Article


JOB: Director, Center for Invasive Plant Management, Montana State University. Seeking talented and enthusiastic individual to promote ecologically sound invasive plant management. Complete announcement and application instructions: under Professional Positions. Screening begins December 15, 2007. ADA/AA/EO/VET PREF.


CASE STUDY: The long-term control of Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed (Scotland, UK)

By ADAM DRUMMOND, The Berwick Advertiser

TWEED Forum launched their best practice booklet on the control of invasive plant species this week at Paxton House. The Scottish Government sponsored Tweed Forum to produce the best practice booklet due to the Forum's success in tackling invasive plants. The booklet will show others how to approach a similar problem. Michael Russell, Minister for Environment, who launched the booklet on Monday said: "The approach taken by Tweed Forum has shown what can be done through close coordination and involvement of everyone who lives and works on the river." For the last five years Tweed Forum has been carrying out the control of invasive, non native plant species on the Tweed. As a result of this catchment based and highly coordinated approach this has quickly become one of the most successful projects of its type in the UK. Luke Comins, manager of Tweed Forum said: "Five years ago the lower part of the Tweed was infested with Giant Hogweed; taking over the riverbanks to the detriment of our native flora and fauna. We have carried out control of Hogweed on over 300 miles of river. Where there were huge stands of 12 foot high flowering Hogweed there are now virtually no flowering plants to be found anywhere in the catchment." The Tweed Invasives Project aims to control Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam on the Till, throughout the Tweed catchment, an area of over 3000 sq miles. Over the last five years, over £500,000 ($1,050,000) has been spent on tackling the problem, with the main course of action being spraying with glyphosphate; the only herbicide approved for use next to watercourses. Case Study Link


Cornell Researchers Discover Natural Herbicide Released by Grass

By Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell Chronicle Online

Certain varieties of common fescue lawn grass come equipped with their own natural broad-spectrum herbicide that inhibits the growth of weeds and other plants around them. Cornell researchers have identified the herbicide as an amino acid called meta-tyrosine, or m-tyrosine, that these lawn grasses exude from their roots in large amounts. This amino acid is a close relative of para-tyrosine (p-tyrosine), one of the 20 common amino acids that form proteins. Reporting on the discovery in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Frank Schroeder, the paper's senior author and an assistant scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research on Cornell's campus, said, "We at first didn't believe m-tyrosine had anything to do with the observed herbicidal activity, but then we tested it and found it to be extremely toxic to plants but not toxic to fungi, mammals or bacteria." Article Link


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