Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Week of September 21, 2008

Updated 9/26

Natural Areas Conference 2008

Focusing on ecological management themes, with an emphasis on invasive exotic species issues. October 14 - 17. Nashville, Tennessee.

Early Registration Fees now available thru
September 30th*!



New York foresters to aid Massachusetts in fight against beetles


WORCESTER— The destructive insect that is tearing through the northern section of the city’s stock of hardwood trees was first discovered in this country in New York more than a decade ago. Now experts on the Asian longhorned beetle from that neighboring state are coming here to help in the fight to eradicate the bugs. Early next month, a team of trained foresters from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is scheduled to arrive in Worcester to join federal and Massachusetts officials, who are surveying infested trees and plan to begin cutting them down in November.

Their expenses are being underwritten by the U.S. Forest Service, in a welcome development to city officials preoccupied with trying to get the federal government to absorb local costs for the eradication program that could amount to more than $10 million.

New York’s infestation was initially discovered in 1996 in the borough of Brooklyn, and then in the boroughs of the Bronx and Queens and on nearby Long Island. A new infestation was found last year on Prall’s Island, an uninhabited island off Staten Island.

The Massachusetts outbreak, in which more than 1,000 infected trees have been identified in the Worcester area, may turn out to be the biggest yet, according to the Forest Service. Article


Invasive animal amnesty in Florida

Residents who own reptiles that are not native to Florida can now give up their pets without facing a penalty, instead of releasing them into the wild. Releasing animals such as iguanas and pythons, is a "significant pathway for the introduction of nonnative species" says the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Not be mention, very illegal.

The commission adopted the new rules on Wednesday that set up a series of pet amnesty events so pet owners can surrender their unwanted pets to wildlife agencies or individuals instead of illegally releasing them.

The next amnesty day event will be held at the Jacksonville Zoo on November 22. Another one will take place in Miami in early 2009. Article


The Nature Conservancy, Suffolk County Parks partner to remove invasive plants from natural areas

East Hampton, NY — September 23, 2008 — As part of a comprehensive effort to reduce the number of invasive plant species found in Long Island’s natural areas, The Nature Conservancy, Suffolk County and the Student Conservation Association are working together to eradicate eight invasive plants documented at Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton. The plants include: tree of heaven, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, Japanese barberry, oriental bittersweet, autumn olive, Japanese honeysuckle, and black locust.

The estimated yearly damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion--five percent of the global economy.

Invasive plants are the second biggest threat to the natural environment of Long Island, aside from outright habitat loss” said Kathy Schwager, invasive species specialist for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. “Invasive plants and animals hurt economies, thwart recreational activities like boating and kayaking and even threaten human well-being.”

Cedar Point County Park is one of the jewels of the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation. The 607 acre parcel is located in the Town of East Hampton within the Peconic Watershed overlooking Gardiners Bay. The site is comprised of an oak-hickory coastal forest, fresh-water wetlands, salt marsh and more than four miles of shoreline.

“My family and other County residents have visited this beautiful park for years. Ecosystems are a delicate balance, a choreography of plants and animals that all depend upon each other for survival. When an invasive species comes in, it throws that balance off,” said County Legislator Jay Schneiderman. “I am committed to working with the Legislature and the Invasive Species Advisory Board to make sure invasive species stay out of our parks."

“It’s wonderful that we have all come together in partnership to eliminate invasive species,” said Marci Bortman, director of conservation programs for The Nature Conservancy on Long Island. “We could not have accomplished this hard work without the dedication of Suffolk County, funding from New York State and the hard work of the Student Conservation Association.”

Awareness of invasive plant species is part of a growing trend. In 2007 both Suffolk and Nassau Counties passed legislation stopping the commercial sale, introduction, and propagation of 63 plant species that are deemed non-native and invasive on Long Island. Article


New York DEC invasive species grants

Deadline for Applications is October 31, 2008.

ALBANY, NY (09/25/2008; 1434)(readMedia)-- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that grant applications are now being accepted for projects proposing to eradicate terrestrial invasive species. Terrestrial invasive species is defined as a plant or animal that lives or grows predominately on land. Applications will be accepted until October 31, 2008.

DEC is making up to $1 million in state grants available to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for projects to eradicate and/or permanently remove infestations of terrestrial invasive species throughout the state. The funding for these grants was secured in the 2008-09 enacted state budget, through the Environmental Protection Fund. State funds can be used to pay for up to one-half of the cost of selected projects. Individual grants for terrestrial eradication proposals will be awarded for projects that range from $2,500, up to $100,000.

The 2008-09 enacted state budget includes $5 million in the Environmental Protection Fund to implement New York State's Invasive Species Task Force recommendations. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6989.html .

Application materials for Invasive Species Eradication Grants have been mailed to municipalities throughout the state. Copies are also available on the DEC website or by calling DEC's Division of Lands and Forests at (518) 402-9425. All project applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2008.


No comments: