Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Week of Jun 8, 2009

Updated June 14

N.Y. setting traps for invasive beetles

Dave Henderson, Ithaca Journal

New York is targeting another potential invasive species, a tree-eating beetle named the Emerald Ash Borer.

eabThe Department of Environmental Conservation will be deploying the purple prism traps in treelines throughout the state in an attempt to trap the beetles. There will also be a concentration in areas adjacent to neighboring states and Canadian provinces that have already detected this potentially devastating invasive species.

The main route that enables this insect, as well as other invasive species, to spread is from moving firewood from one place to another. That is why in 2008, New York adopted regulations that ban untreated firewood from entering the state and restricts intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html).

New York has more than 900 million ash trees. Many communities are at particular risk because ash was widely planted as a street tree after Dutch elm disease killed many urban trees.

DEC's approach to monitoring for the insect is twofold: First, traps to attract and catch the EAB are being hung in ash trees within a 100-mile radius from previously documented EAB locations in Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and central Pennsylvania.

This month traps will be placed in Western New York areas including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie, Wyoming, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Livingston and Monroe counties, and in Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, and Clinton counties along our northern border.

The DEC will also be monitoring "high-risk sites" such as campgrounds, major highway corridors, wood industries and locations with large ash populations. Nearly 6,000 traps will be deployed.

The bright purple, prism-shaped EAB traps are made of sticky-coated corrugated plastic and contain scented lures. After 45 days, the traps will be inspected and samples collected. After 90 days, the traps will be collected and removed from the trees.

Read the full article at link.


NYSDEC to track emerald ash borer

Adirondack Almanac

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is setting baited traps in ash trees across upstate New York in an effort to search for possible infestations of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a tree-killing beetle. You will soon be seeing the purple prism traps deployed in treelines throughout New York, with a concentration in areas adjacent to neighboring states and Canadian provinces that have already detected this potentially devastating invasive species, including several Adirondack counties.

Research has shown that a main way EAB, as well as other invasive species, spread is from moving firewood from one place to another. That's why in 2008, New York adopted regulations that ban untreated firewood from entering the state and restricts intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source.

According to the DEC, New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about 7 percent of all trees in the state, and all are at risk should EAB become established. Many communities are at particular risk because ash was widely planted as a street tree after Dutch elm disease killed many local elms.

Read the full story at link


Invasive red algae causes snarls for South Carolina shrimpers

The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette

Biologists are monitoring red algae that has popped up around the Lowcountry, including in Beaufort County, and will be checking its possible spread to other parts of the South Carolina coast.

The seaweed, known as gracilaria, is growing quickly in the Charleston Harbor, said David Whitaker, a biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Fishermen traveling the coast have heard that shrimping nets have been tangled in and destroyed by the invasive plant.

"It's pretty bad from Charleston to Rockville," said Donald Jordan of Georgetown County, who owns the shrimp boat, Kelly Ann. "From Charleston on south is where it seems to be worse. I heard it was tearing some nets up."

Read the full story at link.


Brazilian peppers devour carbon dioxide, study finds

DOUG SWORD, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

SARASOTA - No one is suggesting that "Save the Brazilian Pepper" societies should start cropping up, but it turns out there is more to the noxious, invasive plant than its good looks.

Long decried as a weedy kin to poison ivy and a threatener of endangered species, the fast-growing pepper literally sucks carbon out of the atmosphere, according to a study.

Because of concerns over climate change, reducing the carbon footprint for a person or a community has become a cause celebre in environmental circles, perhaps positioning the pepper tree for a kinder public image.

But probably not.

The pepper has taken over an estimated 1 million acres, mainly in Florida's southern half. It endangers wildlife by replacing habitat that supports hundreds of species of birds while supporting only a handful itself. It costs governments and businesses millions to remove it from shorelines, highway medians and utility lines. And it is one of the factors stalling Everglades restoration.

Whatever benefit the plant may provide when it comes to carbon, the "negatives far outweigh the positives," said Kenneth Langeland, a professor at the University of Florida's Center for Aquatic and Invasive Species.

The new research was conducted by New College professor Meg Lowman in conjunction with Colorado State University.

Lowman acknowledges that the findings run counter to the generally murderous view toward the pepper.

"I'm not recommending any policy as a scientist. I'm just presenting the facts," she said. And it appears the fact is that the pepper is "an amazing storer of carbon."

Read the full article at link.


Japanese knotweed replacing purple loosestrife in New Hampshire

By CHELSEA CONABOY, Concord Monitor

JAPANESE KNOTWEED is replacing purple loosestrife as one of the most pervasive invasive species in the state. Knotweed came to the United States from Japan in the 1800s to be used mostly as a landscaping plant. It grows in thick clusters, similar to bamboo, and has no known predators here.

Unlike loosestrife, a pretty but insidious plant that can choke wetlands if left unchecked, there is no known biological means of controlling knotweed. For more than 10 years, the state has been battling loosestrife by shipping in a kind of beetle that eats the plant, weakening it and controlling its spread.

Doug Cygan, invasive species coordinator with the Department of Agriculture, said that plant is now under control, but the calls to his office regarding knotweed are increasing.

So far, Cygan said, there's no good biological means of controlling knotweed. He recommends using herbicide.

"Do not mow it," he said.

Mowing along highways has largely contributed to the spread of the plant. Each plant has several hundred nodes, or joints. When the plant is chopped up by a lawnmower, each node can sprout into a new plant. Cygan said the state has stopped mowing areas of knotweed and is removing populations of the plant that occur in areas of road construction.

For more information about controlling knotweed, call Cygan at 271-3488.


Position Announcement

Position: Invasive Plants Coordinator

Location: University of Georgia, Tifton, Georgia USA

Appointment: Grant-funded full-time position (salary $28,716 - $33,023 with benefits). The position is currently funded for one year with renewal contingent upon availability of continuing grant funds and satisfactory progress of employee

Available: Closing date for receipt of applications is June 26, 2009. Position could be available as early as July 15, 2009.

Position Description: This position will be the Invasive Plants Coordinator for the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (http://www.bugwood.org/) at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus.

Interested persons must complete official online University application at:
https://www.ugajobsearch.com/; Select Search Postings, Enter Position Number:

Printable version of this e-mail at: http://www.bugwood.org/position.pdf

Please direct any and all questions to:
Dr. G. Keith Douce, Dr. David J. Moorhead or Chuck Bargeron
Phone: 229-386-3298
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Fax: 229-386-3352
The University of Georgia, Tifton GA
Email: cbargero@uga.edu


Connecticut's Moosup Pond being treated for slimy, invasive weed

By EMILY GROVES, Norwich Bulletin

Plainfield, Conn. — For more than six years, a slimy, green invasive species has been growing in Moosup Pond, sticking to swimmers, boats and fishing lines.

“It will take over the entire pond if it’s not dealt with,” Jeff Megin, president of the Moosup Pond Association, said of the weed known as Variable-Leaf Watermilfoil.

But Monday will mark the beginning of the end of the weeds’ growth. The pond will be treated with a herbicide to kill the weeds.

Funded by a mix of town and grant funds, the treatment, which will be conducted by Aquatic Control Technology Inc. of Sutton, Mass., will cost $15,000.

First Selectman Paul Sweet said the town had budgeted $5,000 for the procedure in the 2008-09 fiscal year, and the additional costs will be paid for by a $5,000 state Department of Environmental Protection grant and $5,000 from the town’s contingency fund. The town had planned to use another state DEP grant for the treatment, but the money was rescinded last month.

Megin said the treatment needs to be done in early June, and without the additional town funds, they would have had to wait until next year.

The pond will be closed Monday during treatment, but will reopen for fishing, swimming and boating Tuesday, Megin said. He said the herbicide, which is granulated pellets designed to kill the weeds at the root, will not harm the pond’s fish.

Megin said the only lasting effect of the treatment is that the water cannot be used for irrigation until further notice.

Megin said the treatment is 70 to 90 percent effective, but the town will likely need to do another smaller scale treatment in two years, to mop up any remaining weeds.

Read the full story at link.


Mass. students tackle invading pepperweed

Mish Michaels, TV38

pepperweedEver heard of Pepperweed? If so, you have trouble. This foreign invader or invasive species came in over the years with other seeds from Europe and Asia. Now these weeds are taking up residence in the Northeast, locally choking out native plants in salt marshes on the North Shore.

"This is one of the northern most points where Pepperweed is being found," said Liz Duff, Mass Audubon's Education Coordinator. I met up with Liz and several students from the Sparhawk School in Salisbury to tackle thick patches of Pepperweed, one root at a time.

"Pepperweed is pretty easy to recognize. It grows on the upper edge of a salt marsh and is visible from the road. The tall, skinny plant grows 1 to 3 feet tall and has alternating leaves. The roots smell like horseradish. The seeds travel in the tides and can spread rapidly that way," Liz explained to me and the students. "Our job is to pull the plants and our aim is to get as much of the root out as possible."

This weeding can be done from May to July before the plants flower. The students went to work -- yes, me too -- pulling and bagging the invaders. Last year, volunteers removed 3,000 pounds of Pepperweed. All of it incinerated to prevent any further spread.

Pepperweed is a threat to biodiversity and wetland habitats.

"The invasive plants are also a threat to agricultural lands which is another economic factor," stated Liz. "It's only been the past decade that we have been seeing it here in the Great Marsh region stretching from Salisbury down to Gloucester."

The students were enthusiastic and eager to change the landscape. "You're out in the field pulling the weeds and feeling like you are actually doing something great," said Sparhawk student Allison Lord. "It just shows that the average person can really make a difference," added Patrick O'Connell.

"Invasives like Pepperweed are threatening biodiversity of our native ecosystems. We need to fight back," concluded Liz. If you would like to volunteer, there are plenty of opportunities to tackle invasive species including Pepperweed.

Great Marsh Pepperweed Eradication Project

Read the story and watch the video at link.


Update of Noxious Weed Regulations

June 9, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to make several changes to the regulations governing the importation and interstate movement of noxious weeds. We would add definitions of terms used in the regulations, add details regarding the process of applying for the permits used to import or move noxious weeds, add a requirement for the treatment of niger seed and add provisions for petitioning to add a taxon to or remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. These changes would update the regulations to reflect current statutory authority and program operations and improve the effectiveness of the regulations.

Read the full story at link.


Emerald Ash Borer Found in Westmoreland County, PA; Quarantine Imposed

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County, bringing to seven the number of counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced today.

The invasive beetle was first detected in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2007 in Butler County, and subsequently was found in Allegheny, Beaver, Lawrence, Mercer and Mifflin counties. To help slow the spread of the beetle, the state-imposed quarantine for those six counties is being expanded to include Westmoreland County.

State and federal Emerald Ash Borer quarantines restrict the movement from the quarantine area of ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, and all wood chips.

This summer, 20 crews -- 15 in Western Pennsylvania, one in Mifflin County, and four in the eastern part of the state -- and two regional coordinators have been deployed to assess the spread of the beetle. The Westmoreland County crew detected the new infestation.

"Our survey crews are assessing the extent of the infestation in Westmoreland County and surrounding areas," said Wolff. "We remind consumers to heed the quarantine when traveling and camping this spring and summer -- not just in the quarantined areas but throughout Pennsylvania -- to prevent any further spread of the beetle."

Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood -- including ash, oak, maple and hickory -- are considered quarantined.

Read the full story at link.


Vermont lake group considers fees to fund treatment

By Tom Mitchell, RutlandHerald.com

CASTLETON — A private group is looking into the possible creation of a special services district on Lake Bomoseen that could impose fees on docks and boats to help pay for a herbicide to kill Eurasian water milfoil."

There is … a proposal by the water-quality committee of the LBA to seek to establish the lake as a separate specials service district," Michael Rosen, president of the Lake Bomoseen Association, said recently.

The plan or model now being presented by the water-quality committee to LBA directors involves in part the use of herbicides to kill Eurasian water milfoil, Rosen said. Creation of the services district would allow the body to charge fees that could support a treatment, Rosen said. Creation of a district would require approval by the Legislature, he added.

Funds raised by formation of such a district could also be used to pay for other long-term methods of managing the weed problem in the lake and other nuisances like zebra mussels that already invade the lake, Rosen said.

Bonding, grants and donations could help finance management projects, officials said. "Unfortunately, it appears the (Eurasian water) milfoil is fairly extensive, depending on the season and summer, year and weather," Rosen said.

LBA has begun looking at a special service district on Lake George as an example of what could be done on Bomoseen, he said.

A commission on the lake levies a $25 fee on docks for example, Barbara Woodard, an LBA director, said. The district also imposes fees for stickers on boats using the lake, she said. "You'd pick one up if you were going out for the day," Woodard said. The funds are used to pay for marine patrols, she said.

Read the full storyh at link.


Albany Pine Bush Preserve is looking for volunteers

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is looking for volunteers of all ages for a tree girdling event to help native plants on Sat. June 17 from 9:00 - 12:00. For more information, go to http://www.albanypinebush.org/getting_involved/volunteer_opportunities.htm and click on volunteer opportunities in the right hand column -or - sign up with bbemis@nycap.rr.com


Online reporting form for wavyleaf basketgrass

To all land stewards and those concerned about invasive species,

Just wanted to let you know that an online reporting form for wavyleaf basketgrass locations is now up and operating on DNR's WLBG website:

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/WLBG/index.asp, on the Get Involved page. Information that comes in via this form (plus phone calls, FAX and email) will be ground-truthed and shared with the folks at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of
Georgia, for the WeedsUS mapping effort. Over the course of this summer, we will be adding already reported sites to a master map, which will be posted both at WeedsUS and the DNR site.

Please make use of this method of reporting WLBG sites! And let me know of any difficulties you have with the form, or suggestions you may have for improving it.

Thank you,

Kerrie L. Kyde
Habitat Ecologist/ Invasive Plant Specialist
Wildlife and Heritage Service
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
11960 Clopper Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878


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