Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Week of December 7, 2009

Vermont receives $497,000 to control invasive species, fund 'park interpreter' program

Governor Jim Douglas today announced that the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation was awarded nearly a half-million dollars of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the U.S. Forest Service to control invasive insects and plants and provide conservation education programs in state parks and recreation areas within the Green Mountain National Forest.

The 16-month project will allow state officials to control the spread of invasive plants and insects on state and National Forest Service lands, by conducting pest surveys, limiting firewood movement and enhancing native species recovery for ash, butternut and chestnut.

“Vermont’s forests are valuable economically, ecologically and socially,” said Commissioner Jason Gibbs. “A major thrust of maintaining forest health in Vermont is detecting, eliminating or managing newly introduced pests.”

The funds will also allow the Department to hire and train seasonal “park interpreters” – restoring the popular conservation education program in Vermont’s State Parks and expanding it to recreation areas within the Green Mountain National Forest.

Read the full story at link.


Invasive Species Awareness Week

Register by Dec. 10 for National Invasive Species Awareness Week to receive the pre-registration discount! Go to to register online and check out the updated agenda. Great speakers, timely topics!

National Invasive Species Awareness Week
Jan. 10-14, 2010
Four Points Sheraton, Washington, DC

For more information, contact Lee VanWychen at lee.vanwychen[at] or Janet Clark at janet.k.clark[at]


Quarantine on invasive vine made permanent

By Aaron Applegate
Kathy Adams
The Virginian-Pilot
© December 7, 2009

[Virginia] State officials have made permanent the quarantine on beach vitex, an invasive vine that’s been discovered on dunes in Sandbridge and Norfolk’s Willoughby Spit.

The quarantine, which started in late October, prohibits the movement of any part of the plant into, within or from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Accomack County and Northampton County. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services board voted to make the restrictions permanent Thursday, according to its Web site.

Beach vitex, nicknamed “coastal kudzu,” is one of a few plants that will grow on the beach, so some property owners have planted it for ornamental purposes.

But it has the potential to destroy dunes, choke out native plants and ravage habitats, including that of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle, according to the agriculture department. For those reasons, the plant is already banned in the Carolinas.

Virginia Beach officials have said residents should leave beach vitex alone if they have it on their property. Digging it up will spread it, said Cal Schiemann, the agricultural extension agent for Virginia Beach. It’s best to wait until spring before scraping off the plant’s bark and applying a herbicide with a brush, he said.

Read the article at link.


Marsh Dilemma: Restore Or Preserve?

by Melinda Tuhus
New Haven Independent

An environmental group wants to allow salt water to flow again into the West River’s marshes, by replacing almost century-old tide gates. Neighbor Paula Panzarella, for one, worries that mosquitoes will return, too — and wild turkeys and elderberries might disappear.

Rich Orson, a PhD ecologist and habitat restoration consultant with Save the Sound, pitched the idea to three dozen neighbors last week at the Barnard School Nature Center at the corner of Derby Avenue and Ella Grasso Boulevard and abutting the river.

Orson said his project has three goals: improving water quality by allowing for the exchange of salt and fresh water, enhancing recreational opportunities, and allowing more fish to swim from Long Island Sound up the river. The existing tide gates, installed in 1920, have kept virtually all salt water out, destroying 130 acres of salt marsh in the process.

Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, received federal stimulus money from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $800,000 is earmarked for replacing the West River tide gates. [...] aim of the project is to push the phragmites back and allow other flora to gain a foothold. [...]

Read the full story at link.


Temporary federal job opportunity in Alaska

The National Park Service - Alaska Exotic Plant Management Team is looking for candidates interested in helping protect America's last frontier from the ever increasing presence of damaging invasive plants. Alaska's National Parks are home to some of the most beautiful and pristine terrain in the nation, rich in wildlife and culture. Experience your America and build a fulfilling career by joining the National Park Service. Become part of our mission to unite our past, our cultures and our special places to establish important connections to the present and build a rich and lasting legacy for future generations. This full-time temporary position, thru September 30, 2010, and is based out of the Alaska Regional Office in Anchorage, AK. This position may be filled at the GS-6 or GS-7 grade level with an hourly pay scale of approximately $16.25 to $18.10, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Extensive travel during the summer field months to Park Service units throughout Alaska will be required as well as camping.

If you are interested in this position please review the attached qualifications and position summary documents. If you meet the qualifications required please submit by January 8, 2010 to the address listed below a descriptive resume and your responses to the attached Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. Applications will be reviewed and interviews potentially scheduled for the middle of January. This position is slated to begin no later than March 1, 2010.


Bonnie M. Million
Alaska EPMT Liaison
Alaska Regional Office
240 West 5th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501
Office: 907-644-3452


Air Potato Exchange Day

When: January 9, 2010 10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.

Where: Bert J. Harris, Jr. Agricultural Center, Sebring, Florida

The Highlands Soil and Water Conservation District will host the “Air Potato Exchange Day”. All you have to do is bring in some air potato bulbils ( at least one grocery bag full) to the Agricultural Center in Sebring, and receive a free native plant.

Also, prizes will be awarded for:

• The biggest air potato

• The most air potatoes (pounds)

• The smallest air potato

• The most uniquely shaped air potato


Hough-Goldstein honored by Delaware Invasive Species Council

University of Delaware

9:31 a.m., Dec. 9, 2009----At the annual meeting of the Delaware Invasive Species Council on Nov. 23, Judy Hough-Goldstein, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, was presented with the organization's first ever research award.

Hough-Goldstein was honored for her “significant contributions toward the advancement of invasive species research with the biological control of mile-a-minute weed.”

Hough-Goldstein's nomination letter stated, “Through her years of research, Judy's lab was the first to test and obtain a permit to release a biological control agent of mile-a-minute weed. The agent, a stem-boring weevil, has been released in five states, and is being mass-reared at a laboratory in New Jersey. Since 2005, Judy and her lab have monitored the weevil's dispersal, population growth, and impact on mile-a-minute at release sites. Additional projects in her lab include bio-control agents for kudzu, and methods to enhance currently available agents for purple loosestrife.”

Hough-Goldstein has been a member of DISC since 2004 and became vice chair in 2005. She moved to chair in 2007.

Read the full story at link.


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