Monday, April 27, 2009

Week of April 27, 2009

Updated May 1

NYSDEC confirms presence of didymo in Esopus Creek

Aquatic Algae Discovered in Popular Recreational Waterway

didymoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that didymo, an invasive species, has been confirmed in the Esopus Creek in Ulster County.

This is the first known presence of this aquatic algae, also called “rock snot,” in the Esopus and the third confirmed location in New York State. The Esopus is a popular recreational waterway for fishing, kayaking and tubing, and is a drinking water source for New York City.

DEC collected samples and confirmed the presence of didymo in the vicinity of several public access sites along a 12-mile stretch of the Esopus from the “Shandaken Portal” (which transfers water to the Esopus from Schoharie Reservoir) to New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir.

Didymo Impact

Unlike many other aquatic invasive plants, didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) grows on the bottom of both flowing and still waters. It is characterized by the development of thick, gooey mat-like growths – which can last for months – even in fast flowing streams. In addition to making footing difficult, didymo can impede fishing by limiting the abundance of bottom dwelling organisms that trout and other species of fish feed on.

There are currently no known methods for controlling or eradicating didymo once it infests a water body.

Didymo mats look like brown or white fiberglass insulation or tissue paper (photo at: While didymo appears slimy and stringy, it feels rough and fibrous, similar to wet wool and does not fall apart when handled.

Previously, didymo had been confirmed in the Batten Kill in Washington County near the Vermont border and in the East and West branches of the Delaware River. [...]

Water recreationists are urged to use the “Check, Clean and Dry” method to limit the spread of invasive species.

Check - Before leaving a river, stream or pond, remove all obvious traces of algae and look for hidden clumps and leave them at the affected site. If any is found later, it should be disposed of in trash receptacles, not washed down drains.

Clean - Treatment varies. The solution needs to completely penetrate thick, absorbent items such as felt-soled waders and wading boots.

For non-absorbent items, try these methods:

-- Detergent or salt: Soak or spray all surfaces for at least one minute in a 5% solution (by volume) of dishwashing detergent or salt (7 ounces of detergent or salt added to a gallon of water).

-- Bleach: Soak or spray all surfaces for at least one minute in a 2% solution (by volume) of household bleach (3 ounces of bleach per gallon of water).

-- Hot water: Soak for at least one minute in very hot water (140 degrees F – hotter than most tap water) or for at least 20 minutes in water kept at 115 degrees F (uncomfortable to touch).
For absorbent items, longer soaking times are required. Use these methods:

-- Hot water: Soak for at least 40 minutes in water kept above 115 degrees F.

-- Hot water plus detergent: Soak for 30 minutes in hot water kept above 115 degrees F, containing 5% dishwashing detergent.

Dry – If cleaning is not practical, after the item is completely dry to the touch, wait an additional 48 hours before contact or use in any new waterway. Check thick, absorbent items closely to assure that they are dry throughout. Equipment and gear can also be placed in a freezer until all moisture is frozen solid.

NOTE: If cleaning, drying or freezing is not practical, restrict equipment use to a single water body. DEC encourages anglers to consider alternatives to felt-soled waders such as rubber studded boots.

ALSO, it is especially important that any gear used out of state be treated before use in New York waters.


Filming new Forest Service invasives video in Florida

The United States Forest Service would like to film a video this summer (July/August) in Florida that focuses on invasives and recreation. The video's intent is to showcase invasive species that impact recreational activities and make a connection to what recreationist can do to prevent the spread of invasives and aid in prevention/control (EDRR, mapping, monitoring, vehicle washing, gear cleaning, etc).

FS videoThe USFS has already produced a video that focuses on invasive species and hunting/fishing.

This video intends to cover other recreational activities such as :

Hiking and camping, rock climbing, caving, watchable wildlfie recreation, horseback riding, off highway vehicles, water sports etc.

We are looking for good filming locations and individuals that we can interview (non-governmental if possible) to better connect with the audience. Folks who are actually connected with the recreational activity (trail riders, hikers who kill weeds etc.). We are looking for a wide
diversity of issues (plant, animals, terrestrial, aquatic), recreational activities and ethnically and culturally diverse interviewees.

All videos made will be available for future work and can be shared (free) with participating organizations ( videos will all be in High Definition video and sound.)

I am assisting in coordinating this effort so please send me any suggestions you may have.


Tony Pernas, Coordinator
National Park Service
Biological Resources Management Division Florida/Caribbean Exotic Plant Management Team
18001 Old Cutler Road, Suite 419
Palmetto Bay, Fl 33157-6422
Phone: (786) 249-0073
Fax: (305) 253-0463


Capital Mohawk PRISM meeting

The next meeting of the Capital Mohawk PRISM will be held at NYS Dept of Ag and Markets on May 15 at noon.

Peg Sauer


Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program earns top EPA award, gears up for field season

Keene Valley, NY — April 30, 2009 — The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) was one of 26 projects across New York state to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s highest honor: the Environmental Quality Award. The award ceremony was held last week in Manhattan in conjunction with Earth Day.

“These exemplary environmental stewards have gone above and beyond for environmental change in local communities across New York,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou.

APPIPFounded in 1998 and housed by The Nature Conservancy in Keene Valley, APIPP is leading the charge to protect Adirondack natural resources from the damaging effects of invasive species by engaging partners and finding solutions through a coordinated, strategic, and integrated regional approach. Unlike many places, the opportunity exists in the Adirondacks to hold the line against invasive species and prevent them from wreaking havoc on natural resources and economic vitality.

Read the full story at Link
Photo © The Nature Conservancy


People in the news: He len Hamilton

He len Manilton, president of the John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, has been recognized as an "Armed and Dangerous: Destroying Virginia's Invasive Species with Volunteers" award winner by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Hamilton was recognized for her work in protecting native Virginia plant species from invasive species. Link


Carnivorous lionfish threaten eastern habitats

by Emily Coakley

Overfishing usually hurts underwater ecosystems, but researchers are hoping it can control an invasive species that is wreaking havoc off the East Coast of the United States.

The fish are reproducing "at a pace unlike anything scientists have ever seen from an invasive fish species in this part of the world," reports the Raleigh News & Observer.

"They’re eating everything. They could wipe out entire reefs," Lisa Mitchell told the N&O. She leads the Florida-based nonprofit Reef Environmental Education Foundation, which is working with Caribbean islands on the lionfish issue.

Read the full story at Link


Bat mortality rate catastrophic

By: Ryan Burgess,

Bats CHESTER, Mass - "That's spreading really quick," said Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program Director Tom French.

He's studying a fast spreading disease that's killing thousands of bats in the northeast. It's called White-Nose Syndrome and experts still don't fully understand it.

Chester mine in Hampden County use to house 10,000 bats. But in just two winters, all but 100 are dead.

"I think in the past two winters, we've lost a half a million bats in New England and New York," said French.

Read the full story at Link


Invasive species in Western New York: the battle continues

From the New York Flora Association Blog

Eighteen enthusiastic volunteers from SUNY-Fredonia and the Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York visited the Alexander Preserve in Zoar Valley on April 25th to remove several invasive species within the Preserve in honor of Earth Week. Target species of choice for removal were daylily and bush honeysuckle. Link


Air pollution, invasive species threaten Smokies environment

By Nancy Bompey,

CATALOOCHEE – Little Cataloochee Valley still holds evidence of the more than 1,200 people who once called the remote section of what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park home.

Visitors walking through the area might see an old church, a log cabin, or a stone wall amid the thickets of multiflora rose shrubs.

Red maples and tulip poplars have overgrown old settlements like Little Cataloochee Valley since the park's creation in 1934, as has the Japanese ornamental species once planted around cabins.

A park crew now spends whole days in the valley cutting down the shrubs along with combating dozens of other nonnative species that have made their way into the park.

“We're making a lot of progress, but to say will there be a day when they will be completely gone and not an issue anymore, I don't think that day will ever come,” crew member Kristin Glover said. “There are always new exotics. It's a never-ending cycle. We have no idea what could be around the bend.”

Exotic, invasive plants are just one threat the Smokies face as it celebrates 75 years as a national park. Invasive pests like the hemlock woolly adelgid are killing trees, air pollution has changed ecosystems and altered views, and the park is preparing for the effects of climate change on native species.


Native species suffer

While air pollution may be the most widespread threat to the park, nonnative plants, pests and animals also pose a major menace to the Smokies.

These species that occur outside of their native range came to the area through the deliberate or accidental introduction by humans, and it is part of the park's mission to manipulate and eradicate them if they threaten native resources.

“A lot of people don't realize what all is affecting the park,” Linzey said. “The park has limited resources, and I think they are doing as good a job as they can with what they have.”'

One of the most destructive nonnative species has been the wild hogs that found their way into the park in the 1950s from surrounding areas. The animals' rooting and wallowing threatens many native ecological communities in the park.

Read the full story at Link


Monday, April 20, 2009

Week of April 20, 2009

Updated 4/23

Invasive Species Workshop at ALLEGANY STATE PARK - Thursday May 7th

From New York Outdoors Blog

Forests, streams, lakes and fields are being degraded or irreparably damaged by alien invasive species. The cost to eliminate or mitigate the effects from these species will be vastly higher the longer we wait. The economic damage suffered by other parts of the country will happen here unless we are vigilant now. Emerald Ash Borer is confirmed just south of Cattaraugus County; Asian Long-Horned beetles have been found in the Long Island Region; Mile-a-Minute Vine and Giant Hogweed are in Cattaraugus County.

Learn how to properly identify the invasive species and then what to do in response to help eradicate the problem. This workshop will be covering everything from Rock Snot to Emerald Ash Borer; Mile-a-Minute to Hogweed. The three main topics at the workshop are aquatics, plants and insects.

We are unable to provide lunch so please bring one with you. Just a reminder that the closest restaurant or store is approximately a 10 minute drive.

Please pre-register by May 1 by calling Cassie Wright at (716) 354-9101 ext 236 or email

Space will be limited so make sure you register early.


Ash-killing insect threatening bats' future

Emerald ash borer nearing Louisville Slugger's harvest area

By Bobbie Dittmeier,

An Asian insect that has been destroying ash trees from the Midwest to Maryland poses a threat to the future of ash bats used by many Major Leaguers, according to a report in the April edition of Men's Journal.

The emerald ash borer, a bug about the size of a small paper clip, was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has ravaged forests from there to Ohio, Indiana and Maryland, killing tens of millions of white ash trees, according to the report.

Louisville Slugger, which produces the official bats for Major League Baseball, harvests its ash from an area along the border of Pennsylvania and New York that has remained uninfected, but the ash borers have migrated to within 100 miles of that site.

"We've been harvesting wood for over 100 years," Louisville Slugger vice president Rick Redman said. "We've survived floods, fires, a lot of other issues. Now we're trying to survive insects."

The beetle is native to China and eastern Asia and is believed to have arrived in North America in wood packing materials commonly used to ship consumer goods, according to the Louisville Slugger's web site.

There is little chance of halting its progression, said Nature Conservancy spokesman Frank Lowenstein.

"Non-native pests harm our trees in ways native insects do not," Lowenstein said. "Trees have no resistance, and predators don't feed on them, meaning they cannot be wiped out. ... Of 16 species of ash in North America, we're looking at the loss of all 16. Anywhere in the country you are looking at an ash tree, those will be gone," possibly within 30 years.

The bat-maker says on its Web site that it could import ash from China, or use other woods to make bats. Maple, for example, became popular among players during the past decade, but its tendency to break into shards led MLB and the players association to institute safety measures beginning this season.

"Louisville Slugger is confident that it will find alternative sources of timber for MLB bats in the event the worst-case scenario would become reality," the company said on its site. "Our company is always looking at other species of wood for potentially making baseball bats."

But ash has long been a highly popular choice.

"Ash is perfect for making bats," Redman said. "It's a hard wood with good grain structure, so when it breaks it doesn't explode, it just cracks. Players who migrated to maple are coming back to ash."

To try to quarantine the insect, the Department of Agriculture has urged people to burn firewood only near its origin and not to transport it to other locations.



Finger Lakes PRISM meeting

The next Finger Lakes PRISM meeting will be on May 7th, from 10 – 1 pm at the Montezuma Audubon Center. It has been a while since we last met so there is much to discuss. If you have agenda items or topics please forward them to me.


Gregg Sargis

Program Stewardship Ecologist
The Nature Conservancy, Central & Western NY Chapter



Rhode Island pet shop dreads 'Invasive Species' bill

By Beth Hurd, Johnston Sun Rise

For more than 28 years, the Parisella family of Johnston, Rhode Island, has been selling such exotic animals as birds, degus, chinchillas and hedgehogs, reptiles such as snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles, plus tropical fish at their store, Pure Paradise Pets, located on Putnam Pike.

But if legislation now under consideration is passed, the store may no longer be carrying any non-native species. Storeowner Domenic Parisella, who runs the store with his parents Domenic Sr. and Arlene Parisella, is trying to get the word out, asking pet owners to contact their state representatives.

As it reads now, the legislation (HR 669) requires the government to assess all imported species to determine which “will cause or are likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to other animal species’ health or human health.” It says pet owners would also be breaking the law by purchasing or owning non-native species prohibited as a result of the review process.

The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is strongly opposing the bill and has published literature urging people to lobby against the legislation.

“On April 23, 2009, the House Natural Resources Committee of the United States Congress will hold a hearing on a resolution that, if passed, will ban the import, export, transport, breeding, and private ownership of virtually every bird, mammal, reptile, and fish species currently kept as pets,” reads the literature in part.

Called the “Non-native Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act," the bill (according to the literature) is being supported by the Humane Society of the United States and The Nature Conservancy.

“These people are extremists to the max – they want to try to ban everything, but they hope to get half of what they want,” said Domenic. “They really want to outlaw the pythons, because of the python problem in the Everglades in Florida. [But] they’re going after all non-native species, sold in pet stores and bred by pet owners; if you have a pair of hamsters and they breed, if this passes, you just broke the law.”



Virginia statewide battle against invading species to take place May 2

BLACKSBURG, Virginia — Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and Virginia Master Naturalists, a program with which Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources partners, announced the first statewide Invasive Plant Removal Day. The program will take place at locations all over the state May 2.

Details for the event can be found at Residents are encouraged to participate and at this site can find events in their own city they can sign up for; contact information for each city also is included.






Delray Beach Marriott

Discounted room rates available to conference attendees. Please request the FLEPPC Conference group rate or use the group code (FEPFEPA) or (FEPFEPB) when booking online.

10 North Ocean Boulevard
Delray Beach, Florida 33483
USA Phone: 1-561-274-3200
Fax : 1-561-274-3202
Toll-free: 1-877-389-0169


Will Renovate be safe for Cazenovia Lake, NY?

By Doug Campbell,

If the town’s application is approved, the herbicide triclopyr (trade name Renovate) will be used to aggressively stop the growth of Eurasian water milfoil in Cazenovia Lake. But some have voiced concerns: Is this chemical safe? Is this the best option?

According an intermunicipal council of town, village, and lake association officials, the answer to both questions is yes.

The EPA classifies Renovate as “practically non-toxic,” the lowest possible toxicity classification for an herbicide. This rating comes after over 20 years of testing.

“It’s a very rigorous process,” said Town of Cazenovia Supervisor Liz Moran. “All those tests have to be done using very specific protocols and laboratories that are certified and audited.”

According to a document on the town’s website, the EPA requires pesticide registrants to submit more than 100 different scientific studies and tests.

The document states that strict testing standards must be maintained by the EPA. This “helps ensure quality results in the way data is conducted, recorded and documented with appropriate quality control. These studies can also be audited by the EPA at any time to ensure data was generated and documented to support the results obtained.”

Triclopyr affects the growth of dicots, or broad-leaf plants. Of the plants most common in Cazenovia Lake, a minority are dicots. Of those dicots, one species besides Eurasian water milfoil, water marigold, is highly susceptible to the herbicide.

“The water marigold is distributed throughout the lake, so I think it will recolonize itself,” Moran said.

At several town and watershed council meetings, officials have said that native plants will grow to fill the niche vacated by the milfoil. Eurasian water milfoil is currently taking space and resources from native plant life.

The second most abundant dicot in the lake, coontail, has low susceptibility to Renovate.

The particular dilution of Renovate allowed by the EPA (2.5 parts per million) has resulted in no verified cases of toxicity to fish when triclopyr is used, according to the town’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

According to a document on the town’s website addressing submitted questions regarding triclopyr, the herbicide will not be harmful to humans.

“Triclopyr is not considered to be a cause of cancer, birth defects, or genetic mutations. Nor is it considered likely to cause systemic, reproductive, or developmental effects in mammals at or near concentrations encountered during normal human use,” the document states. “However, Washington State Department of Health considers it prudent public health advice to minimize exposure to pesticides regardless of their known toxicity.”

Possible alternatives:

The town of Cazenovia’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement lists several alternatives to herbicide and their reasons for not using them.

No action

If no action is taken, Eurasian watermilfoil will continue to dominate aquatic plantlife and recreational use will become increasingly impaired. This would damage the economy of the town as lake front properties lose value.

Mechanical harvesting

This solution provides a temporary reduction, but can actually spread the species as fragments become new plants in new areas of the lake.

Grass carp

While a sterile form of grass carp can be used to eat aquatic vegetation, this plant-eating fish prefers other native plants to Eurasian watermilfoil. This could result in a reduction in all plants in the lake, not just invasive species.

Suction dredging

This method, while practical for small areas, is slow, labor-intensive and prohibitively expensive for use in the entire lake. This option is still a valid possibility for lakefront property owners.

Benthic barriers

These barriers prevent light from reaching the sediment surface and crush vegetation underneath, preventing and stopping the growth of plant life. This is another method that individual homeowners might employ.


Hootie and the Parakeets, Round 2

By Corey Kilgannon, New York Times

When last we left Hootie, the battery-powered owl, he was freshly installed atop a high-voltage electrical device on 11th Avenue in Whitestone, Queens, to scare off a group of wild monk parakeets intent on nesting on the device.

Well, Hootie proved no match for the parakeets – who promptly built a nest on the device, a 24,000-volt feeder reclosure.

But despite reports that the fake owl has been fired, Con Edison technicians are giving him another chance, turning to something else known to deter parakeets: the color orange.

“We put an orange cape on Hootie, and now he’s Super Hootie,” said Sam Maratto, a Con Ed technician who is leading his troops in the ongoing battle against the wild parakeets that are colonizing overhead electrical equipment and causing damages and power outages in Whitestone.

An article in The Times on Saturday described how the parakeets kept building their nests on that 11th Avenue feeder reclosure, which kept causing the devices to short-circuit and break. One after another, Con Edison workers kept replacing the $20,000 reclosures and finally bought the plastic owl to serve as a scarecrow last year. It worked for a stretch but after its batteries died, the parakeets were back. Con Edison again replaced the reclosure this month and installed a new owl on it. But by Monday, the parakeets returned and built a new nest on the device, apparently hip to this fake owl’s limited skills — its head swivels slowly and it emits a manufactured hoot, activated by a motion detector.

Photo by Corey Kilgannon/New York Times

Read the full story at Link


When You’re Invaded,You Need a Response

By Victoria Weber, The Herold of Randolph, Vermont

The first Vermont statewide “Invasive Plants Networking Meeting” was held in Montpelier on April 8. The working session brought together 39 individuals representing state and federal agencies, forestry and conservation associations and citizens, each of which is concerned about the rapid spread of invasive ... Link


Monday, April 13, 2009

Week of April 13, 2009

Opinion: After five years, government rules out Asian oyster gamble


It's now official, or at least as official as it's likely to get. There won't be any shortcut on the winding road that may lead to some restoration of the Chesapeake Bay's embattled oyster population.

Federal, Maryland and Virginia officials announced Monday that their plans for restoring the oysters do not include introducing the so-called Asian oysters (Crassostrea ariakensis) to bay waters.

The Asian oysters grow faster, are hardier, and are supposedly resistant to diseases - MSX and Dermo - that devastated the native oysters (Crassostrea virginica), whose population is now languishing at perhaps 1 percent of historic highs. Watermen and seafood processors were excited by the idea of importing ariakensis, and the enthusiasm spread to the administration of Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Of course, with federal and state money involved, the idea had to be studied. And studied. And studied some more. The studying outlasted the Ehrlich administration, costing the Asian oysters an advocate.

But there was, in fact, a lot for the researchers to mull over. There is already a dismal record of unintentional introduction of harmful invasive species - from nutria to mute swans to snakehead fish - into the bay region. You can't take it back when you intentionally release an invasive species.

Many environmental scientists were leery of the Asian oysters from the start, fearing they would outcompete the native oysters into oblivion, and then turn out to have their own set of weaknesses. And there is some evidence they are more vulnerable to poor water quality and low oxygen levels - problems that would, of course, assail them in the Chesapeake.

The conclusion seemed obvious to us last October: "Unless the case for ariakensis is a slam dunk, we're probably better off trying to nurse along and revive the native oysters." The government reached the same conclusion this week.

All it took was a five-year study and $17 million in state and federal funds.

At least there won't be any more money spent on shining a flashlight down the Asian oyster dead end. But the restoration strategy the Army Corps of Engineers sketched out Monday would cost $50 million a year for 10 years - and there won't be anywhere near that much money, even if some federal stimulus funds can be used for the purpose. Since 1994, Maryland has managed about $5 million a year for oyster restoration; Virginia about $1 million.

As we've written before, if there's going to be any serious progress toward restoring the native oyster - whose usefulness as a natural water filtration system can in turn help restore the bay - a different strategy is needed. It will have to include bans on oystering in large stretches of the bay, and put more emphasis on aquaculture.

Maybe such strategies won't work. Even if they do, there may not be appreciable progress for years. But they are still a better option, and a better use of scarce government funding, than gambling on another species of oyster.



TNC GIST web site and INVASIPEDIA now available from U of Georgia

The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team (GIST) was disbanded in March 2009. The GIST web site along with many useful documents on invasive species control, numerous invasive species images and the recently created INVASIPEDIA were in danger of becoming lost.

The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at The University of Georgia, in collaboration with the Global Invasive Species Team, is pleased to announce that the GIST web site and INVASIPEDIA are now available through ( All of Barry Rice's 240 images and John Randall's 911 images that were on the GIST web site have been incorporated into the Bugwood Image Database ( and

The GIST web site on is a static system with the content current to March 2009. Over time, the GIST web site content will be merged into the existing framework. INVASIPEDIA is fully integrated into Bugwood Wiki under Invasive Species at

WIMS will be hosted by iMapInvasives and the Remote Sensing Tutorial will be hosted on Barry Rice's

Please contact any of The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health staff if you have questions or need additional information.

Thank you,

Keith Douce, Dave Moorhead, Chuck Bargeron, and Joe LaForest

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
The University of Georgia
P. O. Box 748
4601 Research Way Admin. Bldg.
Tifton, GA 31793 USA

Phone: 229-386-3298
FAX: 229-386-3352



Energy from lake weeds?

By Bob Young,

With all the debate and discussion about the future of Vermont Yankee, it's critical that Vermonters remain aware of the other ongoing efforts to ensure Vermont's energy future.

Central Vermont Public Service is among many that have urged lawmakers to give Vermont Yankee owners a fair hearing on their request to continue operations in Vermont. Yet, at the same time, we are making extensive plans for future power supplies, including planning for the possibility of Vermont Yankee's closure in 2012.

Last fall, Central Vermont Public Service, Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative began a broad and deep examination of power supply options for the years ahead.[...]

[...] We are also looking into energy production from lake weeds and algae, which could supplement manure in farm digesters. [...] Link


The Institute for Regional Conservation


LOCATION: Sugarloaf Key, FL
DATE PREPARED: April 10, 2009
SALARY: $15.00 /hr

Participates in natural resource management, operations, and maintenance.

This may include one or more of the following functions:

• Removes exotic plant species
• Maintains tools and equipment

Keith A. Bradley, Assistant Director
22601 SW 152 Ave.
Miami, FL 33170
Phone: (305-547-6547
Fax: (305) 245-9797


Job Announcement:

2 Biological Science Technician Seasonal positions with Northeast Exotic Plant Management Team

ALL APPLICATIONS DUE BY APRIL 17, 2009 Duty station: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Bushkill, PA Service Period: May/June through November, not to exceed 6 months, at GS-0404-04 level.

Park coverage: Region of 13-16 units in the Northeast the National Park Service, from PA/NJ north to ME For application instructions and position requirements, go to, Job Announcement Number: SH-NERO DEU-09-58T.

Or go to URL: Link

For all inquiries:
Kathryn Aiello
Phone: 770-751-8638


Hemlock woolly adelgid link

Here is a link to excellent information presented on March 13th by Mark Whitmore of the Cornell Department of Natural Resources and additional information about this upstate newcomer.

Enjoy the day,

Chris Lajewski
Northern New York Land Steward
The Nature Conservancy


NY Senator Schumer fears Hudson Valley fishing is at risk from didymo

TOWN OF KENT — While standing in a remote area of western Kent, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer Wednesday promised to sponsor legislation calling for $20 million to protect the region’s vital recreational fishing.

Schumer visited White Pond, a fishing area known for its trout and forecast a demise of sport fishing due to the didymo — a damaging invasive algae that grows in thick mats along riverbeds that smother plants along the bottom of freshwater streams depriving trout of their food, habitat and eventually their lives.

Schumer met with New York State DEC officials earlier this week and learned that unless immediate action was taken to prevent the spread of didymo, “it will spread unimpeded across the Hudson Valley.”

Schumer demanded that the Senate Appropriations Committee direct funds for the Fish and Wildlife Service to combat the didymo algae as well as other invasive plant and animal species.

He called on Interior-Environment Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander to “increase funding for the program to $20 million. We must and will use this funding to fight aquatic invasive species.” Link


Monday, April 6, 2009

Week of April 6, 2009

Council to remove Egeria densa from lake in New York

Written by Matt Dalen,

With luck, the Three Lakes Council will soon have eradicated an invader to Lake Waccabuc. With no public comments objecting to the plan, and permission from all of the landowners involved, the town Planning Board on Tuesday, March 24 approved the council’s proposal to suck the invasive plant species Egeria densa out of Waccabuc Cove on Lake Waccabuc once the weather warms. The town Planning Board had closed a scheduled public hearing on the plan earlier this month after a short discussion of what the eradication of the plant will entail.

The proposal, which is expected to start in May and last two to three weeks, would involve divers taking suction hoses to the lake bottom over an area of about two acres, trying to remove any and all plant material that could re-start the infestation. Egeria is capable of regrowing from a small fragment of its stem, a feature that makes it desirable in the hobby aquarium but at the same time highly difficult to eradicate once it gets into an ecosystem.

In order to keep any fragments of the plant from escaping during the suctioning, the council has proposed that curtain barriers be placed around the divers performing the procedure as well as a curtain across the cove. The material harvested would go into fine net bags, which would be periodically disposed of in nearby trash bins.

A concern over the ownership of the lake bottom had delayed the approval of the project, but the Planning Board decided that the legal issues could be assuaged with letters of permission from each landowner with property on the cove. That permission has been granted, according to council Vice President Janet Anderson.

The Lake Waccabuc Association recently made a contribution of $2,500 to the Three Lakes Council’s Eradicate Egeria Initiative to help tackle the problem.

“All residents of the three lakes are being encouraged to help in this fund-raising effort.” said Ed Delaney, association president. “Although this plant so far has only been discovered in the north cove, it will eventually spread to all three lakes and it is imperative that the community as a whole deal with the problem.”

To donate to the initiative, send a check to Three Lakes Council — EEI, P.O. Box 241, South Salem, NY 10590.



Natick, Massachusetts commission nears decision on herbicide proposal

By Charlie Breitrose/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News

NATICK — Members of the Conservation Commission have yet to make a ruling on a plan to use herbicides in Lake Cochituate, but whichever way they go their decision will likely be appealed.

The commission on Thursday closed its public hearing on the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's plan to use diquat several times over the next five years to control Eurasian milfoil near the beach and boat ramp.

Those areas are on the north side of Middle Pond and the treatment area is within 900 feet of the town's drinking wells.

The commission asked for the Board of Health's ruling about using diquat. Based on the information, said Public Health director Jim White, the Board of Health could not support use of the chemicals.

"What we did is we put the onus on (the state) to 100 percent guarantee to us that diquat would not get into the drinking water," White said.

Warren Lyman, an expert in water chemistry who has been worked with the Board of Health in the past, said he could not recommend using the chemicals, based on the information he reviewed, White said.

The Board of Health's vote is a recommendation, White said, and the Conservation Commission is not bound to it. If the Conservation Commission approves use of diquat, the Board of Health could appeal the decision in court, but White said that is highly unlikely.

Conservation Commission member Kathy Rehl said she has similar concerns about the chemical getting into the water system.

"I have worked with plants for years and I have seen one chemical after another outlawed because they are found to cause cancer," Rehl said. "I have a real aversion to putting chemicals in a lake were we have wells."

When the proposal came to the Conservation Commission two weeks ago, people opposing and those supporting the use of chemicals gave testimony for about two hours. The appeals continued Thursday night.

Anne Monnelly, acting director of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's water resources office, said the state had tried several non-chemical efforts to remove the milfoil, including a water circulator called a Solar Bee and placing mats over the weeds to kill them. Nothing has succeeded.

"At the request of citizens, we tried two years of the Solar Bee, three years of benthic matting and three years of hand pulling," Monnelly said. "If there was another large-scale technique that would be appropriate, I would try it."

Benthic mats block the sun, which stymies plant growth.

When the Conservation Commission approved the state's proposal to use diquat a few years ago, a group called Protect Our Water Resources appealed, and the chemical wasn't used.

Conservation Commissioner Matthew Gardner said another appeal is likely if diquat is approved.
He asked Monnelly if the state would consider dropping its proposal because an appeal is almost a certainty. Monnelly said no.

"Our thought is if you deny it, we're likely to appeal (the Conservation Commission's ruling)," Monnelly said. "We would like a ruling from the Department of Environmental Protection."
Some people have said the Conservation Commission should allow chemicals near the beach, because a swimmer could get tangled in the weeds and drown.

Martin Levin, a lawyer representing Protect Our Water Resources, said that should not be part of the commission's decision.

Levin said the onus is on the state to clear the weeds from the beach to make it safe for swimming.

"I think it is really an issue of money. The DCR is saying we don't have the money for any alternative," Levin said. "If they can't control the weeds then maybe they can't allow people to swim."
John Dwinnell, district manager for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation region that includes Lake Cochituate, said he expects use of the beach to skyrocket with the bad economy.

Most years the park draws 150,000 visitors. This year officials predict it could go as high as 250,000.

Protect Our Water Resources and the town had applied for a state grant to buy a weed-suction boat, called a DASH boat, but the proposal was denied. Monnelly said she is working with the group to see if the plan can be revived.

"We will continue to work on the DASH boat project," Monnelly said. "We are willing to do a pilot project."

The Conservation Commission also heard more comments about scientific studies showing either that diquat is safe to use or that it could pose a danger to humans.

After the public input, Conservation Commission member Douglas Shepard said he was ready to close the hearing.

"This is a typical scientific issue where you have 800 scientists on this side that say this, and 800 on that side," Shepard said.

The board will take up the proposal again April 15.



The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has arrived in the Finger Lakes region: Monitors needed

While not a new pest for our partners downstate, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was recently discovered in the Finger Lakes, New York. Please help us spread the word and rally volunteers to participate in a monitoring program by disseminating the attached fact sheet (text below) and Web resources developed by Mark Whitmore, Cornell Dept of Natural Resources.


Holly Menninger, Ph.D.
Senior Extension Associate and NY Invasive Species Research Institute Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources
Cornell University
110 Rice Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607.254.6789
Fax: 607.255.0349

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Adelges tsugae, is here! It was detected for the first time in the Finger Lakes in 2008. The HWA is an invasive forest pest imported from Asia that has been killing Hemlock trees on the east coast, often eliminating them in entire watersheds. It is a tiny aphid-like insect that forms waxy wool on Hemlock twigs at the base of the needles. The HWA will infest Hemlocks of all sizes and is readily detected on lower branches in winter and spring.

There are no area wide treatments for the HWA in Hemlock forests at this time. The only practical options are for the treatment of individual trees. Chemical treatment of urban or landscaping trees is effective and long-lasting. However, tactics for area wide control in forests that are currently under investigation, such as biological control and pathogenic fungi, will take time to fully develop and implement. We need to slow the spread of this devastating pest to buy the time necessary to complete these projects. Researchers at Cornell University, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and the US Forest Service are trying to determine the full extent of the HWA’s distribution in the Finger Lakes.

We would like anyone capable of recognizing the HWA to report BOTH positive and negative sightings. If you wish to volunteer with others organized by Cornell Plantations to inspect important local Hemlock forests please go to: report positive and negative sightings and to find further information about the HWA please visit: