Monday, October 11, 2010

Week of October 11, 2010

Groups join forces to combat invasive species in Eightmile River

Published in The Day (

The committee in charge of programs in the Eightmile River watershed, which extends into Salem, Lyme and East Haddam [Connecticut], signed an agreement Monday to take a regional approach to combating invasive species.

The agreement is the first of its kind in Connecticut, the Eightmile River Coordinating Committee said in a news release, although there have been others in watersheds in Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and elsewhere. The agreement establishes the watershed as the Eightmile River Invasive Species Management Area, with priority given to early detection of new populations of invasive species such as Japanese Stiltgrass and Pale Swallowwort. In 2008, the Eightmile watershed was designated as part of the National Park Service's Wild and Scenic Rivers program. "There is remarkable diversity of life forms in the oasis called the Eightmile River watershed," David Bingham, president of the Salem Land Trust, said in a news release. "This agreement is an important step toward education and cooperation, so that by working together we can prevent and mitigate the significant threats from invasive species and keep our oasis healthy."

Groups signing the agreement included the coordinating committee; the Nature Conservancy; the Town of Lyme; the land trust of Lyme, Salem and East Haddam, and the National Park Service. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is also expected to sign on as a partner. Part of the watershed management plan written for the wild and scenic program includes providing education to landowners about controlling invasive species and other efforts to stop their spread.

"The Eightmile River watershed has a significant amount of protected open space," said David Gumbart, assistant director of land management for the Nature Conservancy's Connecticut chapter.

For information about invasive species, visit For information about the Eightmile watershed invasive species management area, call Gumbart at (203) 568-6290.


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