Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NYDEC Begins Emergency Rule-Making for Hydrilla Infestation Treatment

ALBANY, NY (05/09/2012)(readMedia)-- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation adopted an emergency rule to allow for herbicide treatment to combat hydrilla, an invasive plant species that has plagued parts of the Cayuga Inlet since last summer, the agency announced today. "Immediate action is necessary to stop the spread of hydrilla to preserve native plants and indigenous aquatic ecosystems throughout New York state," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "By amending the regulation to allow the use of fluridone pellets, DEC is helping control the infestation of a destructive species that threatens the Finger Lakes economy and habitat." The emergency regulation allows the use of fluridone pellets in waters less than two feet deep for 90 days. Upon expiration, DEC intends to renew the temporary, emergency regulation until a permanent rule is in place. The rule amends 6 NYCRR 326.2(b)(4)(ii), which prohibits the application of fluridone pellet formulations in waters less than two feet deep. ...

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MN to test dogs against emerald ash borer

Stephanie Hemphill
Minnesota Public Radio

HARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Specially-trained dogs could soon help enforce quarantines against Emerald ash borer in Minnesota. Ramsey, Hennepin, Houston, and Winona counties have quarantines that prohibit the movement of ash materials, and any other hardwood firewood. State officials say it is difficult to distinguish one type of firewood from another. Four dogs will join human workers this summer as they inspect yard waste sites and trucks hauling compost, said Liz Erickson, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. "Our regulatory crew has a schedule of what sites to visit, so on their regular site visits they'll take the dogs to have a more efficient and effective site visit," Erickson said. The dogs — two Labrador Retrievers (one yellow, one black), a German Shepherd, and a Belgian Malanois — are being trained by the non-profit group Working Dogs for Conservation to detect ash wood and Emerald ash borer larvae. The invasive pests threaten ash trees across the state and across the country. ...

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Goats tackle invasive species

Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) Brian Knox's goats are a bit of a novelty in Maryland, munching invasive species that have proven too tough for mowers, weed whackers and herbicides.

On the West Coast, his business model is already so trite it has inspired a tongue-in-cheek Canadian auto insurance commercial saluting "Goat Renter Guy."

Back East, Knox isn't overly worried about others stealing the idea, which involves first fencing off overgrown areas to keep the goats from munching elsewhere.

"One of the things that keeps the competition down is people don't like ticks, they don't like thorns and they don't like to sweat," Knox said. "And if you're running goats, you've got all of that, that and poison ivy. I've always got poison ivy, the goats don't get it, but I'm covered all the time." Knox, a forester by training who runs Sustainable Resource Management, Inc., an Easton-based consulting firm, said his Eco-Goats subsidiary is becoming a bigger part of his operation.  ...

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'Rock snot' infects Delaware River

Ben Horowitz/The Star-Ledger

An invasive form of algae has spread aggressively south in the Delaware River, creating dense shag-carpet-like mats that threaten insects and plants, and the fish that feed on them.

There is no way to eradicate or even control the algae, known as didymo — or even less formally as "rock snot." Even more troubling, the microscopic plant can spread easily, according to officials at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

As a result, officials are urging boaters, fishermen and waders to take extra precautions to avoid infecting other areas of the Delaware or other rivers and streams. ...

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New York State wants you (and your smartphone) to help map invasive species

By Lissa Harris

Call it Conservation 2.0: Citizen science is getting more and more digitally connected all the time.

Take iMapInvasives, an ambitious new project for mapping the spread of invasive species. iMapInvasives combines citizen reports from the field with larger databases maintained by state agencies and nonprofits, allowing backyard nature buffs to make real contributions to public scientific knowlege on invasives. The service launched recently in a handful of states, including New York, but it has national ambitions. In New York State, the iMapInvasives project is being run by the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP), a collaboration between the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the nonprofit Nature Conservancy.

On Tuesday, May 8, the iMapInvasives team is seeking volunteers equipped with smartphones to help road-test some new features in the field, and map the spread of invasives in the Esopus Bend Preserve while they're at it. ... Read the full story at link.


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