Monday, June 6, 2022

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is June 6 -12

The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (NYISAW) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause. We want to empower YOU to stop the spread of invasive species!

Organizations across all of New York State are offering a variety of engaging events, such as interpretive hikes, volunteer days, webinars, movie screenings, and fun family activities!

By participating in NYISAW, you can help protect your community’s natural spaces, learn about new invasive species, meet your neighbors, get outdoors, and even win prizes!

Find events near you!

Join the First Ever NYISAW Mapping Challenge!

Lanternflies, nematodes, and princess trees, oh my! During the 2022 NY Invasive Species Awareness Week (June 6th – June 12th), NY iMapInvasives is launching the first ever NYISAW Mapping Challenge.

Starting June 6th, we challenge you to get out and map this week’s statewide priority species, spotted lanternfly, and the focal species for your PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management).  The top reporters to iMapInvasives for spotted lanternfly and the focal species for each PRISM (including presence and not-detected records) will win a prize from the NYS DEC.

Join us Monday June 6th at 7pm for a webinar, where you will hear from PRISM staff on how to identify the focal species – spotted lanternfly, tree-of-heaven, Japanese tree lilac, beech leaf disease, quagga mussel, and Princess tree! Learn more and register on the iMapInvasives website.

Photo credit: Madeline Maitino


Use Local Firewood this Camping Season

Many people like to take firewood from their homes before traveling to a campsite. Invasive pests like the emerald ash borer or Asian longhorned beetle often hitch a ride to new areas in untreated firewood. Transport of untreated firewood across the state has caused outbreaks of these damaging pests.

Since 2009, New York State has regulated the movement of firewood to keep the spread of invasives down. Untreated firewood must have been grown in NY and cannot be moved more than 50 miles from where it was grown or its source. Producers of firewood for sale are allowed to declare their business as the source provided the wood was grown within 50 miles of their business and they must maintain documentation. Those moving untreated firewood for their own use, must fill out a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin (PDF). Treated firewood, which has been heated to a core temperature of 160° F for 75 minutes and labeled as “New York Approved Heat-treated Firewood/Pest Free,” can be moved without restrictions. DEC has an interactive map that shows if firewood’s source and its destination are within 50 miles. View the map.

Violation of firewood regulations can result in fines, penalties and the potential destruction of beloved trees and habitats. The safest way to enjoy a campfire and protect New York forests is to buy and burn local firewood at your destination. Read more about New York’s firewood regulations on DEC’s website.

DEC photo


Spongy Moth Aerial Treatment Performed

DEC recently conducted aerial treatments for the invasive pest spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) in five high priority forests in New York. Treatment took place between May 20 and May 31. The priority areas chosen already suffered spongy moth defoliation for multiple years and are expected to have another high level of infestation this year according to survey efforts conducted by DEC regional staff.

The areas treated were:

  • Allegany State Park
  • Coyle State Forest
  • Rush Creek State Forest
  • South Valley State Forest
  • Sonyea State Forest

The treatment being used is Gypchek, a biopesticide produced from a naturally occurring nucleopolyhedrosis virus, or NPV, that only affects spongy moth larvae. According to research by the U.S. Forest Service (leaves DEC website), Gypchek is not related to any human or mammalian viruses and is only distantly related to other insect viruses, therefore it has no negative effect on wildlife, plants, or people.

For more information about spongy moth, including control options, visit DEC’s spongy moth webpage.

For a video update from DEC Forester Rob Cole on spongy moth across New York State, visit DEC’s website.


Upcoming Events

NYISAW Statewide Webinar Series – June 6 to June 10
DEC is hosting a series of webinars on topics including native alternatives to invasive plants, harmful algal blooms, and backyard invasive species prevention. Find the full list and register on NYISAW’s calendar.

Webinar: Spotted Lanternfly Ecology and Biocontrol Efforts (NAISMA) – June 15 from 1:00 pm – 2:00pm Presented by Dr. Ann Elizabeth Hajek, Cornell University
Register for the webinar.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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