BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE—A summit to address two invasive species that are a threat to the Adirondacks will include a discussion on new research that shows a link between hydrilla and the death of eagles in the Southeastern United States. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program will host a free symposium, “Invasive Species at our Door: Adirondack Invasive Species Summit,” from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. The event will cover two species that could dramatically impact Adirondack forests and freshwater ecosystems: hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a forest pest, and hydrilla, an aquatic invasive plant.
The morning session will focus on HWA while the afternoon session will cover hydrilla and include a talk by University of Georgia Associate Professor Dr. Susan Wilde. Wilde’s groundbreaking research on hydrilla has uncovered a link between a bacteria associated with the invasive plant and eagle mortality in the Southeast. The event’s morning speakers will include regional experts on HWA: David Orwig, Senior Ecologist and Forest Ecologist from Harvard Forest; Gary Lovett, Senior Scientist for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; and Mark Whitmore, Director of the New York State Hemlock Initiative for Cornell University.
The HWA speakers will talk about where HWA has been found in the Adirondacks and will describe the impact the invasive insect could have on Adirondack forest ecosystems and the carbon sequestration potential of our forests, as well as how to manage hemlock to reduce these impacts. Speakers will also address the potential for biological controls—that is, the use of other organisms such as specialized beetles and silverflies to manage forest pests—to help in the fight against HWA.
After lunch, the summit’s focus will shift to aquatic ecosystems and the negative impact hydrilla, an invasive species that is present in other parts of New York, could have on Adirondack waterways. Meg Modley, Aquatic Invasive Species Management Coordinator for the Lake Champlain Basin Program, will introduce hydrilla and cover the plant’s current infestation locations and how its presence here could impact the Adirondacks. Dr. Wilde will then talk about her hydrilla research, followed by Bill Brosseau, Stewardship Director for the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, who will discuss Adirondack hydrilla prevention programs.
Then Kate Monacelli, Hydrilla Project Manager with Finger Lakes Institute of Hobart and William Smith College will discuss best management practices for controlling hydrilla. Even though there is a strong possibility that hydrilla will make its way into Adirondack waterbodies, Brosseau said he is optimistic.
“I have had the opportunity to work in the field of ecological restoration with communities for well over twenty years, and what I know is that through partnerships in education, science and stewardship, there is always hope when managing invasive species,” Brosseau said.
There is no charge to attend Invasive Species at our Door: Adirondack Invasive Species Summit,” but space is limited so you must pre-register. Participants are kindly expected to wear masks when indoors at the museum. For those who cannot attend in person, presentations will be live-streamed on Facebook or a similar platform; however, remote viewers will not be able to participate in the discussions.
For more information or to register for the summit, visit www.adkinvasives.com/Events/Detail/158.
APIPP’s mission is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species. Learn more at www.adkinvasives.com.
The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) serves as the Adirondack Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), one of eight partnerships across New York. APIPP is hosted by The Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and receives financial support from the Environmental Protection Fund administered by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Photo at top provided by Shaun Kittle, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program Communications Coordinator.