The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) will continue its efforts to protect the region from invasive species — one of the greatest environmental threats facing the Adirondacks — under a new, multi-year contract with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) funded through the Environmental Protection Fund. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘invasive plants’
After having defeated the Aztecs with a fusion of horses, steel, smallpox, and a stunning lack of moral conscience, the Spanish conquistadors wasted no time outlawing amaranth, a grain which constituted most of the Aztec diet at the time. Known to gardeners and farmers these days as pigweed, amaranth has obviously continued to flourish in spite of that military decree.
There are 70 recognized amaranth species, several of which are grown commercially from Mexico south to northern Peru. It is a very nutritious grain, high in protein, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and selenium, and is eaten roasted or cooked in water. When young, its leaves can be used as a cooked green much like spinach. Amaranth is also grown ornamentally, with a number of varieties available with red, purple, or yellow flower spikes. » Continue Reading.
Practitioners from the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) and researchers from Cornell University published the results of a seven-year study evaluating management of Phragmites australis (Phragmites), an aggressive wetland invasive plant, in the Adirondacks.
Published in the latest issue of Biological Invasions, “Management of invasive Phragmites australis in the Adirondacks: a cautionary tale about prospects of eradication,” documents broad success in controlling the species and suggests that over 70% of infestations within the interior Adirondacks will eventually be successfully eradicated, allowing native species to recolonize.
Since 2010, APIPP has managed 334 infestations of Phragmites in the interior Adirondacks. As of 2016, 212 of these managed sites have been documented as Phragmites-free; 104 have been documented as Phragmites-free for three consecutive years and are deemed eradicated. Researchers point to two primary reasons for this success: Small size of Phragmites infestations upon discovery (average size is less than one acre); and APIPP’s sustained early detection, rapid response, and monitoring efforts. » Continue Reading.
This summer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has come through with a new hope for the forces of good. Its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has opened a public comment period, ending on August 14, 2017, relating to the release of a non-native insect to control swallow-wort.
Sometimes called “dog-strangling vine,” this invasive plant from Eurasia doesn’t harm pets, but it does live up to its name as a strangler. There are two species of the perennial vine, and they are both adept at choking out wildflowers, forest seedlings, Christmas tree plantations, hay fields and other habitats. In the Eastern Lake Ontario region, it has proved capable of blanketing large tracts, hundreds of acres in some cases, to create permanent monocultures of tangled, toxic foliage. » Continue Reading.
On July 29, watercraft inspectors inspected a pair of personal watercraft attempting to launch at the State boat launch on Upper Saranac Lake, subsequently detecting and removing a strand of hydrilla (water thyme, or Hydrilla verticillata), a fast-growing invasive aquatic plant currently established in several New York lakes. This is the first confirmed instance of hydrilla detected in the history of the Adirondack Park’s aquatic invasive species prevention efforts.
According to lake stewards, the watercraft on the trailer carrying hydrilla had both been sealed by lake stewards from the Lake George Park Commission, indicating they had recently passed an invasive species inspection.
On some Adirondack lakes stewards perform boat and trailer inspections in an effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Many boat launches however, including those operated by the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), remain largely un-staffed, or inadequately equipped, and often rely on poorly paid student labor. Most DEC boat launches in the Adirondacks remain open when stewards are not present. » Continue Reading.