Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently presented new research detailing the threat of aquatic invasive species in Adirondack lakes at the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society meeting in Lake Placid.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Management Grant Program funded AWI to undertake two studies. » Continue Reading.
Sometimes I wonder if the Biblical plagues of ancient Egypt have lingered in one form or another. Blooms of toxic algae, which occasionally turn water a blood-red color, are on the increase. Gnats and lice have been supplanted by deer ticks, which I’d argue are even worse, and there is no shortage of hail in season. Frog outbreaks may not have occurred since Pharaoh’s time, but poisonous cane toads imported to Australia are now running amok there, decimating all manner of native animals. And currently, swarms of locusts are causing great hardship in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
Here in the Northeast, we are blessedly free of the kind of swarm-feeding grasshoppers that continue to cause suffering in Africa. Nonetheless, locusts have become such a problem that in 2014 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) declared the locust a Regulated Invasive Species, meaning it “cannot be knowingly introduced into a free-living state.” In other words, locusts are only legal in an environment from which they can’t escape. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Watershed Institute has announced they have 100+ positions available for summer 2020. They are hiring paid watershed stewards, decontamination technicians, and supervisors to help safeguard against aquatic invasive species and protect Adirondack waterways. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that invasive zebra mussels were discovered in late January 2020 in Delta Lake, which supplies water to DEC’s Rome Fish Hatchery. Subsequent water testing at the hatchery confirmed the presence of zebra mussel veligers (larvae) in an outdoor raceway.
The Rome Hatchery is one of DEC’s largest hatcheries with annual production totaling nearly 160,000 pounds of brook, rainbow, and brown trout. » Continue Reading.
“What a horrifyingly garish sight,” I said to my friend as we surveyed my Christmas tree last year. We had just finished decorating it and my eyes were sending messages to my brain, like, “Hey, this is really tacky.”
Truth is, the décor I had accumulated after years of city dwelling in my sassy twenties looked awfully out of place in my humble Vermont cabin. What I once thought dazzling – glitter-coated icicles, a miniature disco ball, a purple-feathered bird with jeweled eyes, flocks of shiny gold and green balls – now looked as out of place as a pink flamingo at my bird feeder. Even the duck decoy my great uncle carved seemed to give the gaudy fiasco an alarmed stare. Such a tree no longer belonged in my world. » Continue Reading.
Each time I present on invasive pests, it begins with a slide of Chicken Little, a character who fomented mass hysteria by convincing other animals the sky was falling. It’s usually good for a chuckle. Inevitably I then proceed to unload a barrage of bar graphs, pie charts, alarming statistics, and photos of mayhem wrought by the featured pest. A final slide shows the position of the sky, with arrows in the direction of gravitational pull at 9.8 m/s/s, proof that the sky is indeed falling. For some reason, fewer people laugh at the end. Go figure.
Threats to forest health posed by invasive species are no joke. Yet I think we educators often come across like Chicken Little, squawking about yet another threat to trees. It would be hard to blame the average person for asking themselves, gosh – how many times can the sky fall, anyway? » Continue Reading.
Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the economy and the environment, not only in the Adirondacks, but in all of New York State.
The current debate over a voluntary vs. mandatory boat inspection program is the classic “carrot or stick” scenario. Forcing a mandatory program on the boating public in the Adirondacks, without even considering other intermediary options, is a mistake. » Continue Reading.
Yes, everyone should be educated and make sure their boat is clean, drained and dry, inspected and decontaminated, to stop the spread of invasive species and preserve Adirondack Park lakes, ponds and rivers. The park is a national treasure we must protect for future generations, as our ancestors did for us. That means taking seriously our obligations to protect clean water, native wildlife, aquatic life, allowing people to live in harmony with the wilderness.
Some suggest that this could be done with education and voluntary programs alone, without a law, regulations or enforcement. We can all wish that were true, but it isn’t. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program is seeking an artist to design a boat sail which will be incorporated into the fleet at the Community Sailing Center on the Burlington waterfront in 2020.
Artwork will be related to aquatic invasive species to help draw the public’s attention to preventing their spread. The Lake Champlain Basin Program is a member of the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and supports technical and community projects to address aquatic invasive species issues across the Lake Champlain watershed. » Continue Reading.
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.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in two locations in Jefferson County. A sample collected from a tree in the city of Watertown on South Massey Street was positively identified by the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Lab.
The sample was taken in cooperation with the City of Watertown Planning Department and Department of Public Works. A second location was confirmed in the village of Clayton. » Continue Reading.
In early September, The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s boat launch steward Matthew Gorton was conducting routine boat inspections at the South Hero John Guilmette. There to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species, Gorton noticed an unusual looking plant hanging off a trailer backing into the Lake.
While Lake Champlain is host to 51 known nonnative and invasive aquatic species, Hydrilla verticillata has not yet been found there. The watercraft carrying the plant was last in the Connecticut River, a system in which the highly invasive plant hydrilla is well established. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for an amendment to the Blue Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan.
The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) is set to host the 2019 Annual Invasive Species Conference together with Cornell University’s New York Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI), from Monday, September 30th through Thursday, October 3rd, at the Saratoga Hilton, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
If you’re tired of hearing about new invasive forest pests, I’m right there with you. Seems they arrive at an ever-increasing pace, and the harm potential ratchets up with each newcomer. At this rate maybe we’ll get a wood-boring beetle whose larvae explode, which would put things in perspective. As distasteful as it is to peer at the cast of ugly new characters, it’s better to know what we’re up against.
Novel pests put everyone on a steep learning curve. For the species below, key questions remain unanswered, and some of what we “know” will undoubtedly be proven wrong. Still, it’s worth the effort to take stock of the near-term threats to our woodlands. » Continue Reading.
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