Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Invasive Plant Pull - We're Pulling for Bats!

Bats are important to our native ecosystems and our economy.
Did you know that Bats are responsible for pollinating over 300 fruits---including mangoes, bananas, and guavas?  Bats also eat thousands of insects in a single night---including mosquitoes and other pests, which saves the agriculture industry between $3.7-53 billion dollars a year, making them a crucial contributor to our food web!

Invasive plants can reduce insect diversity, which affects food availability for bats and choke up the flyways bats use for hunting and travel.  On Saturday, October 29th, We're Pulling for Bats!  Pulling invasive plants, that is!

Join us from 9:00-11:30AM to help restore native habitat in Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park
in Gainesville, FL.
  • We provide gloves, buckets, trash bags and bug spray!
  • We will be removing Coral ardisia & camphor by hand
  • Wear long pants and closed toed shoes
  • Bring a reusable water bottle
  • Carpool!  It's always more fun with friends! 
  • Please RSVP at the event page: We're Pulling for Bats!
  • There will be prizes raffled off!
This event is co-hosted by the City of Gainesville - Gainesville Greenway Challenge and the University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants for Bat Week 2016!

If you have any questions about this event, please get in touch! We hope to see you there!

The Innovation Summit

The Innovation Summit

Overcoming the Invasive Species Challenge

We are convening a major gathering of leading scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to solve seemingly intractable problems – problems that leave us vulnerable to the adverse impacts of invasive species. Invasive species are non-native organisms that adversely impact the environment, economy, infrastructure, cultural resources and identity, and/or human and animal health. They are estimated to cost the U. S. nearly $200 billion annually. Together, we will celebrate new opportunities to prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species, as well as identify the next big scientific and technical challenges to be overcome.

·         How do we prevent the spread of Zika virus and its vectors?
·         How do we eradicate rodents from human-inhabited islands?
·         How do we stop the devastation and spread of lionfish?
·         How do we overcome cheatgrass dominance and restore sagebrush ecosystems?
·         How do we keep Bsal from entering the US?

The day-long event will feature presentations by leading innovators in invasive species research and technology development. In addition, the Summit will offer opportunities for professional networking between those in need and those in the know. Most importantly, the Summit will make it feasible for participants to further innovate, sponsor, and apply practical knowledge and tools that will make a difference. And, it won’t stop there, as soon as the day concludes, the Summit’s “Going Beyond” team will begin to strategically move Summit outcomes into highly influential scientific, technical, and policy frameworks.

Are you an innovator? Join us.

Monday, December 5, 2016

National Museum of the American Indian
4th Street & Independence Av. SW, Washington DC

Deadline for Registration is November 25th.
Deadline for submissions is October 7th.

Smithsonian Institute
National Invasive Species Council Secretariat
Island Conservation
Conservation X Labs

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

petition urging the U.S. Government/Fish and Wildlife Service to act to prevent introduction and spread of 43 aquatic species

Hello, forest pest mavens!

My colleague Peter Jenkins has posted a blog describing my organization's (Center for Invasive Species Prevention) petition urging the U.S. Government/Fish and Wildlife Service to act to prevent introduction and spread of 43 aquatic species that would probably be invasive in the U.S.
Read it at

(I apologize for the fact that 2 version of the blog are posted - the latter is revised slightly.  My lack of computer skills means I have not figured out how to get rid of the earlier one!)


Monday, September 26, 2016

4th Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Conference

4th Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Conference agenda is chock-full! Come join us!

17-20 October 2016, Boise, ID!
·         Our full and exciting agenda is attached! Over 80 talks!
·         Numerous Pesticide recertification credits (~20!)
·         $225 Registration for the whole conference, or $100 per day (
The Northern Rockies Invasive Plants Council (NRIPC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to support the management of invasive exotic plants in the northern Rocky ...

·         Special symposia on invasiveness and management of rush skeletonweed, invasive mustards and Russian olive!
·         Biological weed control consortia meetings!
·         Reserve the government rate hotel rooms at the Marriott Springhill Suites under the NRIPC block before 9/27/2016.
·         Marriott Springhill Suites
Location: 424 E. Parkcenter Blvd; Boise, ID  83706
Rate:$91.00 government rate
Reservations: Please call the hotel direct at 208-342-1044. Reference the "Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council" room block in order to get the discounted rate by 9/25/2016.
Info: FREE hot breakfast, parking and airport shuttle. Also providing FREE shuttle from hotel to downtown Boise Centre.

See you in Boise in October!

Feel free to share this announcement with others.

The NRIPC Board

Participate in the Halloweed Count

To all invasive species ‘un-enthusiasts’ of Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Lee and western Collier Counties,
 The Southwest Florida CISMA is once again participating with several other CISMAs within Florida to participate in the annual Halloweed Count. 
 WHY Participate in the Halloweed Count?
Three important objectives of the Halloweed Count are:
1. Encourage participants to use EDDMapS and upload invasive species locations in southwest Florida
Many of us who are land managers track invasive species in-house within our own parks or preserves.   However, when we see invasive species elsewhere (e.g., hiking, kayaking, driving through the country ), many of us don’t make note of it (unless it’s a really bad invasive species).  By no means am I’m advocating that we all document Brazilian pepper, melaleuca or other widespread invasives ad nauseam, however, documenting the less common invasive species, especially EDRR species (see number 2 below), will give us and FNAI a better idea of which invasive species are recently spreading into and through our region.  Land managers, utility right-of-way workers, folks who work outdoors or drive through much of their county, etc, who upload invasive species data onto EDDMapS gives FNAI better grasp of where invasive species occur now, and over time, how species are dispersing in the area, provide the early warning for future invasions.
2. Look for Early Detection & Rapid Response (EDRR) species within our 5 county region and get them documented
Most of us will not see these EDRR species on the survey, but that is fine!  This year’s Halloweed Count will serve as a baseline for EDRR species presence or absence.  Over time (years), subsequent Halloweed Counts will document which species have spread slowly, spread rapidly, or failed to spread at all in our CISMA.  We expect yearly updates to the EDRR list, and those species additions will be added to Halloweed Counts in the future.  Wherever you think you can survey, even if you believe you don’t have any of the species of concern below, we still want you to participate in the survey.  The baseline showing an absence of species is important, as it establishes which species were either not observed or were observed in low frequency.  Plus, uploading the locations of other invasive species from your survey is important.
For a reminder, EDRR species are species that are documented to be already in our CISMA, but are not prevalent or widespread in natural areas.  For the 2016 Halloweed Count, the EDRR species to keep an eye out for are:
EDRR Species
Adenanthera pavonina 
red beadtree
Agave sisalana                
Cestrum nocturnum       
night-blooming jasmine
Eucalyptus grandis         
grand eucalyptus
Eucalyptus torelliana     
Torell's eucalyptus
Ipomoea aquatica          
swamp morning glory
Salvinia molesta              
giant salvinia

We also have a ‘To Be Watched’ list.  These are species not documented in our CISMA (they may be here, but they are not documented here).  So if you see any of these species, be sure to get them entered into EDDMapS:

To Be Watched Species
Cryptocoryne walkeri
Cuscuta japonica
Japanese dodder
Cyperus alopecuroides
foxtail flatsedge
Cyperus entrerianus
deeprooted sedge
Dalechampia scandens
Dianella ensifolia
cerulean flaxlily
Dischrostachys cinerea
sickle pod
Eichhornia azurea
anchored waterhyacinth
Furcraea foetida
Mauritius hemp
Limnophila indica
Indian marshweed
Lumnitzera racemosa
black mangrove
Paederia cruddasiana
sewer vine
Phyllanthus fluitans
red-root floater

I have attached ID sheets (SWFL_CISMA_2005_EDRR.pdf) to help identify these species for you to take on your Halloweed Counts.  The ID sheets are dated 2015, which is the last time FNAI updated the EDRR list, so this is the species list for 2016 as well.
3. Begin building a longterm data set for your Halloweed Count survey area.
The location of EDRR species and less commonly known invasive or non-native species from this year’s Halloweed Count can give us and FNAI an important leg up on what species are where.  That way, you can help build a longterm data set for a given area of land, canal or roadside, right-of-way, trail, etc.  Over time,  we can see which invasive species are repeatedly invading the survey area.
WHERE to survey for the Halloweed Count?
That’s entirely up to you.  Many of you receiving this email are land managers, so you have a property that  you can go to for the Halloweed Count.  If you manage or are responsible for numerous properties (e.g., Conservation Collier preserves, Lee County Parks/2020 preserves), by no means am I suggesting all have to be surveyed.  Surveying along trails within a park or preserve is perfectly fine, too.  I myself will be surveying invasive plants along the main hiking trails at Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest and Picayune Strand State Forest, opposed to sweeping through distinct management units.  In other CISMAs, some kids are surveying for invasive plant species at the their school.
Again, I think the important part about where to survey is somewhere you’re comfortable with, and can feasibly perform future counts in the years to come.
WHEN to survey for the Halloweed Count?
October 22nd through November 6th, which is a week before to a week after Halloween. 
WHAT to survey?
All invasive and non-native species that you think are having an ecological effect in the area.  Though invasive plants are the focus of the original Halloweed Count, invasive animals can be tracked by FNAI in the EDDMapS/I’ve Got 1 app as well, for those of you who can ID critters on the fly.  The Florida Natural Areas Inventory is also interested in cogongrass in Florida, so if there is a stretch of highway you know that has cogongrass on it, you can document its occurrence along a distinct stretch of the highway.
Additional Resources
Attached to this email are ID sheets for the EDRR and Watch species, and a flyer promoting the 2016 Halloweed Count.  Feel free to forward this email to any who would be interested in participating in the Halloweed Count. 
Feel free to contact me (email preferable, with any questions you have.  Also contact me if you plan on participating in the Halloweed Count, so I can know where folks are performing counts, or if you would like direction from me as to where to count.  I have numerous other ID sheets for the individual species if you’d like more reference information on the EDRR & Watch species, too many to attach to this email, but I can send you if you email me for them.
Again, feel free to contact me with further questions,

Dexter Sowell
Biological Scientist
Florida Forest Service
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
 **Note new contact info below**
(239) 690-8032
(239) 690-8002 Fax
 Caloosahatchee Forestry Center
10941 Palm Beach Blvd
Fort Myers, FL  33905

Please note that Florida has a broad public records law (Chapter 119, Florida Statues).
Most written communications to or from state employees are public records obtainable
by the pubic upon request. Emails sent to me at this email address may be considered
public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to the

laws of the State of Florida. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Great opportunity to help with Ailanthus

To landowners in Virginia's Piedmont and Mountain Region,

The Blue Ridge PRISM [Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management]
has recently been made aware of an exciting experiment on biocontrol methods
for Ailanthus. The success of the experiment depends on landowner
participation. Below is more information about the experiment. If you are a
landowner interested in providing a site for their work, please contact
Rachel Brooks,

About the Experiment:
Rachel Brooks, Ph.D student and Interfaces for Global Change
<> fellow at Virginia Tech is currently
"designing a regional experiment looking at how effective the two
Verticillium wilt fungi are in managing Ailanthus". She is looking for
landowners that are interested in participating in the experiment that have
property with large, healthy, unmanaged populations of Ailanthus. The
ultimate goal of this project is to have a product ready for use by
landowners in the future. These fungi are already in the wild in Virginia
and seem to have minimal impact on other plants, but they move slowly
through mechanisms not well understood. If these researchers can find a way
to readily reproduce the fungi and use it to infect healthy Ailanthus trees,
we may all have a much easier answer to this problem than what we are doing
today. When these fungi kill an Ailanthus tree, they generally also kill
the whole copse through root connections.

Please note: Clusters of stands are preferred and there is no guarantee that
any stand will have a fungus applied to it.

Criteria for Ailanthus stands:
* Stands where the Tree of Heaven makes up the majority of the
* Stands that are at least 1/4 acre in size (roughly 100ft x 100ft)
* Stands without any symptoms of decline nearby. Typical symptoms
include loss of foliage, numerous dead branches or dead trees, and vascular
discoloration (see the picture below)
* Stands that are relatively close together (I am hoping to be as
efficient as possible with driving times)
* Stands both in the Virginia mountains and the piedmont as well as in
PA and OH
* Stands that are not along right-of-ways or other locations where
dead trees may cause a hazard

Timing of the study:
This study would involve the assessment of the stands this fall, the
application of one or more of the fungi in the spring, and then monthly
monitoring of the sites throughout the growing season.

About the Blue Ridge PRISM:
The Blue Ridge PRISM's mission is to reduce the impact of nonnative invasive
species in our ten county region. In support of our mission, we provide
resources and education for landowners. We see this Ailanthus biocontrol
experiment as an excellent opportunity to assist in the development of
biocontrols for nonnative invasive species and consistent with our desire to
connect landowners with the latest opportunities and resources.

If you have stands of Ailanthus that meet the criteria listed and want to
participate in the research, contact Rachel and see if she would like to
visit your property.

Please feel free to pass this along to other folks who may be interested.

Best Regards,

Rod Walker
Blue Ridge PRISM - A Cooperative Weed Management Area for Virginia
3200 Middle Mountain Road
Crozet, Virginia 22932
434 823-2742

What PATC is doing about Wavyleaf Basket Grass

Below is the information I have compiled for PATC workers regarding wavyleaf basketgrass.  Thank you to Anstr Davidson, Stephanie Chapman, Kerrie Kyde, Mark Frey and Marian Orlousky for their input.

Feel free to use this text with your workers, including the link to the PATC (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club website where workers can find a PDF file that includes many photos for their information.  You also have permission to use the PDF file in you education efforts.  Marian Orlousky of ATC-MARO created it.

If anyone owns the photo showing the distinct edge where WLBG and stiltgrass meet, I would like to include that in an article that would reach PATC's 7000 members.  Please send it to me in best res and with your credits.  Thanks.

It would help me if you let me know if you use this info with your organization.



This is to make you aware of a spreading invasive plant that is even of much greater concern than japanese stiltgrass.  Unlike stiltgrass, this weed (wavyleaf basketgrass) (WLBG) is a perennial and the plants regrow from existing root systems as well as dispersal by seed.  It was first found in Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland around 1996 and has since spread throughout the understory of that park.  It is spreading in Virginia and may be in Pennsylvania as well. 

Together, these two plants have a devastating impact on forest habitat.   Stiltgrass thrives in sun (edge), and WLBG thrives in shade (deep forest).   This is of concern to anyone who uses the forest: photographers, birders, botanists and hunters.    Like stiltgrass, it displaces food sources and nesting sites for wildlife.  If we locate colonies before they are established, we can "eradicate" them from that site.

NOTE:  On Sept. 21 I was notified by USFS Botanist Stephanie Chapman that wavyleaf was found and treated at a tool cache near the Massanutten Visitor Center.  We have to assume we humans are moving this stuff around.

This is not limited to the AT.  Please report all instances of wavyleaf basketgrass no matter where it is found.

Best Practices for Trail Workers to Protect Public and Personal Property
1.       RECOGNIZE,AVOID, REPORT let the pros destroy it. This is the
single most important thing we can do!
2.       Avoid using personal equipment unless you are pretty sure your
trail is clean (Eddmaps)  ( )
3.       Remove all seeds on clothing, shoes and equipment with duct
tape BEFORE leaving the site (Bag and arrange for incinerating the waste if possible; avoid sending in unsealed container (paint can) to landfill)
4.       Put a plastic bag over the trimmer head
5.       Clean boot treads with a screwdriver
6.       Use Nylon clothing

This is the game from August to February!

Read the Alert (PDF file) very carefully.  Direct questions to your land unit manager or the PATC Club Naturalist (Dewey Clark) at historictimekeepers@gmail.comThe main danger we want workers to avoid is bringing the seed to your personal property or moving seed from infested sites to anywhere else.  It is important to recognize, avoid and report this plant so the land manager can eradicate it from your site.  Fall and winter are the times of highest risk.  The seeds are extremely sticky; read the alert located here:
In this version of the alert you have has much more information than the signage being placed on all PATC maintained trails (except in certain National Park Units which require approval).

Please feel free to share this with any of your foresters; some professionals may not yet be aware of this.  The information has been thoroughly vetted by ecologists from almost every one of PATC's partners.

If you are inclined, there is an App available for identification and reporting (including location and photos) to a database used by our partners.  The App is called MAEDN  and be found here:

It is easy to use but may take some explaining.  We can provide classes if you want; and we do have people already using it in SNP who can help with questions. 

Or, please send your alerts to  ATC-MARO at   Photos and trail section info will help greatly.  If you would, CC so we can ensure the non-AT trail land managers are informed.
Dewey Clark
Club Naturalist
Co-District Manager (PA)
Election Committee Chair
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Maryland Master