ACRA, NY, July 10, 2017 – New York has designated July 9 through 15, 2017 the fourth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties is helping to spread the word.
Invasive species affect all New Yorkers – from homeowners overwhelmed by numerous invasive species, woodland owners dealing with dead and dying ash trees killed by emerald ash borers and boaters cleaning their boats to prevent aquatic invasive species from spreading, to farmers dealing with fruit infesting spotted winged drosophila – and even consumers affected by rising prices tied to crop damage.
The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause, and resources to help citizens take action to stop the invasion!
The first step in addressing invasive species is to become familiar with those currently in your area, as well as those threatening borders. Resources to help include the web site NEW YORK INVASIVE SPECIES INFORMATION http://www.nyis.info, a gateway to science-based information, current news and events, and innovative tools for coping with biological invaders in New York. NYIS.INFO links scientists, local, state and federal resource managers, policy setters, educators, and grassroots efforts to help you become part of the battle against invasive species in New York.
Statewide Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management called PRISMs help prevent or minimize the harm caused by invasive species on New York’s environment, economy and the health and well-being of New York’s citizens in specific regions. The partnerships are intended to coordinate invasive species management functions including coordinating partner efforts, recruiting and training citizen volunteers, identifying and delivering education and outreach, establishing early detection monitoring networks and implementing direct eradication and control efforts.
There are 3 partnerships in this region. The Capital Mohawk PRISM is coordinated by Laurel Gailor, (518) 885-8995, firstname.lastname@example.org, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), is coordinated by John Thompson, (845) 586-2611, email@example.com and the Lower Hudson PRISM, coordinated by Linda Rohleder, (201) 512-9348 LRohleder@NYNJTC.ORG .
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation also provides information focusing on invasive species and is a reference for regulations pertaining to invasive forest pests. http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/265.html
In 2012, The New York State departments of Agriculture and Markets and Environmental Conservation cooperatively developed regulations aimed at controlling the spread of invasive species which took effect March 10, 2015. Regulations and more can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/isprohibitedplants2.pdf. Included is a list of 69 prohibited plants and six regulated plants of particular relevance to growers, dealers and others that are involved in the industry.
To access information about prohibited and regulated invasive animals visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/isprohibitedanimals.pdf.
Once informed, it is time to look around your home and community for invasive species. Roadways are particularly good places to find many invasive species because these are disturbed areas and where they can outcompete native species. Roadside invasive species may also provide an early prediction of what will be spreading into the landscapes of the areas adjoining the roads.
If found, invasive species should be reported and there are several ways to do so. iMap Invasives at http://www.nyimapinvasives.org is an on-line, Geographical Information System-based data management platform used to assist citizen scientists and natural resource professionals working to protect our natural resources from the threat of invasive species. Contact your regional PRISM to find out other ways of reporting.
Forest invasive pests are a particularly serious threat to both our forests and our ornamental trees. Presently, hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer are attacking and killing our trees in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The Asian long horned beetle has attacked trees on Long Island and in New York City but not been found in the Hudson Valley or the Catskills. Residents and landowners need to keep their eyes open for Asian long horned beetle as early detection and rapid response is critical to prevent this pest from getting a foothold in our region.
It is difficult to protect our forest trees from these devastating pests but pesticide treatments exist for ornamental trees and small forest stands. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties recommends tree and land owners consult with licensed arborists and registered pesticide applicators. Effective products for homeowners can be purchased locally. Those opting to treat their own trees should carefully follow the instructions on the pesticide label.
When our trees succumb to these non-native invasive insects, they become health and safety hazards, depending on their location. Ash trees are dying across the region. Many are located on highways, over power lines or around homes. Residents should be aware that ash have little structural integrity once they die. They need to be removed before they damage property or cause injury.
Regardless of type of invasive species you see or have to deal with, gaining knowledge and sharing information is critical. The best way to control this invasion is through the application of science-based information.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties has a limited supply of ‘flying discs’ available warning against the hazards of moving firewood – of particular concern during the summer camping and campfire season. Visit the Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra or the Extension Education Center in Hudson for your disc while supplies last. For more information visit http://www.dontmovefirewood.org.
For more information on the association, programs and classes, visit our website http://www.ccecolumbiagreene.org.
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