Friday, April 29, 2011

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Conference Begins Soon

The joint meeting of the 2nd Kentucky Invasive Species Conference and the 13th Annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council conference will encompass topics related to the research, management, outreach, education, and policy of invasive species in the eastern and central regions of the United States. We welcome contributions in the following major areas:
  • Ecology of invasive species and their impact on ecosystem functions and processes
  • Invasive species management
  • Invasive species education and policy
  May 3-5, 2011 at the Hilton Lexington / Downtown, Lexington, Kentucky. For registration and agenda.

Planting Native Species is 2nd Only to Growing Food

Mark Cullen says "Let’s all go ‘native’"  in his article in He continues,"As current trends in gardening go, the planting of native species is second only to that of growing food, as I see it." His article makes several good points backing up his advice to go native. Read the article.
American Lady on Longleaf Milkweed both of which are native to Georgia
 photo by Karan Rawlins, University of Georgia

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Learn More About Native Plants at the Atlanta Zoo

Glorify your grounds with the help of native botanical beauties hand-selected by our own Horticulture Team at the annual Zoo Plant Sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011 from 8am to 2pm
  • Learn more about native and low-maintenance plant species
  • Find out how to choose the right plants for your lifestyle
  • Support local growers
  • Get landscape design tips from Zoo Atlanta Horticulturists
Sale takes place at the Conservation Education Gate near the Cherokee Avenue parking lot. Proceeds benefit the Zoo Atlanta Horticulture Department. Zoo admission is not required; arrive early to enjoy the best selection! Learn more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UPDATE on the Invasive Plant Control Workshop in Griffin

UPDATE!  The 2011 Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (GA-EPPC) Invasive Plant Control Workshop will be held at the Griffin Campus of the University of Georgia on Friday, June 17th, 2011 from 8:30 to 4:00. Cost is $35 and includes lunch and materials. For the agenda and to register.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Invasive Species Workshop in Griffin

The 2011 Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (GA-EPPC) Invasive Plant Control Workshop will be held at the Griffin Campus of the University of Georgia on Friday June 17, 2011 from 8:30 to 4:00. This workshop is focused on practical applications of invasive plant identification, mapping and control measures. The Cost is $35.00 and includes lunch and educational materials. Registration details to follow. (Applying for Georgia Pesticide Credits).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Clean Boats, Clean Waters Song by James T. Spartz

Clean Boats, Clean Waters Song by James T. Spartz. Description: This rockabilly-inspired country song offers some straight-forward advice for protecting the future of our lakes - it's easy - just clean your boat when moving from one body of water to another. Click here to Listen!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Position Available: Western Regional Preserve Manager in Kentucky

Full time Regional Nature Preserve Manager position with the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission opening in late April. Click here for more information.

Conference: Invasive Species in a Globalized World

The Program on the Global Environment at the University of Chicago is hosting the conference "Invasive Species in a Globalized World" from May 11th through May 13th, 2011 .
The goal of the conference is to bring together people working on invasive species from a broad range of perspectives, including ecologists, economists, legal scholars, historians and outreach/communication specialists. The conference begins on Wednesday the 11th at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago with a keynote address by Rick Shine (University of Sydney, Australia): Invasive Cane Toads in Australia: the ecological, evolutionary and social effects of a tropical amphibian in a strange land. This will followed by sessions at the University of Chicago all day Thursday (12th) and Friday (13th). More detail, including the full list of speakers. All sessions of the conference, including the keynote, are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Didymo Discovered in Connecticut

The invasive freshwater alga, Didymosphenia geminata, commonly called didymo, was discovered in the West Branch of the Farmington River. This is a very popular trout stream in northwestern Connecticut. Fishermen reported the suspected infestation which was then confirmed by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in March, 2011. There is no known way to remove didymo once it has become established. Prevention by thoroughly cleaning clothing and equipment when going from one fishing location to another is the only way to stop it from spreading. Read the article by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Invasive Tree Species Reunited with Its Natural Enemy

An article by Marie Lapointe and Jacques Brisson in Ecoscience on the effect on Norway maple in North America when reunited with an adventive fungus, Rhytisma acerinum, to which it is susceptible. The invasion of Norway maple (Acer platanoides) into North American forests is considered to reduce native flora richness. Lack of predators is one reason Norway maple is more successful than the native, sugar maple (Acer saccharum). The fungus causes tar spot disease.The researchers found a strong link between the outbreak of the disease and a very sharp decline in sapling and tree growth, together with high mortality of Norway maple saplings.  While Norway maple usually out grows sugar maple, the reverse situation was observed after the epidemics. The researchers results suggest that the invasion potential of Norway maple could be reduced by the fungus, Rhytisma acerinum. You can find the article 'Tar Spot Disease on Norway Maple in North America: Quantifying the Impacts of a Reunion between an Invasive Tree Species and Its Adventive Natural Enemy in an Urban Forest' Marie Lapointe and Jacques Brisson. Ecoscience Mar 2011 : Vol. 18, Issue 1, pg(s) 63-69 doi: 10.2980/18-1-3378.
Sugar maple, photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Norway maple, photo by Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Should Biological Invasions be Managed as Natural Disasters?

'Should Biological Invasions be Managed as Natural Disasters?' is an article in BioScience by Anthony Ricciardi, Michelle E. Palmer and Norman D. Yan. In their abstract they state  "Preventative management of invasions—like that of natural disasters—requires international coordination of early-warning systems, immediate access to critical information, specialized training of personnel, and rapid-response strategies." For the full article.  BioScience 61(4):312-317. 2011.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Native Plant Sale at Yellow Bluff Coastal Cottages and Marina

Coastal WildScapes Spring on the Bluff Native Plant Sale at Yellow Bluff Cottages & Marina on the Georgia Coast. This Saturday, April 9th from 10 am till 2 pm. Presentations, field trips and refreshments included. Reservations required. The mission of Coastal WildScapes is to actively preserve and restore the highly significant biodiversity of the Southeastern coastal ecosystems by protecting existing native habitats, rebuilding the connectivity of impaired habitats and minimizing the future fragmentation of the coastal landscape. Educational outreach, conservation intiatives and grassroots advocacy all help to accomplish this mission.
Cocculus carolinus, Coral vine, photo by  John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,

Native Plants in North Georgia

If you live in the North Georgia area the State Botanic Garden in Athens is offering a Certificate in Native Plants. Courses will focus on identification, cultivation, propagation, ecology and conservation of native Georgia plants. There is a class this Saturday, April 9, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. The instructor will be Linda Chafin, who is a Conservation Botanist at the State Botanical Garden. For more information and to register. Linda Chafin has also written a book 'Field Guide To The Rare Plants of Georgia'. All sales of this book go to support the Plant Conservation Program of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance.
Georgia plume, Elliottia racemosa, photo by James Henderson, Gulf South Research Corporation,

NA-EPPC on Facebook

Check out the National Exotic Pest Plant Council's page on Facebook.

SE-EPPC Early Registration Extended

Early registration for the Southeastern Exotic Pest Plant Council's 13th Annual Conference has been extended through April 11th.  The conference will be May 3-5 at the Hotel Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. You can earn CEU's at this conference. Agenda and Registration.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Results of Collaboative Study Now Available

The Central Hardwoods Invasive Plant Network aka Chip-N has recently completed a collaborative survey of invasive species along the lower Ohio River Valley.
Chip-N is an informal partnership between Cooperative Weed Management Areas in the southern portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The groups participating are the River to River CWMA, Southern Indiana CWMA, Iron Furnace CWMA and the Southeast Ohio NNIS Interest Group.
This project, with funding from USFS State & Private Forestry, USFS Eastern Region and several other sources, worked with The Nature Conservancy, Notre Dame University and the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia to design and implement the surveys and to make the survey results available online.
This project resulted in the discovery of many new infestations of invasive species along the Lower Ohio River, its tributaries, and some of the nearby reservoirs. Most notable was the discovery of widespread infestations of Hydrilla along the Ohio River adjacent to Indiana and Ohio.
See maps based on the results.

Do You Live in South Georgia?

If you are reading this blog then you probably know about all the information and pictures you can find about invasive species at and But do you know where to look for information and pictures on native plants specifically for South Georgia? All of South Georgia is part of the Coastal Plains which stretches from southeastern Virginia to eastern Texas. The plants and planting conditions in this region can vary considerably from those found in North Georgia. A great website to check out is CoastScapes: Earth friendly native plant landscaping. Topics from conservation landscaping to gardening for wildlife to water quality are covered with the focus specifically on South Georgia. CoastScapes website.

Swamp azalea, Rhododendron viscosum, Photo by Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beetle Detectives Volunteer Effort

America’s neighborhoods and forests are under attack. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees and The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) has destroyed tens of thousands of hardwood trees. They live in firewood. Move firewood and you spread the destruction. Help us protect the trees and stop the beetle. Promise you won’t move firewood.
The Stop the Beetle website.
The Beetle Busters website.
The Beetle Detectives website. You can report the presence or the absence of these beetles here.
Asian longhorned beetle fact sheet.
ALB, photo by Dennis Haugen, USDA Forest Service,

Emerald ash borer fact sheet.
EAB, photo by Howard Russell, Michigan State University,

Get Rid of the Privet and What Do You Find?

Five years ago Chinese privet, was removed as part of a study funded through the USDA Forest Service’s Special Technology Development Program. Subsequently a rare plant called yellow fumewort, Corydalis flavula, was discovered on plots where the invasive shrub had been removed. Yellow fumewort is an small annual in the same family as bleeding heart. Hugh and Carol Nourse, nature photographers extrodinaire, discovered the site and the identification of the rare plant was confirmed by botanist, Linda Chafin. What an exciting discovery! The Yellow fumewort was just awaiting the proper conditions to reappear. This shows just how important it is to remove privet from riparian habitats and other natural areas and that we all do our part to make sure there are no seeds available for reinfesting these sites. If you want to know how you can help to make a difference, join the Georgia Native Plant Society and the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. Volunteer with Georgia DNR, Rivers Alive or become a Botanical Guardian with the Georgia Botanical Society. Learn more by becoming a Master Gardener and a Master Naturalist. There are many ways to volunteer, just find the program you like and pitch in. There is lots of information on invasive plants, learn about a plant before you add it to your landscaping. Read the Homeowner's Guide to Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species,  visit or the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force website. Many native plants which are beneficial to our native wildlife as well as beautiful in their own right are available to fill your landscaping needs. Check out the CoastScapes and the Lady Bird Johnson websites as well as the Native Plant Society's for more information on natives and their benefits to wildlife.
Corydalis aurea, a native wildflower in the same genus, photo by Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Goal: Pull 2000 Pounds of Garlic Mustard!

The Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area will be hosting their third annual Garlic Mustard Challenge! The goal is to pull 20,000 lbs of garlic mustard! Please tell your friends and join  one of these events being held throughout West Virginia and Virginia!
Here is a listing of the scheduled pull dates:

  • Cascades Recreation Area – Jefferson National Forest, Pembroke, VA - April 30th at 10:00 am
  • Spring Mill State Park, IN - April 30th at 1:00 pm
  • Summit Lake, WV - April 30th at 10:00 am
  • Ice Mountain Preserve, WV - April 30th at 10:00 am
  • Seneca Rocks Discovery Center and Greenbrier State Forest, WV - May 7th at 10:00 am
  • Sugar Grove Naval Base, WV - May 13th at 10:00 am
  • Big Bend Campground, WV - May 14th at 10:00 am
  • Fernow Experimental Forest, WV - May 20th at 10:00 am
  • Greenbrier State Forest, WV - May 21st at 10:00 am
  • Blue Bend Campground, WV - May 21st-22nd at 10:00 am
  • Pocahontas 4-H Camp, WV - May 28th at 10:00 am
For the Events Brochure. 
For the Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area Website.

Remove Invasives to Restore Birding Hotspot

Bird diversity has dropped off in recent years due to invasive non-native plants. The Montgomery County Sierra Club are partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Montgomery County Bird Club to observe the relationship between bird diversity and habitat, remove invasive plants, and return the area into a birding hot spot. Join them for an early morning bird walk at 8am-9:30am. The walk will be followed by removal of invasive non-native plants from 9:30am to 11am. The diverse habitats surrounding the closed Oaks Landfill attract birds and other wildlife. Tools are limited so please bring clippers, saws, and loppers. Long sleeves, pants, comfortable walking shoes or boots, hat, gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent, and water are recommended. Meet at the Zion Road park entrance between Brookeville and Riggs Roads. Free. 20500 Zion Road , Laytonsville , MD. For more information or to RSVP.

Eastern bluebird, photo by Ollie Knott, Georgia Forestry Commission,

State-wide Invasive Plant Removal Day

Virginia's third annual state-wide invasive plant removal day! The only event of its kind in the nation!
Saturday, May 7th, 2011. Gather your friends and neighbors to create a project near you!
Invasive species are recognized nationally and locally as a costly and leading threat to healthy ecosystems. The estimated annual cost of invasive species in Virginia is $1 billion (Va Dept. of Conservation & Recreation). Non-native invasive plants, animals, and diseases occur in all of Virginia's ecosystems and negatively impact water quality, wildlife populations, and other natural resources. Virginia's citizens can improve the situation by not planting or spreading invasive plants, by removing invasives on their own properties, and by helping to remove them from parks and other public areas. Help to spread more awareness and understanding to engage Virginians in these efforts.
Invasive plants are threatening Virginia's natural areas from Norfolk to the Shenandoahs. Plant invaders alter wildlife habitats and reduce biodiversity. But volunteers like you can make a difference. In 2009, More than 400 volunteers contributed more than 1300 hours of service and removed more than 250 bags of invasive plants. In 2010, more than 300 volunteers contributed more than 750 hours of service in works sites covering more than 50 acres. Their service and additional in-kind donations are valued at more than $15,000. Virginia needs your support again in 2011. For more information and to register a project site. From a post on the Virginia Master Naturalist's website.
Kudzu overgrowing trees and other plants, photo by Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service,

1,000 Citizens Scientist Volunteers

Fighting invasive species is the other side of the coin for conservation and habitat restoration. Read the article 'Save the Native Plants' on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower's website to see how they have used multiple approaches to make their conservation program work. This includes training over 1,000 volunteers to report and map more than 12,000 invasive plant sitings in Texas.
Photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,

Identify, Report Sightings, Stop the Spread

Learn how to identify, stop the spread and report sightings for New Zealand Mudsnails and Rusty Crayfish in Colorado. Colorado Department of Natural Resources has created guides to help.
The New Zealand mudsnail competes with native invertebrate species and can destroy forage important to trout and other native fishes. State wildlife officials first discovered this invasive non-native species in South Boulder Creek in 2004. Learn how to identify the New Zealand mudsnails, how to stop the spread and how to report sightings.
The rusty crayfish which were found for the first time in Colorado in 2009 in the Yampa River drainage between Steamboat Springs and the town of Yampa. Because of their larger size and more aggressive nature, rusty crayfish can impact fish populations by consuming small fish and fish eggs, and negatively impact fish and spread unwanted aquatic plants by aggressively harvesting underwater plant beds. Learn more how to identify the rusty crayfish, how to stop the spread and how to report sightings.
Do you have a volunteer-based invasive plant management program in the mid-Atlantic region? If so, please register it! If you oversee a group of volunteers who conduct invasive plant removals in DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, or WV, please take a minute to add your group to the Invasive Plant Volunteers Directory.
To register, click here to complete a short survey.
Why bother? Because understanding the number and distribution of volunteer groups in our area will help to:
  • Recognize the significance of volunteer efforts in restoring invaded lands
  • Identify areas in need of volunteer assistance
  • Help connect interested volunteers with a suitable group
  • Build a stronger network of invasive plant workers in the region
  • Build support for potential funding of volunteer-based programs
The directory will eventually be posted to the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council (MAIPC) website.
Add Your Volunteer Group, photo by Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service,