From the DOI:
WASHINGTON - In response to the harmful impacts invasive species have on the Nation’s natural and cultural resources, today the Department of the Interior released an interdepartmental report, Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response. The report proposes to stop their spread through early detection and rapid response (EDRR) actions—a coordinated set of actions to find and eradicate potential invasive species before they spread and cause harm.
“Invasive species pose one of the most significant ecological threats to America’s lands and waters,” said U.S. Department of the Interior Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kristen J. Sarri. “Early detection and rapid response actions can reduce the long-term costs, economic burden, and ecological harm that they have on communities. Strong partnerships and a shared commitment to preventing the spread of invasive species can lay the foundation for more effective and cost-efficient strategies to stop their spread.”
The report, called for by the White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience in its Priority Agenda: Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources urges the National Invasive Species Council (NISC)—an interagency body created by Executive Order 13112—to provide leadership in early detection and rapid response for invasive species. Formed in 1999, NISC is comprised of the Secretaries and Administrators of 13 Federal Departments and Agencies and focuses on interdepartmental coordination and high-level policy and planning. The Department of the Interior co-chairs the NISC, along with the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, and houses the NISC Secretariat.
Learn more here: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome
A report from the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies takes a close look at the threat of invasive weeds on sage grouse habitat and recommends 11 key strategies to address this serious issue, which tends to be intensified by wildfires.
Click on the link below to see the report.
Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies New Report:
Key Strategies for Managing Invasive Plants in Sage Grouse Habitat
Contact: Ken Mayer, WAFWA Fire & Invasives Team leader: Cell: 775-741-9942, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the ongoing drought, opportunistic weeds are expected to pose major challenges to those managing parks and recreational areas, public lands, ranches, farms and landscapes. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with other partners, will present the annual Weed Extravaganza April 28-30 to help Nevadans deal with this year’s weed challenges with the latest information available.
"Invasive weeds can out-compete native vegetation, crops and livestock forage," said Natural Resources Extension Specialist Kent McAdoo, the event coordinator. "They can also pose fire hazards, lead to erosion and water quality issues, and impact wildlife habitat. It’s important that everyone has the latest information to identify and control these weeds to minimize damage to our lands, wildlife, crops and economy."
The workshop will be offered April 28-30 at the California Trail Interpretive Center, 8 miles west of Elko, Nev. The workshop will include a wide range of topics aimed at giving land managers, ranchers and agricultural producers the latest information on controlling invasive weeds.
The event begins with the Elko County Weed Summit on April 28, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This year’s featured speaker is Joe DiTomaso, from University of California, Davis, who will discuss "Managing Medusahead." He will also present an interactive approach to weed identification. There will be various updates on weed regulations, species and mapping from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, Nevada Weed Management Association, Bureau of Land Management and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. McAdoo will host an afternoon field trip demonstrating how to identify weeds during their vulnerable growth stages.
Learn more here: http://www.unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=2071
Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), also known as tall whitetop, belongs to the mustard family. It is considered a noxious weed in several states, and has been an issue in the Basin and Range Region for a while now. Originally from Eurasia, it is now found in much of the United States. It is thought that it was brought in as a contaminant in sugar beet seed in the early 1900s.
Perennial Pepperweed tends to grow in riparian areas, along stream banks, irrigation ditches, meadows and other moist places, but can also be found in drier upland areas, such as roadsides, pastures, and agricultural fields.
Growing upwards of 6 feet tall, perennial pepperweed typically grows to between 2-4 feet in height. In early spring, it starts as a basal rosette, then stems grow out of the rosette. The leaves are bright green and the lower leaves are petioled (having a little stem between the main stem and base of leaf) and upper leaves are sessile (base of leaf is attached directly to the main stem), but this varies quite a bit. Also, the rosette leaves are about 4-11 inches long and 1-3 inches wide, but the leaves become smaller towards the top of the stem. The flowers form dense clusters arranged in panicles (branched inflorescence) at each stem. The flowers are small and white with 4 petals. Seed pods are round and flat, usually covered with hairs.
Perennial Pepperweed has extensive root systems that make it hard to control, as new shoots can sprout up from the roots. Some roots creep horizontally and are fairly shallow beneath the soil, others penetrate deep into the soil. The roots that creep horizontally tend to be responsible for localized spread.
Perennial pepperweed reproduces from both seed and its creeping roots. Mature plants can produce thousands of seeds each year. Also, roots and seeds float, which means plant material can be transported long distances by water and can establish new populations miles downstream from the original site.
Perennial pepperweed grows very aggressively, forming dense colonies that exclude native species. It reduces the quality of wildlife habitat, especially in riparian areas where it interferes with the regeneration of willows and cottonwoods, important habitat for birds and nesting waterfowl. The shallow, creeping roots also lead to erosion along stream banks and other areas.
Early detection and rapid removal is the best way to control perennial pepperweed, an established population is much harder and costly to manage. Mowing, digging, tillage, burning and grazing established stands are NOT effective, however, it has been found that small, un-established populations can be controlled with hand pulling, removing as much of the root as possible--but you must take caution not to spread the plant material as it can create new populations and exacerbate the problem. Pesticides have been the most effective of controlling these plants.
Sources and where you can learn more:
Great Basin Invasive Weeds, Perennial Pepperweed:
http://www.usu.edu/weeds/plant_species/weedspecies/pepperweed.html accessed 2/25/2015
USDA Forest Service, Lepidium latifolium:
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/leplat/all.html accessed 2/25/2015
NM State; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science, Lepidium latifolium:
National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is scheduled for February 22-28. And according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it's a topic that deserves our attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.
Invasive weeds can produce skin irritation, trigger allergies and poison pets and livestock. They can clog waterways, kill native trees, and shade out crops, ornamentals and prized native flora. They are found in every imaginable habitat, including oceans, lakes, streams, wetlands, croplands, rangelands, natural areas, parks, forests, urban environments, yards and gardens.
"Though the impact of invasive species is profound, there are important steps we can take to manage infestations and prevent their spread," says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., director of science policy for the WSSA. "It all begins with awareness."
Nine Ways You Can Help
Follow the link below to see a great new publication on Medusahead management.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) announced today that the reservoir at South Fork State Recreation Area has tested positive for quagga mussel DNA. No adult quagga mussels or veligers (larval stage quagga) were found in that waterway. The reservoir is not considered infested at this time; however NDOW and the Nevada Division of State Parks (NDSP) are implementing immediate strategies to limit any potential of quagga mussels spreading from South Fork to other locations.
"Waterways are not deemed 'infested' until adult quagga mussels are found," said Jon Sjöberg, Fisheries Division Administrator at NDOW. "But we absolutely cannot wait for that potential before deploying strategies to keep any possible infestation from spreading."
Beginning immediately, all boats entering or exiting the South Fork State Recreation Area will be subject to a mandatory inspection. NDOW is telling all boaters leaving South Fork to remove their plug, drain all water and dry their boat for at least five days before using that boat on another waterway. Alternatively, these boats can undergo commercial decontamination.
Mandatory inspection will continue through the boating season until the end of October.
Learn more here: http://www.ndow.org/Quagga-Mussel-DNA-found-South-Fork-State-Recreation-Area/
New high definition fire cameras are scanning the mountains and shoreline, while University of Nevada, Reno researchers are discovering new animal species at the bottom of Lake Tahoe and working with colleagues at the Desert Research Institute to document the dramatic decline of other bottom dwelling species and nearshore water quality.
As the annual Lake Tahoe Summit brings attention to the state of the lake's environment, researchers at the University and the Desert Research Institute say there has been significant progress on protecting the pristine lake, though there is much work to be done. From the mountaintops to the lake bottom, Nevada researchers are continuing research that informs public policy makers and finds solutions to the risks that face the lake's precious ecosystem.
"The fire cameras, and especially the internet backbone and network that supports it, are a valuable tool for fire officials and Tahoe researchers who are studying the lake's environment," Graham Kent, director of the University of Nevada, Reno's Nevada Seismological Laboratory, said.
The four mountaintop observatories at Lake Tahoe host remote sensing equipment that transmit seismic, environmental and climate data through the Nevada Seismological Laboratory's statewide seismic network. The first 360-degree camera installed on the system tracked the Bison fire last year, and three others now scan the basin and surrounding forests for wildfires.
Learn more here: http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2014/lake-tahoe-research
This is a great question, here is a small snippet from Conservation Magazine's article:
Landscape corridors are a popular way to expand wildlife habitat. But since these connectors allow native animals and plants to travel between habitat patches, it stands to reason that they might also help exotic species invade new territory. “[T]he same principles that support corridor establishment for threatened species… suggest that corridors could simultaneously jeopardize entire communities through spread of invasive species,” researchers write in Ecology.
The study authors examined the effects of landscape corridors on fire ants, an invasive species that has pushed out native ants around the world. Fire ant colonies come in two flavors: “monogyne” colonies, which have one reproducing queen that can fly long distances, and “polygyne” colonies, which have several reproducing queens that usually don’t stray far from their original home.
Learn more here:
BOZEMAN, Mont. – Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate.
In the study, stream temperature warming over the past several decades and decreases in spring flow over the same time period contributed to the spread of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout – the world’s most widely introduced invasive fish species –across the Flathead River system in Montana and British Columbia, Canada.
Experts have long predicted that climate change could decrease worldwide biodiversity through cross-breeding between invasive and native species, but this study is the first to directly and scientifically support this assumption. The study, published today in Nature Climate Change, was based on 30 years of research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
Hybridization has contributed to the decline and extinction of many native fishes worldwide, including all subspecies of cutthroat trout in western North America, which have enormous ecological and socioeconomic value. The researchers used long-term genetic monitoring data coupled with high-resolution climate and stream temperature predictions to assess whether climate warming enhances interactions between native and nonnative species through hybridization.
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We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
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