Posts Tagged ‘invasive species’

Help Fight the Spread of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Posted on: June 15th, 2018 by Brent Gotsch
White Woolly egg ovisacs are an indicator for hemlock woodly adelgid infestation

White woolly egg ovisacs are an indi­ca­tor of hem­lock woolly adel­gid infestation

 

Hem­lock Woolly Adel­gid (HWA) is a non-native inva­sive insect that has killed mil­lions of hem­lock trees across the east­ern United States. In recent years it has been dev­as­tat­ing in the Catskill Moun­tain region and threat­ens not only hem­lock trees, but plants and ani­mals that rely on hem­locks for habitat.

Hem­locks are an impor­tant tree bor­der­ing moun­tain streams. Their branches and the spread and dis­tri­b­u­tion of nee­dles keep most of the sun­light from reach­ing the ground, cre­at­ing shade and dras­ti­cally reduc­ing stream tem­per­a­tures. Trout and other native species of fish rely on cold moun­tain streams to survive.

Researchers from Cor­nell University’s Depart­ment of Nat­ural Resources are using bio­log­i­cal con­trols such as preda­tor insects to help stop the spread of HWA. Groups such as Catskill Moun­tain­keeper and the Catskill Regional Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship (CRISP) are pro­vid­ing edu­ca­tion and out­reach to let peo­ple know about the dan­gers HWA poses to forests and streams.

Be sure to watch this video from Catskill Moun­tain­keeper and learn more about what you can do to help stop the spread of this seri­ous for­est pest.

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Water Chestnut

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Wel­come to the final day of National Inva­sive Species Week! Thank you all for stick­ing with us. We hope you’ve learned a great deal and will con­tinue efforts in pre­serv­ing our native species! Last, but not least, we look at the aquatic inva­sive Water Chestnut.

Water Chest­nut is native to Eura­sia and Africa, intro­duced to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s as an orna­men­tal plant. It is found in fresh­wa­ter lakes and slow-moving streams and rivers. First notice in Sco­tia, NY, Water Chest­nut occurs in 43 coun­ties across New York State.

Inden­ti­fi­ca­tion

Water Chest­nut is an annual plant with float­ing triangluarly-shaped leaves con­tain­ing saw-toothed edges. The sub­merged, hol­low air-filled stems grow 12 to 15 feet in length that anchor them­selves in the soil. Four-petaled, white flow­ers bloom in June, with fruits con­tain­ing 4-inch spines with barbs. Seeds within the fruits remain viable up to 12 years. The fruits are key in spread­ing Water Chest­nut, as they detach from the stem and float to another area. The barbs aid in attach­ing the fruit to recre­ational water­crafts and fish­ing equipment.

Leaf system of Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Leaf sys­tem of Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of North­east Aquatic Nui­sance Species Panel

Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of North­east Aquatic Nui­sance Species Panel

Fruit of the Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

Fruit of the Water Chest­nut.
photo cour­tesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

So what’s the prob­lem?

Water Chest­nuts con­tain dense root mats that make water recre­ation extremely dif­fi­cult to get through. These dense mats also shade out native plants, which pro­vide food and shel­ter to native  fish, birds, and insects. When the dense mats decom­pose, the chem­i­cal processes involved decrease the amount of dis­solved oxy­gen in the water, poten­tially suf­fo­cat­ing fish and plant species. The fruits of the Water Chest­nut are often found along the shore­line and bot­tom of water­ways, mak­ing the barbs of the fruits extremely painful if stepped on.

What can be done?

A vari­ety of meth­ods in con­trol­ling Water Chest­nut include man­ual, mechan­i­cal, and chem­i­cal meth­ods. Early detec­tion is the best way to con­trol and even erad­i­cate this inva­sive aquatic plant, keep­ing costs and eco­log­i­cal impacts low. Hand-pulling is often done to smaller infected areas, though, when a site is too large, har­vest­ing machines can also be used. Chem­i­cal treat­ments should be done by NYS DEC pro­fes­sion­als only.

As a local com­mu­nity mem­ber, make sure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your water­craft and equip­ment before and after each use. Be sure to dump your bait bucket water where it came from or on land.

If you think you have found Water Chest­nut, take a look at the Water Chest­nut Fact Sheet. If con­firmed, the NYS DEC asks you take many pho­tos and sub­mit a report to iMap­In­va­sives. Please share this infor­ma­tion with others!


For more infor­ma­tion regard­ing local infes­ta­tions of Water Chest­nut, check out the Eso­pus Creek Con­ser­vancy here. Thank you again for tak­ing time to explore inva­sive species with us dur­ing National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week! Check back soon for more updates from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Program!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Didymo (Rock Snot)

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Day 4 of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week is ded­i­cated to Rock Snot!

What is it?

Didy­mos­pher­nia gem­i­nata a.k.a. Didymo a.k.a. Rock Snot, is an aquatic, inva­sive, micro­scopic diatoma­ceous algae that pro­duces high vol­umes of stalk mate­r­ial, which is why you may see thick mats on stream bot­toms. It is often brown, tan, or white, with the appear­ance and tex­ture of wet wool that does not fall apart easily.

Didymo in the Esopus Creek. photo courtesy of NYIS

Didymo in the Eso­pus Creek.
photo cour­tesy of NYIS

How does this impact streams?

Because Didymo grows on the bot­tom of streams and still waters, and forms thick mats of mate­r­ial, it can last for months, despite occur­ring through­out some fast mov­ing streams. When Didymo grows, or blooms, it cov­ers entire stream beds, cov­er­ing over native organ­isms, and restrict­ing the avail­abil­ity of food for native fish species. It spreads quickly and eas­ily due to water recre­ation activ­i­ties. Fish­ing, kayaking/canoeing, tub­ing, and boat­ing allows the micro­scopic algea to attach onto your boots, waders, and boats, and if not cleaned off prop­erly, it will spread to the next body of water you go to. Cur­rently, there are no con­trol meth­ods avail­able to stop the spread and erad­i­cate Didymo.

Make it stop!

NYS DEC urges the pub­lic to use the “Inspect, Clean and Dry” method to decrease the spread of inva­sive species. If for any rea­son you can’t get your equip­ment clean and dry, restrict your equip­ment to a sin­gle water body.

Density Observations of Rock Snot. map courtesy of NYIS

Den­sity Obser­va­tions of Rock Snot.
map cour­tesy of NYIS


**Atten­tion Felt-Sole Waders! We encour­age you to con­sider other alter­na­tives, such as rub­ber stud­ded boots. Because felt-soles absorb Didymo cells and remain absorbent for long peri­ods of time, the spread of Didymo can increase rapidly if spe­cial treat­ments are not conducted.

Check back tomor­row for our final day of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Emerald Ash Borer

Posted on: February 28th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Happy Wednes­day! On this third day of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week, we’re tak­ing a closer look at the Emer­ald Ash Borer (EAB).

Accord­ing to the NYS DEC, The EAB is a bee­tle from Asia that was first found in Michi­gan in 2002. Sadly, the EAB infests and even­tu­ally kills North Amer­i­can Ash tree species, mak­ing every native Ash tree sus­cep­ti­ble to infestation.

Let’s get a closer look!

The EAB is very small, mea­sur­ing, at most, 0.5 inches long and 0.125 inches wide. The adults have a shim­mer­ing emer­ald green body with a cop­per or pur­ple abdomen on it’s under­side. You’ll often see these pests from May through Sep­tem­ber, but their prime activ­ity months are June and July. If you pass by an Ash tree, you will most likely see D-shaped exit holes in the branches and trunk of trees. Other signs of infec­tion include the yel­low­ing and brown­ing of tree leaves and less tree canopy present. Within 2 to 4 years, the Ash trees will suc­cumb to the EAB infestation.

ID the Emerald Ash Borer. photo courtesy of NYIS

ID the Emer­ald Ash Borer.
photo cour­tesy of NYIS

Emerald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Emer­ald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree.
photo cour­tesy of Emer­ald Ash Borer Infor­ma­tion Network

Emerald Ash Borer Damage to an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Woodworking Network

Emer­ald Ash Borer Dam­age to an Ash tree.
photo cour­tesy of Wood­work­ing Network

The EAB is found through­out the East­ern to Cen­tral United States and East­ern Canada. In New York, the first infes­ta­tion of EAB was sighted in Cat­ta­rau­gus County in 2009. It then spread to the Hud­son River Val­ley, and con­tin­ued on to more than 30 coun­ties. Infes­ta­tions were most recently found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Coun­ties in 2017.

Map of Emerald Ash Borer Locations. courtesy of NYS DEC

Map of Emer­ald Ash Borer Loca­tions.
cour­tesy of NYS DEC

 What can you do?

Review this EAB Early Detec­tion Brochure. If you believe you have an Emer­ald Ash Borer infes­ta­tion and are out­side of the known infes­ta­tion areas, call the Depart­ment of For­est Health Infor­ma­tion line (1–866-640‑0652).


 

Keep up with us this week in honor of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week and check back tomor­row to learn about a dif­fer­ent Inva­sive Species!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2018 — Japanese Knotweed

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Feb­ru­ary 26th marks the begin­ning of National Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week! Through­out this week, until March 2nd, we will be explor­ing dif­fer­ent inva­sive species present within our water­shed. To start off this week, we must first ask our­selves, “What is an inva­sive species?”. An inva­sive species is a species that is non-native to an ecosys­tem and has the poten­tial to cause envi­ron­men­tal harm to an area. Inva­sive species often out-compete native species, giv­ing native species lit­tle chance for sur­vival; this includes both ter­res­trial and aquatic plants and animals.

Japanese Knotweed within the Watershed

Japan­ese Knotweed within the Watershed

The first inva­sive species we’ll look at is Japan­ese Knotweed. This mon­ster of a plant came to the U.S. as an orna­men­tal plant in the 1800’s from East­ern Asia. Knotweed is iden­ti­fied by its large heart-shaped leaves, hol­low bamboo-like stalks, and clus­ters of white or cream col­ored flow­ers. It is often found near streams or rivers and it can with­stand low-light, high tem­per­a­tures, drought, and poor soil qual­ity, mak­ing this inva­sive resilient to many dif­fer­ent types of envi­ron­ments. Knotweed can grow up to 15 feet tall, with deep rhi­zomes (roots) extend­ing into the ground, mak­ing it very dif­fi­cult and timely to eradicate.

Photo of Japanese Knotweed leaves & flowers courtesy of http://www.nyis.info

Photo of Japan­ese Knotweed leaves & flow­ers cour­tesy of http://www.nyis.info

Col­lab­o­ra­tion and coor­di­na­tion from as many peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions as pos­si­ble is the best way to tackle Japan­ese Knotweed. In order to con­trol it, one must be dili­gent. The Catskill Regional Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship (CRISP) rec­om­mends con­tin­u­ous man­ual removal of Knotweed approx­i­mately 2–3 times each year for at least 3 years, or until it is erad­i­cated. Accord­ing to New York Inva­sive Species Infor­ma­tion (NYIS), mow­ing or cut­ting of Japan­ese Knotweed will actu­ally spread the plant, rather than con­tain it. For those who would like to use her­bi­cides on large vol­umes of Knotweed, call your local CCE or Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict office to get more infor­ma­tion on chem­i­cal reg­u­la­tions and safety pre­cau­tions in your region.

 

Videos regard­ing Inva­sive Species in New York State:

Pre­vent the Spread of Inva­sive Species

Get to Know Inva­sive Plants

 

Fol­low us this week as we uncover more inva­sive species in our Ashokan Water­shed! Face­bookTwit­terInsta­gram

 

 

 

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The Catskill Interpretive Center Riparian Buffer Demonstration Project Planted!

Posted on: November 15th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple
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Set­ting the stage to plant all of the native plant mate­r­ial at the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Center.

In Sep­tem­ber 2016, a group of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers, together with the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) and the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) team, got together to remove some of the inva­sive species that had taken over the ripar­ian (stream­side) areas and out-competed native plants at the Mau­rice D. Hinchey Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter (CIC). The CIC received fund­ing from AWSMP and CSBI to cre­ate a Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project.  The main objec­tives for this project are removal of inva­sive species, plant­ing of native plant mate­r­ial, and plac­ing inter­pre­tive sig­nage around the project area to pro­vide edu­ca­tion on the role of ripar­ian buffers in main­tain­ing habi­tat and stream health.

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The team (from left to right), Bobby Tay­lor, Alli­son Lent, Jake Wede­meyer, and Tiffany Runge of Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, removed a whole lot of inva­sive plant material!

 

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Upstream of the Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion area. The under story is cov­ered in inva­sive species. This under story com­po­si­tion extended towards the demon­stra­tion area.

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Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project area cleared of inva­sive plants!

 

Ear­lier this fall the CSBI team removed the last of the inva­sive plant mate­r­ial and planted the ripar­ian buffer with native plants.  Inva­sive species are fast grow­ing, espe­cially in dis­turbed areas, as such, as much plant mate­r­ial as pos­si­ble was removed to give the native plants the best chance to estab­lish them­selves. Native ripar­ian tree and shrub species form dense root sys­tems that pro­vide excel­lent bank sta­bi­liza­tion in ripar­ian zones, an area that is prone to ero­sion. This com­plex root sys­tem con­trasts sharply to the shal­low and fast-growing root sys­tems that inva­sive species have, that are part of their abil­ity to rapidly col­o­nize an area. A restored ripar­ian buffer pro­vides nat­ural habi­tat for native species and enhances water qual­ity, an impor­tant resource for humans, native fish and macro-invertebrates.

 

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Ripar­ian buffer area cleared of inva­sive plants.

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The native trees and shrubs are planted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CIC Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion is a col­lab­o­ra­tive project between The Catskill Cen­ter, the NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, and the Ulster County Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion District.

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Out With The Invasive, In With The Native

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

On Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 10th the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter (CIC) held a vol­un­teer inva­sive pull event on their prop­erty. The area is to be pre­pared for a Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project lead by the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI). The CIC received fund­ing from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) and CSBI to remove the inva­sive species, replace them with native trees and shrubs, and cre­ate edu­ca­tional mate­r­ial to inform the com­mu­nity on the impor­tance of stream­side buffers.

Bobby Tay­lor, CSBI Coor­di­na­tor, teach­ing the vol­un­teers how to iden­tify com­mon ripar­ian inva­sive plant species.

Our day started off with a short pre-event rain storm that helped to cool off the pre­vi­ous mug­gi­ness of the day. Once all of the vol­un­teers gath­ered, CSBI coor­di­na­tor Bobby Tay­lor held an edu­ca­tional talk about inva­sive species’ role in the envi­ron­ment and dif­fer­ent impor­tant man­age­ment options. We were pleased to learn just how much our par­tic­i­pants already know about inva­sives and how pas­sion­ate they are about lim­it­ing inva­sive species spread and man­ag­ing them on their own prop­er­ties. Our con­ver­sa­tions touched on just how eas­ily inva­sive species out­com­pete native species and decrease bio­di­ver­sity and how they can dras­ti­cally affect native organ­isms that rely on native habi­tat. It is always inspir­ing to inter­act with com­mu­nity mem­bers who are deal­ing with and care about the same issues we are tackling.

With shov­els, pick­axes, uproot­ers, bugspray, and sheer deter­mi­na­tion in hand, the vol­un­teers set out with one mis­sion; to get those pesky plants out! And boy did that deter­mi­na­tion go a long way! We were utterly blown away at how great of a team the vol­un­teers made and how much mate­r­ial we were able to clear. As our day wound down we had a lovely pic­nic lunch, pro­vided by the CIC, and got to sit down with the vol­un­teers and get to know them a bit. Our pro­duc­tive day ended with good food and great company!

Vol­un­teers iden­tify and pull inva­sive species at the Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project site at the CIC.

At the root of the pull project and the impend­ing ripar­ian restora­tion in the fall, is the impor­tance of stream buffers to water qual­ity, habi­tat, and flood­plain sta­bil­ity.  A small ephemeral stream, one that has flow­ing water dur­ing and fol­low­ing a rain fall or snow melt event, runs through the back of the CIC prop­erty; adja­cent to the stream is the spe­cial zone called the flood­plain. These flood­plains are highly sus­cep­ti­ble to inva­sive species because seeds and frag­ments of plant mate­r­ial can so eas­ily be car­ried by flow­ing water and deposited downstream.

This issue is far from only being a stream­side prob­lem. Many peo­ple, groups, and even gov­ern­ment agen­cies deal with inva­sive species man­age­ment on a daily basis. It takes all mem­bers of a com­mu­nity to really stop the inva­sion and elim­i­nate the future intro­duc­tion of non­na­tive and inva­sive species. Our amaz­ing group of vol­un­teers was not only hard­work­ing, but also enthu­si­as­tic about envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, con­tin­u­ing their own fight against inva­sives on their prop­er­ties, and help­ing to edu­cate oth­ers to do the same.

CSBI, AWSMP,the CIC, and the NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion wants to thank all those who par­tic­i­pated and made our Inva­sive Pull Event a suc­cess on all levels!

If you would like to learn more about inva­sive species, what you can do, or about the sup­port avail­able to stream­side landown­ers please visit the CSBI web­site at http://catskillstreams.org/ or con­tact CSBI Coor­di­na­tor Bobby Tay­lor at bobby.taylor@ashokanstreams.org. If you would like to learn more about the Ashokan Water­shed please visit AWSMP’s web­site at ashokanstreams.org or con­tact us at 845 688 3047.

 

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It is Invasive Species Awareness Week!

Posted on: July 15th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week (ISAW) is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between mul­ti­ple regional, state, and fed­eral agen­cies. ISAW seeks to enhance aware­ness of inva­sive species and pro­vide peo­ple with tools for man­age­ment. Locally, through­out the Catskill area, the Catskill Regional Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship (CRISP) pro­vides edu­ca­tional mate­r­ial and sup­port for inva­sive species removal. A focal species for man­age­ment has been Japan­ese knotweed.

Japan­ese Knotweed was intro­duced to the United States some­time in the late 1800s and was touted as an excel­lent gar­den orna­men­tal plant. It was soon iden­ti­fied as an inva­sive species due to its aggres­sive spread through­out and beyond the region of intro­duc­tion and its ten­dency to out­com­pete native plant species.  In Ulster County, though we are not alone in this strug­gle, we have seen the tremen­dous spread of knotweed espe­cially along stream sides. Its migra­tion is highly effi­cient along these buffer zones due to its abil­ity to reestab­lish a new stand from a small root frag­ment washed downstream.

 

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Japan­ese knotweed stand along left side of stream. Photo by Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion District.

 

Knotweed can be iden­ti­fied by its large heart-shaped leaves, hol­low bamboo-like stalks, and the clus­ter of white or cream col­ored flow­ers. Stands of knotweed are immensely dif­fi­cult and time con­sum­ing to erad­i­cate, how­ever, it can be man­aged with vig­i­lance and patience. Among other man­age­ment plans, CRISP sug­gests rou­tine and con­tin­u­ous removal of knotweed stands or her­bi­cide injec­tions into the stocks.  Man­ual removal of knotweed can be time con­sum­ing, as removals must reoc­cur 2–3 times every year for 3 or more years. Addi­tion­ally, due to the ease with which knotweed spreads the herba­ceous mate­r­ial must be dis­posed of prop­erly; dis­posal includes let­ting the mate­r­ial dry out and burn­ing it when dried. Injec­tion of the her­bi­cide is also time con­sum­ing and may not be prac­ti­cal for a large knotweed stand. The her­bi­cide must be injected into each stalk at approx­i­mately the 3rd node on the stalk dur­ing the late sum­mer and early fall months.

The bat­tle against Japan­ese knotweed is best fought on many fronts and with coor­di­na­tion and efforts from as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. If you would like to know more about how you can help with Japan­ese knotweed erad­i­ca­tion and man­age­ment in your area, or would like to learn more about other inva­sive species in the area, please click here to be directed to the CRISP web­site. If you would like to learn more about the annual Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week and to get more infor­ma­tion about New York inva­sive species, please click here.

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Videos from 2015 Ashokan Watershed Conference Available Online

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by Brent Gotsch

Full length videos from the 2015 Ashokan Water­shed Con­fer­ence held on April 10 at the Ashokan Cen­ter in Olive­bridge are now avail­able for view­ing on the AWSMP Youtube chan­nel.

Watch and lis­ten as Bob Steud­ing speaks about the build­ing of the Ashokan Reser­voir and the social forces that drove it. Learn from Pro­fes­sional Engi­neer George Fowler how his­tor­i­cal stream man­age­ment prac­tices have caused last­ing impacts on our region’s streams. Become engaged while lis­ten­ing to for­est ento­mol­o­gist Mark Whit­more and Town of Wood­stock Envi­ron­men­tal Com­mis­sion Chair­man Jim Han­son explain how inva­sive insects like Hem­lock Woolly Adel­gid and Emer­ald Ash Borer are threat­en­ing our native forests, the impacts they will cause and the work that com­mu­ni­ties need to do to pre­pare for them. Finally,  hear from a panel of “steam experts” as they answer some of the more com­mon and press­ing ques­tions that the pub­lic has about streams and how they are managed.

This is a great oppor­tu­nity for those who missed the con­fer­ence but want to hear the speaker pre­sen­ta­tions, or for those who attended and want to revisit some infor­ma­tion  they may have for­got­ten. There are a num­ber of other great videos from past con­fer­ences and events on the chan­nel so be sure to check those out too!

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