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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