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Adirondack Park GIS interactive non-native invasive plant species project

  • Author(s): Oles, Hilary
  • Falge, John
  • Frantz, Ed
  • Spada, Dan
  • Kogut, Ken
  • Maloney, Susanne
  • et al.
Abstract

Demonstrate the interactive GIS database that has been developed by this group to collect, store and disseminate invasive plant species location and associated attribute information. This environmental core research group has initiated a multi-year strategetic plan to monitor and control the spread of non-native invasive plant species in the Adirondack Park. The spread of invasive non-native plant species is one of the greatest threats to our natural plant communities throughout the United States. Increasingly, we are seeing aggressive non-native plants taking the place of many of our native plants. Transportation systems have often contributed inadvertently to the spread of these plant species by way of construction and maintenance activities and through the conduits of their interconnected nature. Thus, the spread of invasive non-native plant species by way of our transportation systems has put the ecological balance of our native plant communities at risk. Initial annual funding for this project, year 2000, was at $25,000, which was a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant together with in-kind services provided by the participants. The Adirondack Park, the largest public and private land reserve in the eastern United States, serves as an important ecological and recreational resource for our country. Until recently, the Adirondack Park has been relatively free from the degree of invasion by non-native plants found in other parts of the country. Currently non-native plant species, such as Purple Loosestrife, Common Reed, Japanese Knotweed, are primarily concentrated along transportation corridors, spreading by way of highway-related use and projects. Without efforts to control problem species, the future of many of the natural plant communities, many of which are unique only to the Adirondack Park, will be in jeopardy. For these reasons NYSDOT has joined with The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Student Conservation Association of AmeriCorps, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and local volunteers to inventory and monitor invasive plant species in an effort to develop a management plan with a GIS database to test control methods to develop a best management practices guide for NYSDOT and the public related to this problem. At working group meetings, this team has identified and prioritized problem species of which require immediate control. ICOET 2003 Proceedings 648 Making Connections The combined efforts of many Agencies and concerned citizens will serve as a front runner to address the influence transportation has on the issue of invasive species and help to maintain the ecological integrity within the Adirondack Park. Further this project will provide valuable information to assist with educational outreach efforts to the public of this problem both within and outside the Adirondack Park. This project is an on going effort that was awarded a Federal Highway Administration 2001 Award for Environmental Excellence in vegetation management.

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