The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental effects of establishing an integrated management strategy to control cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The draft environmental assessment is now available for comment. Cogongrass is an invasive exotic grass found on public and private property, along roadways, in forests, and on farmland. This federally regulated noxious weed grows rapidly, reducing forest productivity, harming wildlife habitat and ecosystems, and encroaching on pastures and hayfields. Because of cogongrass' impact on agriculture and forest industries, Congress has given APHIS funding to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina to control the spread of this weed. APHIS is proposing is an integrated management strategy that uses preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods to control cogongrass in key areas of its distribution. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on this environmental assessment by April 1, 2020.
Invasive Species Resources
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USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
DOI. Office of Insular Affairs.
U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $942,206 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative grants to eradicate and control the spread of invasive species in the U.S. territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), as well as in the Republic of Palau, and Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Funding will be used to introduce biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetles, control and eradicate feral cats and monitor lizards, and destroy wild vines, all of which are disruptive to ecological systems and impacting communities and livelihoods in the islands.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 25, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will lead a second intensive invasive carp removal effort in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Thirty-four silver carp were captured in Pool 8 during the first interagency carp removal operation in April. The innovative Modified Unified Method (MUM) combines netting and herding techniques to drive and concentrate invasive carp from a large area of water into a small zone for removal. The DNR is conducting this work in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Anglers are reminded that invasive carp captures must be reported to the DNR immediately. Call 651-587-2781 or email email@example.com. Take a photo and transport the carp to the nearest DNR fisheries office or arrange for it to be picked up by a DNR official.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Montana Invasive Species Council.
The Montana and Washington invasive species councils have joined forces to stop wild pigs from crossing borders. The two councils issued a report with recommendations and best management practices aimed at helping federal, state, provincial and local landowners manage wild pigs in the western United States and Canada. "Wild pig populations are expanding in the western provinces of Canada and in the United States." said Stephanie Criswell, coordinator of the Montana Invasive Species Council. "We are at a unique point in time where we can work together to prevent Canadian wild pigs from spreading across borders into unaffected states like Montana."
In early 2020, the two invasive species councils convened a working group of more than 40 federal, state and Canadian feral swine experts to discuss challenges and opportunities to prevent feral swine along interstate and international borders. Finalized this month, the report includes 22 recommendations that address five strategic areas of feral swine management. Recommendations include standardizing communications to the public, expanding monitoring networks by partnering with non-traditional organizations such as hunting groups, and formalizing notification protocols for reports that will be shared between state and provincial authorities along the international border. The complete report can be found at misc.mt.gov.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
On Sunday, June 27, watercraft inspection stations in eastern Montana intercepted two boats entering the state carrying invasive mussels, making it the 35th and 36th mussel-fouled boats intercepted this year. This surpasses the total number of 35 mussel-fouled boats intercepted in 2020.
Fish, Wildlife & Park staff reminds anyone transporting motorized or nonmotorized boats into Montana that an inspection is required before launching, and stopping at ALL open watercraft inspection stations is required. Failing to stop at an inspection station can result in a fine of up to $500. Many residents of western states, including Montana, are buying boats out of the Midwest or southwestern U.S., where invasive mussels are common. The record number of interceptions is a reminder for people purchasing boats from other states to clean, drain and dry the vessel.
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant.
You could say that preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is a team sport. While it takes the professional efforts of natural resource managers, AIS specialists and others in the environmental field, it also takes the cooperation of the public. Yet for community members to take necessary actions, they must first be aware of the negative impacts AIS can have and how to stop their spread. Communicating with them about AIS in an effective way is vital.
New research from Wisconsin Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist Tim Campbell, University of Wisconsin-Madison Associate Professor Bret Shaw and consultant Barry T. Radler sheds new light on such communication. The researchers analyzed which communication strategies are most effective and which may pose unintended problems. The team's findings were published online Aug. 14 in the journal Environmental Management (“Testing Emphasis Message Frames and Metaphors on Social Media to Engage Boaters to Learn about Preventing the Spread of Zebra Mussels”).
University of Montana. Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Invasive species cause biodiversity loss and about $120 billion in annual damages in the U.S. alone. Despite plentiful evidence showing that invasive species can change food webs, how invaders disrupt food webs and native species through time has remained unclear. Now, thanks to a collaborative study conducted by researchers representing the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, there is new insight into how invasive species progressively affect native food webs.
DOD. USACE. Omaha District.
A draft integrated letter report and programmatic environmental assessment has been developed to determine the economic and environmental impacts of federal participation in state-managed watercraft inspection programs along the Upper Missouri River Basin in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Public comments on the draft EA will be accepted until March 2, 2021.
The existing watercraft inspection programs are managed collaboratively by the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, where watercraft transported along highways are inspected for the presence of aquatic invasive species and decontaminated when detected. If approved, federal participation in the program would be cost-shared (50 percent) with each of the states, and would employ a regional strategy to identify locations that would provide the greatest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species to reservoirs operated and maintained by the Corps in the Upper Missouri River Basin.
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
On May 14, Director Reilly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The MOA provides for continuity of operations for the USFWS and the USGS with construction of new office and lab facilities on the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with DOD’s construction of a Marine Corps firing range. "The USGS has a long history of collaborating with the Department of Defense in support of U.S. facilities and force readiness in the INDOPACOM Area of Responsibility. One of our signature efforts ongoing today is a collaboration with DOD, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the local government in minimizing the impacts of the invasive Brown Treesnakes (BTS) and improving BTS controls on military lands on Guam," said Jim Reilly, director of the USGS.