All last week I was in Ithaca, NY attending an invasive species conference! The conference was really great with excellent, intelligent, well-spoken presenters with lots of on the ground knowledge and experience. Topics covered included early detection and rapid response; emerald ash borers and how to prepare for their arrival; deer and their impact on invasive plants; the status of feral hogs in NY; new invasive plants, insects and pathogens on the horizon; climate change and invasive species; pathways of invasion; using The Nature Conservancy’s decision tree to prioritize treatment; conducting surveys and inventories; invasive species prevention zones; using logic models for strategic PRISM (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management) planning; citizen science and volunteer recruitment; iMapInvasives training; and several case studies. In addition to all of the formal training, there was lots of time for informal discussion and to meet with colleagues. I met a lot of people who will become good resources to bounce ideas off of in the future, and feel much better connected to the NY invasive species community. All of this will help big time as we begin to implement an invasive species management program in the preserve that extends beyond black locust.
While I was away, seasonal employees, Dave and Tyler, continued to hold down the fort here focusing on seed collection, finishing up clip and drip of black locust re-sprouts, cutting new black locust posts for use as trail marker post next year, and general clean-up of our field facilities at 1219 Kings Rd. A bit of good news to share regarding Dave and Tyler – they are both being kept on as seasonal employees through the end of March! We have not had seasonal staff here through the winter months before and it will be a great help to have them. One of their main winter tasks will be to begin tackling our GIS data files in order to organize and restructure them, a long neglected task!
Hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
~Jesse Hoffman, Preserve Steward