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DEC Releases Draft Statewide Invasives Management Plan

Draft plan cover page
courtesy NYS DEC
Draft plan cover page

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued its draft invasive management plan. It includes eight objectives and new strategies to prevent or manage aquatic and terrestrial threats to the ecosystem.
New York’s draft Invasive Species Comprehensive Management Plan sets priorities for management and preparedness; looks to build partnerships and support current programs; and improve prevention and response to invasive species.  

The report notes that the state has been making progress toward creating a broad-ranging management program.  The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program actually deals with all types of invasives, from plant to aquatic to insects. Director Brendan Quirion notes that a statewide comprehensive management plan was the last recommendation of a 2005 Invasive Species Task Force Report.  “The original 12 recommendations  Included things like building out all eight partnerships for regional invasive species management like APIPP; building out the NYS Invasive Species Research Institute which is now in operation; establishing I-MAP Invasives. So it’s been a progression.  All  of those recommendations took time to implement and now we’re finally to the point where we can say look at all of these great programs that are in place. How do we make sure that they are operating in the most effective manner to address invasive species threats across New York state?”

Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender says concerns about invasive species have been discussed for over a decade and he is looking forward to implementation of a statewide plan.  “We here on Lake George have a mandatory boat inspection program that stops invasives from getting into the lake. And that’s a very important and very efficient program.  But statewide we need something to help stop invasives from spreading across the landscape.”

Lender says the draft plan formalizes much of the work that is being done and will put all programs on the same track.  “I think it’s a very big step  in the right direction.  But I think we will always be tweaking it and we will always be looking for ways to improve the way we prevent invasive species from moving around.  Invasive species each one is very different.  Some travel on boats. Some travel through the air. Some travel on wood and other products. So each invasive has to be taken into consideration on its own and the way it travels, the vectors that it follows has to be addressed individually. So I think having a statewide plan, talks about rapid response, talks about early detection, talks about prevention, those are all very important aspects to it.”

Quirion reports that more than 1,000 different infestations of invasives were eradicated in the Adirondacks in the past year.  “In order to really drive resourcing to where its need is going to be most effective you have to have a strategy like this and the political buy in to actually implement. So this is a first step. The next step is to really ensure that everyone is bought into this approach and funding gets to where it’s needed.”
Public comments on the draft pan are being taken through June 1st.

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