Forests Out of Balance: The Impact of Invasive Plant Species Workshop
Invasive plants are impacting the regeneration and management of public and private forests. They are slowly changing the character of our natural ecosystems by displacing native plants, impacting native wildlife habitat, increasing soil erosion, and limiting forestry management options. Impacts ranging from lost productivity to degraded habitats are costing governments, agencies, and private citizens billions of dollars in chemical and biological control, labor, restoration, research, and monitoring every year. Awareness and management activities are often inconsistent or nonexistent. Most of the Federal focus has been on insect or disease issues on public land with little support for dealing with invasive plants on private lands.
The Forest Resource Program Leaders (FRPL), under the auspices of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF), recently completed a survey of the 20 Northeastern Area State forestry agencies to determine the awareness, status, and extent of forest invasive plant species across the region. One of the FRPL recommendations included support for a Northeastern Area Forest Invasive Species Project. This project involved working with the three USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry offices and three key States--New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Wisconsin--to develop and conduct training for forestry personnel across the Northeastern Area States on the identification, treatment, and control of invasive plant species that have the most detrimental effect on private forestland resources.
The West Virginia Division of Forestry participated in a regional effort to develop and implement training for field foresters on the recognition and effective treatment and/or control of invasive plant species that detrimentally impact the sustainability of forests in the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio regions. Development of this training was coordinated with the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area Field Office in Morgantown, West Virginia, and other States in the area. Training materials developed through this effort could be used for future training by individual States for key personnel. The training occurred on August 23 and 24, 2005, and was highly successful. The original agenda and workshop brochure and presentations by the various speakers can be found below in 3 different formats (pdf, ppt, and html). Most of the presentations contain graphics and may take a considerable time to download (so please be patient).