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Old 08-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #1
EagleCrag
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Invasive Species

I attended the Invasive Species forum at Paul Smith's earlier this month and was shocked at what is happening to our woods & waters and what is going to happen in the future. We are being attacked by Land, Sea, and air and I don't see much cause for hope.

Our elected government representatives are ambivalent regarding the whole issue and one aspect that came across loud and clear is that they don't care. Apparently they are not hearing enough, if anything, from their constituents. Any organization that is funded by government dollars is lucky just to maintain their budget and our representatives don't even want to hear the word increase, no matter what the case may be.

I'll pick the milfoil issue as an example since it is probably the one most folks are aware of. If you look at a map of the Adirondacks and what lakes have milfoil (the invasive ones), you will most likely find a state boat launch there. I can only think of a couple of lakes that have state launches that do not yet have milfoil. What action has the state taken stop the spread of millfoil? Almost nothing. There should be stewards at every state launch. The cost to the stakeholders (property owners and others that use the lake) is extremely high once millfoil gains a foothold. It can NOT be eradicated. I believe THE STATE SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE for the spread of this invasive as their lack of concern and action to prevent the spread. I understand Maine posted stewards at their state launch sites and funded it by a $5 launch fee or permit of some sort. New York should have done the same.

The emerald ash borer will likely eventually eliminate every ash tree in New England. Fortunately, it only attacks one species of tree. The Asian Longhorned Beetle, on the other hand, attacks a wide variety of trees, Maples and Birch included. There is currently an outbreak of this fine creature near Boston, so it is only a matter of time (IMHO) before our maple syrup and hardwood industries are in a shambles. The cost is going to be in the billions. The woods our grandchildren experience are going to be totally different that what we have lived with in the past. What are your thoughts?
This topic has no doubt been beat up on this forum before, but the alarm cannot be sounded loud enough.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Yes, it is scary and it's not just plants. We now have Snakeheads in some of our waters, a shrimp-like, spiney thing (forget the name) now lives in the Sacandage Res. and ticks now reside in upstae NY. I'm also informed that the Lone Star Tick is on its way and that one does more than just hang on a plant and wait for you to walk past, I hear that tick SEEKS YOU OUT!
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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Eab

Your statement that officials don't care is false. Both the Federal USDA - USFS & USDA - APHIS) and State (DEC & DAM) governments are extremely concerned. The purple hanging, triangular traps that are located across the North Country are being set up in order to monitor and inventory the presence and possible spread of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). It is across the border in Ontario - it is only a matter of time until it arrives, (if it hasn't all ready) in northern New York State.

The new DEC firewood regulations were put in place specifically to try and stop the spread of invasive species. With the recent discovery of EAB in the Catskills, there has been a renewed effort in promoting the DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD effort. I have seen billboard displays and press releases recently, and there is increased enforcement.

The larger question is that it is everyone's responsibility, not just government agencies to become informed and educated about invasive species, and to do everything not to hasten their spread.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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I'm going to cry the old exxpression again, it's all about the money.

There are many business and for that matter people who have their income tied to outdoor recreation and, or, tourism. The minute anyone comes forward with the idea that things need to be checked or regulated (like having inspectors at boat landings for example) that will "inconvenience" the consumer, they descend on their legislators and cry "foul". They also tend to attack the groups that are pressing for a solution to the problem.

So, I don't think it's the "state" as much as it is special interests and politicians.

The Rangers and law enforcement are only able to work with the laws and regulations that are in place, they cannot legislate. I would also guess that within agencies like the EPA and the DEC, there are a lot of pet projects and low funding, so it's a compretition withing the agencies as well.

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Old 08-30-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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In my hometown, they manually are removing the milfoil from the lake bottom... when I say manual, I literally mean "by hand". They have divers on the lake bottom picking the roots and disposing. I believe they are in the last year of doing this.

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Originally Posted by Sn.Forester View Post
The larger question is that it is everyone's responsibility, not just government agencies to become informed and educated about invasive species, and to do everything not to hasten their spread.
It is definitely everyone's responsibility. Education is the key. People need to understand how it affects them.

A problem to consider is that many people just don't care. Typically it is because of the reason that Hawk mentioned, $$. However, there are some people that really just don't care for no real reason. Typically, these are the same people who would be responsible for much of the litter you find laying around.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #6
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http://www.physorg.com/news202399687.html
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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So, I don't think it's the "state" as much as it is special interests and politicians.

Hawk
A lot of "green" groups such as the Sierra Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club are first and foremost recreational groups who see public access as inherently good. The problem with increased access though, is that it necessarily increases the probability that invasive species will be spread in an area. Every one of us is a vector.

If these groups want to get serious about preserving the Adirondack ecosystem they should acknowledge that public access has its drawbacks and stop trying to pry open every inch of the Adirondacks. In some cases the public good is best served by not providing public access.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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The article didn't say, but at only 1.5" across, they are probably too small to eat
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Nothing we can do about it, maybe slow it down some but why bother at such a huge expense to taxpayers. Let nature take it's course. It isn't like this hasn't happened before. We will survive just fine.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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Education is the key.... enforcement is the next step, but both cost money...

I've seen boats coming out of the Finger Lakes with their trailers having beards of nasty looking weeds..... I see hundreds of boats heading north to the ADKs every weekend....

Their was an article in the ADK Explorer about a proposed system of permits for your boat, depending on whether you use it in spoiled lakes or clean lakes, anyone else see it?

I mentioned it to a friend here on CL and he asked if I was a Nazi, trying to rule the world.... duh....
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:05 PM   #11
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All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
I'm talking about evolution here, not stopping Hitle.

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There are many things that WE can do to help that do not cost the taxpayer anything. Don't move wood, for instance. Don't wear felt soled boots.
Never enough, soon enough. It will only slow the unavoidable down. Nature will win.


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Educate your friends about these issues. Invasives
Prevention is always best but people don't get motivated by that. At best it will only slow things down some. Nature will win.

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have the potential to wipe out an entire species, and you would rather not "bother"?
Not on this issue. Resistence is futile.

When the situation becomes a crises, an economic crises will ralley folks quicker than an enviromental crises, then people will step up.

This is a symptom of a bigger problems and issues, it/they will not be delt with until there is economic motivativated solution to do so or it gets votes.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:38 PM   #12
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Sn.Forester: I did not mean to imply that those working for the state and in state and federal agencies did not care, it is the elected officials that I believe do not care. They have other priorities and they are not getting inundated with calls and letters about invasive species. There were many individuals from state agencies and out of state as well at the forum that care a great deal and have made or are making this fight their life's work.

SP NYP: Eurasian milfoil can not be eradicated from a lake. At best you can keep it at bay if it is caught early on. Every fragment of that stuff that breaks off can form a new plant. If they are in the last year of harvesting it by hand, it will rebound quickly. I don't mean to be a naysayer, but that's the way it is.

I own property on a lake that is all private and the Lake Association there prohibits anyone from taking a boat off the lake and putting it back on. It is the best way to preclude waterborne invasives. They can still gain a foothold from birds, however. Our boat prohibition is not enforceable by law, but the camp owners around the lake realize the danger and cooperate without complaint. Anyone launching a boat gets stopped and asked questions if they and/or their boat are not recognized.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:24 AM   #13
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I own property on a lake that is all private and the Lake Association there prohibits anyone from taking a boat off the lake and putting it back on. It is the best way to preclude waterborne invasives. They can still gain a foothold from birds, however. Our boat prohibition is not enforceable by law, but the camp owners around the lake realize the danger and cooperate without complaint. Anyone launching a boat gets stopped and asked questions if they and/or their boat are not recognized.
I think I have to agree with Little Rickie's "resistance is futile" assessment for public land, but I think there's much greater hope for keeping private land "clean" if landowners take action like what your lake association is doing. Rules like that would be impossible on state land.

Aside from keeping the invasives from showing up in the first place, if they do, you'll be able to quickly take measures to eradicate them. in the Forest Preserve you can't so much as to pull up a Purple Loosestrife plant without a permit, never mind start tramping around with a sprayer full of Roundup.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:41 AM   #14
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A good old fashioned lightning strike and forest fire would be a step. Of course the major invasive species has done all they can to avoid that.

Maybe that's a big part of the problem?

Won't help with the milfoil maybe but a lot of the non-aquatic stuff.

Hawk
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:11 AM   #15
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A good old fashioned lightning strike and forest fire would be a step. Of course the major invasive species has done all they can to avoid that.

Maybe that's a big part of the problem?

Won't help with the milfoil maybe but a lot of the non-aquatic stuff.

Hawk
It's not invasive, but I read in Northern Woodlands that Red Maple has greatly increased in abundance in the Northeast as a result of fire suppression.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:35 AM   #16
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You've convinced my Little Rickie! Resistance is futile. We may as well throw a little fuel on the fire and get it over quickly. Think I will round up a truckload of wood from an area with known ifestations of invasive species and spread them around to speed up the process. That way, others won't have to feel guilty about their lack of concern, and people can continue thinking of #1 with no regard for their actions. I would hate for anyone to be inconvenienced. That might spoil their experience in the great outdoors.
I agree, Little Rickie's attitude is unfortunate, but I think it is understandable. On public land you've got a "tragedy of the commons" problem where the quality of the resource is dictated by the lowest denominator. If 999 out of 1000 people are conscientious about invasives, and 1 person isn't, that 1 person can easily ruin it for every one. Look at Little Tupper.

Right now I'm sure a lot of dead standing ash is getting turned into firewood (who doesn't love splitting ash), and it is inevitable that it is going to make its way into the Adirondacks. All it takes is one campfire's worth in the right spot.

It is encouraging and good for us all that there are places like what EagleCrag describes where resistance IS NOT futile and there is a true sense of ownership and stewardship among those that use the land, which simply isn't possible on public land.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:58 AM   #17
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I think that all folks that want to help the enviroment , take the tact that the guy at the discovery center in MD did . Have no children and then die for the cause .
Edit to add : Was mostly posted as a funny , but with a touch of reality as there are obviously a few nut cases out there .....
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:09 PM   #18
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You've convinced my Little Rickie! Resistance is futile. We may as well throw a little fuel on the fire and get it over quickly. Think I will round up a truckload of wood from an area with known ifestations of invasive species and spread them around to speed up the process. That way, others won't have to feel guilty about their lack of concern, and people can continue thinking of #1 with no regard for their actions. I would hate for anyone to be inconvenienced. That might spoil their experience in the great outdoors.
I wasn't saying that. If wish to contribut to the problem or speed it up it is your choice but not my recomendation.

All I'm saying is no matter what we do nature will win, she will slap us down and put us in our place even if means our x-stink-tion. Why spend millions or billions fighting her. It so much better and economical, in the long run, to work in harmony with her.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:42 PM   #19
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I just rembered?

What was that cheast nut tree that disappered? Did we spend money to save it. DUH

I remember elm tress being sprayed city wide when I was a kid. Close the windows kids. $$$

Why do we stock fish...because the can't live there on their own if we don't. $$$

Gyspy moth, remember that panic? $$$

Zebra muscles? $$$

Goby or globy fish? $$$

Now we have grass carp (I wonder how they taste? Whats that new fish every sells that is so health for us? IT LOOKS LIKE A CARP TO ME!) moving into the great lakes and bugs that eat trees, that's new.

What will grow up to take their place?

How much money will we spend on them and what will be the result.

Nature wins, she always did and always will.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:52 PM   #20
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I just rembered?

What was that cheast nut tree that disappered? Did we spend money to save it. DUH

I remember elm tress being sprayed city wide when I was a kid. Close the windows kids. $$$

Why do we stock fish...because the can't live there on their own if we don't. $$$

Gyspy moth, remember that panic? $$$

Zebra muscles? $$$

Goby or globy fish? $$$

Now we have grass carp (I wonder how they taste? Whats that new fish every sells that is so health for us? IT LOOKS LIKE A CARP TO ME!) moving into the great lakes and bugs that eat trees, that's new.

What will grow up to take their place?

How much money will we spend on them and what will be the result.

Nature wins, she always did and always will.
Problem is that a lot of this isn't natures doing, it's human "management" or carelessness that's the cause.

Then the problem gets compounded because we don't like whats become of our management, even though in many cases, a different ecosystem has been created, and we then destroy that to try to "put it back". Duck Hole is a perfect example of that.

hawk
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