Invasive Species Month gets a new name and focus
Contact(s): Tara Bergeson, DNR invasive species team coordinator, 608-264-6043; Kelly Kearns, DNR conservation biologist, 608-267-5066
Moves from Awareness to Action; Invader Crusader Award Winners Announced
MADISON - After 15 years, Invasive Species Awareness Month is getting a new name and focus: Wisconsin Invasive Species Action Month.
"Now that many Wisconsin residents and visitors are aware of the problems with invasive species, the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council has changed the name and focus of the month to move people from awareness to action," says Tom Buechel, the council's chair.
Invasive species are nonnative plants and animals that can cause ecological, environmental, or economic harm; some can affect human health. Emerald ash borer, quagga mussel, buckthorn, reed canary grass, oak wilt disease, gypsy moth, garlic mustard and purple loosestrife are all examples.
"Once an invasive species gets established, it can be extremely difficult to control, so the most important action Wisconsinites can take is to avoid moving invasive species to un-infested sites in Wisconsin and to other states," says Drew Feldkirchner, who leads DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program, which coordinates DNR invasive species efforts.
To prevent accidentally spreading emerald ash borer, oak wilt and gypsy moth, campers and recreationists should obtain firewood locally, and buy only firewood certified as safe by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or by USDA. Learn more on DNR's website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword "firewood."
Anglers and boaters can help protect lakes and rivers by cleaning recreational equipment after every use and draining all water from gear before leaving a site. If possible, wash gear with hot water and dry it for five or more days between uses. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search "aquatic invasive species."
Gardeners and landscapers can prevent spreading invasive species by planting and promoting only native plants or non-native plants that don't expand beyond the garden or seed into other areas. . For more information visit the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (IPAW) website at www.ipaw.org.
2018 Invader Crusaders award winners take the stage; Video Challenge winner announced
Winners of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council's Invader Crusader Awards were recognized at an awards ceremony June 6 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. All recipients have made significant contributions to the identification, prevention, and control of invasive species in Wisconsin, and to educating the people in their regions, Buechel says.
The 2018 Invader Crusader winners were honored in a June 6 ceremony highlighting their efforts to control invasive species. Left to right: Gary Nelson, Friends of Festge Park; Brad Herrick, UW-Arboretum Ecologist; Jeanette Hoard, and David Earles of the Friends of Festge Park; Ruth Marshall, Town of Nashotah Weed Commissioner; Sara Fox, Brad Steckart and Jenna Bales, Waukesha/Washington Counties Aquatic Invasive Species Team - video contest winner; Ken Raffa, UW Entomology Department; Jim Reinartz, UW-Milwaukee Field Station Director; and Tim Gerber, UW-La Crosse Biology Department. Photo credit: DNR
- Johnson's Nursery of Menomonee Falls was recognized for its strong push over the past 25 years to grow and promote more native species, to eliminate species and cultivars known to be invasive, and for helping develop the state's invasive species law, as well as hosting an annual conference on invasive and native plants.
- Ruth Marshall, Village Weed Commissioner of the Village of Nashotah in Waukesha County, was recognized for work including leading the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium's Invasive Species Eradication project over the last decade, as well as multiple control projects in Nashotah.
- Milly Thissen of Trego was honored for her work to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in the Town of Chicog and surrounding areas.
- Jim Reinartz, a UW-Milwaukee biology professor and director of the UWM Cedarburg Field Station, was honored for work including founding the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin and serving as Science Advisor on the Governor's Council on Invasive Species.
- Jill Hapner, also of Saukville, was recognized for work including serving as executive director of Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium and managing several successful projects to control invasive plants such as giant hogweed and garlic mustard.
- Friends of Festge, a volunteer group, was recognized for its members' commitment to restoring, maintaining, and enhancing the diversity of the prairies, woodlands, streams, and wetlands of Festge County Park and Selmo Pond near Cross Plains in Dane County.
- Katelin Anderson, information and education coordinator/water quality specialist with the Polk County Land and Water Resources Department was honored for her work on aquatic invasive species, across county and state lines.
- Tim Gerber, a biology professor at the UW - LaCrosse was nominated by The Nature Conservancy for his teaching of invasive plants and for his research and control work at Lulu Lake State Natural Area.
- Brad Herrick, ecologist and research program manager of the University of Wisconsin -Madison Arboretum has led ground-breaking research work on the newly discovered Asian jumping worms at the Arboretum.
- Ken Raffa, Forest Insect Population Ecologist with the UW Madison Entomology Department, also was honored for his years of assisting and providing scientific guidance to the Council and to the DNR.
- Brad Steckart and the Washington and Waukesha County Aquatic Invasive Species Teams created this year's winner for the 2018 Video Challenge. Their video, "Boatbusters," can be viewed at the invasive species.wi.gov website at invasivespecies.wi.gov/awareness-month/video-contest.
Last Revised: Tuesday, June 12, 2018