Thursday, May 25, 2017
Riparian care, invasives removal key to healthy streams
Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation
ome non-native plants and animals have found their way to our area, and they really seem to like it here. They often grow and spread quickly to exclude native species and disrupt the environment in ways we’re only starting to become aware of — sometimes with dramatic consequences.
Trouble with invasive species has been brewing for decades. Few of us alive today are old enough to recall how the American chestnut once formed valuable stands in our forests, until a tiny fungus arrived (~1908) in chestnut lumber from the orient and over the next 50 years essentially eliminated this useful tree. The more recent (~1988) introduction of the tiny zebra mussel is causing management problems in affected lakes. The attractive foliage and flowers of Japanese knotweed caused it to be planted by enthusiastic gardeners by the early 1900s, but it’s now difficult to control its spread.
Only recently have groups begun to react in an organized manner to the wide range of invasives approaching — or already within — our borders. The formation of an organized body whose primary focus is to understand and control invasives will become increasingly important towards securing funds needed to take effective action. In our region of the state, this body is known as the Catskill Region Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), and is one of eight partnership regions across the state.
Check out www.dcswcd.org
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