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95 APPENDIX A Survey Questionnaire NCHRP Synthesis 36-05 Control of Invasive Species DIRECTIONS: TEXT ANSWER BOXES HAVE UNLIMITED SPACE WITH BOXES, PLEASE CHECK ALL THAT APPLY Priorities, Drivers, and Obstacles in Your DOTâs Approach to Invasive Species Control 1. Top priorities. What are your agencyâs top five invasive species priorities? Does your agency control or eradicate invasive species that are not plants/weeds (e.g., gypsy moth, West Nile Virus, zebra mussel, fire ants, oak wilt, etc.). If so, please list: 2. Drivers. What are the drivers for your agency in addressing invasive species? Public input, surveys, customer complaints Internal DOT policies, interests, or commitments Environmental stewardship/vegetative diversity Maintenance cost savings/containment Minimizing health or safety hazards Other. Please describe: Executive Order 13112 and FHWA implementing guidance Other agency policies or requests. Please identify: 3. E.O. 13112. How has the 1999 E.O. 13112, described in the cover letter to this questionnaire, changed how your organization does business? No Yes, in this manner: â¢ Added work in planning and/or project development? No Yes Please describe: â¢ Additional work in project development? No Yes If yes, do you have â¢ Incorporation of invasive species assessments in all NEPA evaluations? No Yes â¢ Invasive species assessments only in EAs? EISs? No Yes â¢ Other:
Obstacles/Challenges. What are the main obstacles you have encountered in implementing E.O. 13112 and greater invasive species control? Lack of templates or guidance on invasive species management DOT control limited to ROW and ongoing invasions from adjacent private land Lack of state funds for maintenance of existing ROW Limited availability of federal highway funds for maintenance of existing roadsides Finding suitable native groundcovers to compliment existing seed mixes Perception of native grasses as being difficult or slow to establish Supply of native seed Lack of independent certification of weed-free mulch Differing priorities of federal, state, and local agencies Other: Key Concepts 4. Prevention and Management Practices. Please check any of the following prevention measures or management practices your agency undertakes. Vegetation Management Plan in each district addressing major issues Mapping/monitoring/tracking location and treatment of key invasive species Imported soils must be weed free Stockpiling of uncontaminated topsoil Seed mixes must be weed free Broadleaf herbicide application over turf grass State/contract mowers required to clean equipment Mowing heavy infestations last Design/specification measures for low maintenance/native species Desired best practices built into staff procedures and specifications for contract work Systematic pretreatment of weeds/invasives on construction sites Training of contractors and field personnel Ongoing research of invasive control and native reestablishment strategies Contact: Other: 5. Reliance on Native Grasses and Forbs. Does your agency rely on native grasses and forbs in erosion control, landscaping, and revegetation? No Yes. Comment: 96
97 Vegetation and revegetation according to statewide or regional vegetation plan Required seed mixes have been designed for a variety of ecoregions, slope aspects, etc. DOT policies or agency-wide design specifications Special provisions in contracts for particular projects Landscape architect comments on landscape plans during reviews Other: Whether yes or no, what have been your primary obstacles in greater use of native species? Availability of plant material or desired seed mixes Cost of desired materials and/or available agency funding Publicâs desire for ornamentals or other non-natives considered more aesthetically pleasing Length of time to establish and/or short growing season Acceptance/education internally or among contractors Contracting process and lack of control over contractorsâ schedules Limited research regarding what works, especially Other agency requirements: Other: Does your agency have a policy or plan for planting/reestablishing native species? No Plans on some projects/corridors only Statewide plan/policy is being developed Contact name/e-mail for statewide plan/policy: Yes, a policy and/or plan is already in place. Is the policy or plan working? No Yes Why or why not? Please attach a copy of your agencyâs policy or plan. Are seed mixes designed and specified for each project? No Not yet, but this is in the works Yes All Most Menus of seed mixes have been developed for each ecoregion Seed mixes are modified for project microclimates Other comment: What would further assist your DOT in this area? If yes, then what primary actions does your agency take to implement or ensure this?
98 Do you feel your DOT has adequate ecological or botanical expertise to provide sufficient help for design, construction, and maintenance in this area? No Yes Who needs more support? What is needed to help them, in your opinion? What are the stateâs native seed sources? (Please check all that apply.) None available/known None available locally/in-state Sources insufficient to meet demand Several sources available, adequate supply Seed collection program or seed bank in place Certification required for native seeds/sources Other: To what extent have you protected native plant community remnants on rights-of-way? All projects are screened for the presence of rare plant communities in the work zone/ROW Native/rare plant communities are identified in EAs and EISs Areas in need of special management are identified by resource agencies or state Natural Heritage Program Special management areas are identified by DOT staff and managed accordingly by maintenance forces. Please attach information or explain how this is being accomplished Reduced mowing widths (e.g., one mower width) are standard statewide A conservation mowing/spraying program has been developed to protect native communities, minimize maintenance costs, and control invasives DOT has mapped and is tracking protected communities on DOT ROW, statewide. Primary contact is: Can you/your DOT estimate the total acreage of high-quality forest, wetland, or native grassland remnants you are protecting in the ROW ? No Yes, approximately: Staffing 6. Who are the three most active individuals in your agency in efforts to control invasive species ? Is your DOT interested in further information sharing? No Yes If so, please provide: Name Position Phone/e-mail
99 7. Do you have a central person/staff for an Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) program or invasive species control program? No Yes Name Position Phone/e-mail Please attach information/documentation on your program with your reply. 8. How has your DOT addressed staffing needs for invasive species control? No particular staffing plans have been developed for invasive species control Staffing needs for invasive species control have been addressed as attached or as follows: 9. What is your mix of state, contract, city/county, or volunteer forces? State forces handle all weed control Some weed control is contracted out or otherwise performed by cities and counties Private contract forces are used for some weed control Private forces are used for some/all weed control Partnerships with nonprofit or nongovernmental conservation groups help accomplish some invasive species control in the ROW. Off ROW as well. Please describe: Partnerships with private landowners help accomplish invasive species control adjacent to the ROW. Please describe: Organizational Approaches and Division of Effort 10. What organizational mechanisms or approaches has your DOT taken to tackle invasive species? None/not applicable Awareness, Planning, and Training Policies/procedures have been developed DOT has mapped and is tracking/monitoring areas of infestation Integrated roadside vegetation management plans are in place, statewide or by district Roadside managers in each district manage planning for and awareness of invasives Posters and/or laminated field identification tools are used to raise awareness Training for all maintenance forces on invasive species identification, control, and expectations. Please attach or describe: Summer field tour for roadside and maintenance staff to build awareness, share roadside research/field findings, and for districts to compare control programs Newsletters or fact sheets. Please attach. An electronic web space or information sharing group has been established to promote communication, updates on outbreaks, and information exchange/technology transfer
100 An agency-wide work group has been developed with representation from all regions and functional groups Systems have been developed and implemented for prevention, detection, analysis, control, and management Annual research reports, geared to field. Please attach. Methods/Practices For all projects and activities, designers and maintenance managers inventory, consider impacts of, and incorporate appropriate management techniques for priority invasive plant and animal species All construction sites are reviewed Contractors are prequalified based on experience and quality of work Dirt and gravel sources are evaluated Construction sites are pretreated before disturbance Policies are in place and enforced to minimize disturbed/opened area (construction phasing). Please attach specs and comment on effectiveness in your state: Desirable/uncontaminated topsoil is stockpiled to facilitate revegetation Badly infested material is excavated and buried All disturbed areas are restored via application of grass seed and mulch within 2 weeks of disturbance. This may require use of temporary seeding/mulching during the project and additional final restoration at the completion of construction activities in the area. Weed-free mulches are specified on all projects Inert mulch products such as straw or wood fiber are used in sensitive areas Specifications are in place on project plans and bid contracts that seed and sod sources must be free of invasives/weeds Native seed sources are specified and only regional ecotypes are used Native seed mixes use approximately native grass and forbs species per mix: Contract grown native plants have been used when economically justified Vehicles are washed before and after use Mowing occurs in an order to minimize seed transfer Biological controls (e.g., insects) are used Cultural control methods such as burning, restoration, or grazing are used Roadway shoulders are treated prior to scraping Mowing is timed to control invasive species; i.e., prior to seed maturity Handpicking of invasive species is employed in some areas All ROWs reviewed and treated annually for invasives
101 DOT has conducted a survey of other agencies/organizationsâ invasive species work, approaches, or priorities DOT participates in and partners with state noxious weed committee DOT participates in and partners with local Weed Management Areas DOT participates in watershed planning efforts DOT participates in Prevention, Early Detection, and Rapid Response and Inventory Programs. Please attach or describe: DOT partners with university to conduct state research DOT works with another agency, , to have them review and treat ROW Partnerships with others. Please attach or describe: If you have any comments on what has been the most successful/effective at your agency, please tell us here: Are the strategies your agency employs to deal with invasive species problems too limited by your lack of authority? No Yes Are the strategies your agency employs to deal with invasive species problems too limited by a lack of funding? No Yes 11. Please check any of the following departments that are involved in control of invasives and describe key actions underway: Management Planning Project development Design Construction Maintenance Also, please note what your agency is not doing that you think would make the most difference . 12. What aspects of your agencyâs work or points in the decision-making process(es) should receive more attention in order to effectively prevent and control invasive species? 13. What is your organization doing to share information across division areas and professional specialties, to address cross-cutting needs, or to take a more integrated approach? 14. Please describe any initiatives/ongoing efforts by your agency to accomplish the following, on a program level: â¢ Link identified locations of invasive species infestation to treatment plans; track whether and how treatment plans are implemented, monitor the effectiveness of treatment/control, and evaluate progress on a management level. â¢ Offer system/staff incentives for effective performance. â¢ Revise treatment plans and reallocate resources if necessary. â¢ Develop systems to document the above and continually improve. Partnerships
102 15. What is the funding stream for invasive species control in your department? General maintenance funds, no separate budget item for control of invasives Budget for Integrated Roadside Management or invasives control Other: Assessment, Inventory, and Tracking 16. Is your DOT formally identifying aspects of its activities that impact/promote invasive species? No Yes If so, please attach the tools/forms/process description you are using to do so, or end documentation produced by the process. Comment: 17. If your DOT has undertaken a statewide inventory of invasive or noxious species in the ROW: â¢ When was that completed? â¢ How is it being updated? â¢ How is it being used to guide and evaluate invasive species control efforts? â¢ Was GIS employed? No Yes â¢ Who did the field inventory work? â¢ Have you determined the rate of spread of any one weed? No Yes What rates have you determined? If your DOT has not completed such a survey: â¢ Is one in process? No Yes; if so, when will that be completed? Are interim results being used? No Yes â¢ Does the DOT plan to implement one in the future? No Yes Timeframe: Please attach a description of any ongoing efforts by your agency to locate and track invasive species in the ROW. Manuals, Innovative Methods, Rapid Response, and Restoration 18. Please describe any practices of your agency with regard to: â¢ Rapid response where populations found. â¢ Native species planting practices and restoration of invaded habitats. 19. What resources, policies, management plans, manuals, or guidelines does your DOT have to control invasive species? Please provide electronic copies or web locations, if possible.
103 Partnerships and Support 21. Where do you go for help? Universities Internet Other agencies County weed personnel Nongovernmental and/or conservation organizations Other DOTs AASHTO, NCHRP, or FHWA Chemical company representatives Other: 22. Is your DOT working with others to identify existing or emerging populations of invasives? No Yes 23. Is there an enforceable invasive species law in your state? No Yes 24. With regard to Invasive Species Councils and Task Forces : â¢ Has a statewide invasive species task force been formed in your state? No Yes â¢ Is the DOT actively involved? No Yes â¢ Do you consider the Council or Task Force a success? No Yes. Why or why not? â¢ If so, what are its key strengths, successful approaches, or accomplishments that may serve as models to others? 25. With what agencies/NGOs are you working in your state? Please identify the ways you are cooperating with each. 26. What successful, efficient strategies can you suggest/share for coordinating with others? 27. Is your agency involved in cooperative efforts across state lines? No Yes If so, please identify: 28. To what extent does your agency rely on or partner with weed management districts or weed management areas, etc? What are some of the benefits and limits of these partnerships? 20. Please describe and/or share innovative models of methods, equipment, bids, etc. With regard to various management practices, please share any innovative methods you have developed or findings you have made (including notable failures for othersâ learning benefit).
104 30. How does your agency deal with private property issues and invasives or noxious weed control? DOT does not treat private property. DOT only works on ROW or where DOT has easements or borrow areas DOT will make landowner aware of problem and let them know about other resources/programs to assist them DOT has on occasion obtained landowner permission to control on properties adjacent to the ROW Lack of up-to-date statewide invasive species inventory information hampers coordination of control efforts with others Nongovernmental and/or conservation organizations Other DOTs AASHTO, NCHRP, or FHWA Chemical company representatives Other: 31. What obstacles does your agency face in coordinating with others? 32. What is needed that would help? Technology Transfer and Training 33. How is your agency sharing lessons learned within and outside the DOT? 34. How is your agency training staff in invasive species/noxious weed control? 35. What is working best for you in training that could be utilized elsewhere? 36. Please attach a list of the research your agency has underway or has funded in the area of invasive species control. Please identify types of research, length in years, species targeted, methods explored, and other information you think may be valuable for your peers to know. What are your top five findings/discoveries in the past five years? 29. How does your agency consider/incorporate local weed lists without getting bogged down?
105 38. Do you have any examples of how invasive species control efforts streamlined other agency processes or saved money/resources? Last Questions 39. What missing links could facilitate more timely and effective (and simply greater) investment of resources to address the challenge of invasives? 40. Are you/your agency in need of successful examples from others in certain areas? If so, please describe: 41. What unaddressed opportunity areas do you see for effective control of invasives that should be explored further? Streamlining and Results 37. How would you quantify the benefits of invasive species control?