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67 Increasingly, DOTs are hiring a central staff person to coor- dinate invasive species control efforts among functional areas within the agency and to coordinate contracting and partnerships with others. CENTRAL INTEGRATED ROADSIDE VEGETATION MANAGEMENT STAFF Seventy-three percent of responding DOTs have central staff for their IRVM programs (29 states). Several states listed this as their most effective action in controlling invasive species. MDT noted that âhiring an individual to be the focal point for noxious weeds has enabled the DOT to focus on management techniques, cost-effectiveness, and inventory.â Iowa DOT reported that, although this program has been discontinued in most of the state, designating selected field personnel respon- sible for vegetation management and providing them with training, networking opportunities, and dedicated equipment was the most successful thing the agency has done for nox- ious weed control to date. In 13 states, roadside managers in each district manage planning for and awareness of invasives. OTHER STAFFING PLANS FOR ADDRESSING INVASIVES Half of state DOTs indicated that they have no particular staffing plans for addressing invasive species concerns. The 11 states (28% of total responding) that did indicate plans to address staffing needs varied widely in approach. â¢ All work is performed by state employees (Alabama and Texas). Pennsylvania uses existing roadside vege- tation management personnel to control invasive species; however, 90% of the vegetation spray applica- tions are done by contractors. For tree removal, 80% is done by contractors and 20% by department employees, with 70% of the mowing done by contractors and 30% by PennDOT. Arkansas Highways is among those that contract out some mowing to private contractors. â¢ In Arizona, some work is handled by the DOT; counties, tribes, other state and federal agencies, and volunteer groups, such as various WMAs take the lead in other areas. Cities and counties handle much of their own inva- sive species control in Nebraska, New York, and Texas. â¢ At FDOT, districts and maintenance yards decide whether to use state employees or contract out. â¢ At Mn/DOT, districts determine staffing and material needs based on weed surveys and sampling. â¢ Hawaii, Nevada, and Wyoming DOTs collaborate with the state DOAs and Invasive Species Councils to han- dle high-risk invasives or administer noxious weed con- trol programs on ROWs and perform work through local weed and pest districts. These approaches may vary by district. â¢ ODOT designated District Vegetation Management Coordinators as the primary staff for noxious weed control. Additional staffing is done on a case-by-case basis. â¢ WSDOT hired an IRVM program manager for part of the state, appointed an IVM lead technical specialist in maintenance for some areas, and hired a state horticul- turist and a new statewide roadside specialist. â¢ The U.S. Forest Service contracts out some invasives control and does other work through force accounts. Overall, private contract forces are used for some weed control by 43% of responding DOTs. Private contract forces perform all weed control at 15% of responding DOTs. Some weed control is contracted out or otherwise done by cities and counties in the case of 13 DOTs (33% of respondents). State forces handle all weed control for one- quarter of all DOTs (12 states). Partnerships with private landowners help accomplish invasive species control adja- cent to the ROW in the case of 25% of responding DOTs. A similar percentage partner with nonprofit or nongovern- mental conservation groups. Off ROW areas are maintained by four responding DOTs (10% of respondents). ODOT has been active with Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) across the state. The CWMAs are comprised of government organizations, private landowners, and non- profit and nongovernmental conservation groups, with the goal of controlling invasive plant species by combining efforts, resources, and knowledge. INVOLVEMENT OF VARIOUS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BRANCHES AND DIVISIONS Invasive species control involves a cross section of DOT pro- fessionals. Some state DOTs, such as Caltrans, have imple- mented interdisciplinary teams at the district level to address the corridor-specific needs and site-specific challenges of invasive species control. CHAPTER FIVE STAFFING,TRAINING, AND PARTNERSHIPS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES CONTROL
Invasive Species Management At DOTs, the maintenance division is most commonly involved in invasive species management (93% of all responding DOTs). Construction is involved in invasive species management at approximately one-half of DOTs. â¢ Review and specification of seed mixes (Arkansas). â¢ Development of a compliance checklist for stormwater and seeding, and development of new sections in the con- struction manual, to be followed by training (Arizona). â¢ Development of special provisions (Arizona). â¢ Development of standard specifications requiring sod, seed, mulch, and soils to be free of invasive plants and plant parts (Florida). â¢ Implementing and enforcing specifications developed by design staff, administering contracts (California, Iowa, and Minnesota), and managing plant establish- ment (Washington State). â¢ Overseeing contractors when removing invasives dur- ing construction and adherence to BMPs (Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wyoming). â¢ Isolating and often burying invasive species (Maryland and Missouri). â¢ Minimizing disturbance of roadsides, including native seeds in revegetation, and including topsoil when and where needed (Montana). â¢ Performing revegetation training for construction inspectors to ensure quality control (Texas). On a daily basis the maintenance staff is on the front lines of invasive species management on roadsides. They have been involved in a variety of ways: â¢ Mowing, spraying, and vegetation removal (all DOTs). â¢ Identification and control methods are routinely dis- cussed in annual vegetation management classes con- ducted by the Maintenance Bureau (Alabama). â¢ Development and distribution of identification charts to all district offices throughout the state (Alabama). â¢ Detection and control of high-risk invasives (Hawaii and Louisiana) and development of databases with locations of priority invasive species in the ROW (Alabama, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico), and monitoring existing populations (Missouri). â¢ Development of control programs for specific invasive species and locations in each district (Alabama, Florida, and Wisconsin). â¢ Development of a Roadside Vegetation Management Handbook, with district input (New Mexico). â¢ Maintenance of a vegetation management website, pro- viding the public with spraying and mowing schedules (New Mexico). â¢ Lead implementation of invasive species eradication, including seed head suppression with herbicides, no mow policy when seed is present, and education of 68 personnel for identification (Maryland, Minnesota, and Missouri) and on a limited basis stressing or pro- viding support for weed eradication before construc- tion (Minnesota). â¢ Development and implementation of the DOTâs IVM plan (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Washington State), including identifi- cation and management of environmentally sensitive areas (California, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas) and prioritizing resources and treating weeds accord- ingly (Iowa). â¢ Conducting in-house training on species identification, mapping, and potential control methods (Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Texas, West Virginia, and U.S. Forest Service). â¢ Distribution of funds to counties for spraying and IVM and weed control (Maryland, Wisconsin, and Wyoming). â¢ Addition of language on invasive species to specifica- tions (Hawaii). â¢ Coordination with state DOA and Invasive Species Councils to detect and treat invasions (Hawaii, Mary- land, and Wyoming). â¢ Testing of herbicides to develop BMPs for herbicide control (Mississippi). Design and Project Development Staff Design staff is involved in invasive species prevention and control efforts in 58% of responding DOTs such as: â¢ Design and specification of seed mixes (Arkansas, Col- orado, Iowa, and Nebraska) for erosion control and revegetation. Ensuring use of native or adapted species and compost in design (Texas and Washington State). â¢ Requiring weed-free mulch on projects (Nebraska). â¢ Development of guidelines for projects on U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands; establishing policy for design, construction, and maintenance (Arizona). â¢ Landscape architect development of construction plans, project-specific invasive species control strategies, and specifications (Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico). â¢ Identifying invasives to be removed on projects during construction (Connecticut). â¢ Attendance at courses by and coordination with the Uni- versity Extension Service, DOA, and others (Arizona). â¢ Development of Roadside Toolbox of specifications, tools, guidance (California) and Design Manual guide- lines (Pennsylvania). â¢ Performing research to develop methods for better suc- cess of installing and establishing native vegetation (California). â¢ Developing, implementing, and overseeing landscape plan preparation requirements, including prohibition of plants known to be invasive and notation of existing patches of invasive species on plans, so the latter can be
69 properly removed and disposed of during construction (Florida). â¢ Adding language on introduction of invasives to exist- ing specifications (Hawaii). â¢ Administering vegetation management program, de- sign of seed mixes, design of erosion control projects, and specifications, coordinating statewide seed and her- bicide purchases (Iowa). â¢ Developing Statewide Landscape Master Plan, includ- ing invasive species element (Nevada). â¢ Removing invasives as part of landscape projects (Rhode Island). Project development sections have been involved in: â¢ Project-by-project mapping and assessment (California). â¢ Preparation of invasive species sections of EAs and EISs (Iowa). â¢ Incorporation of invasive species components into Highway Project Development Process Guidelines (Minnesota). â¢ Implementing principles of the stateâs IVM and Road- side Classification Plan (Washington State). Support by Planning and Environmental Sections Planning and project development continue to be involved most infrequently; just 25% and 20% of responding DOTs, respectively, involve these sections in IVM, despite the recent changes imposed by E.O. 13112. Where planning and environmental sections have been involved, they have supported: â¢ Early weed surveys (Arizona). â¢ Project review for invasives and incorporation of weed removal as project mitigation (Connecticut) and for addressing invasives in NEPA documents (multiple). â¢ Seeding recommendations for all projects (Colorado and Wyoming). â¢ Development of policy to control all invasive species on the state highway ROW (Nebraska) or agency-wide guidance (Ohio). Management Involvement Can Propel Invasive Species Control Efforts Upper levels of management are infrequently involved in invasive species control efforts; just seven DOTs (18% of those responding) indicated they were. Where management is involved, they write policy related to vegetation management (Iowa); develop agency-wide business plans and performance measures (Maryland); or identify funding, priorities, and per- sonnel assignments (Minnesota). At NCDOT, âmanagement is very aware of the need to control invasive plants and the potential problems associated with a lack of control. Man- agement, when appropriate, reiterates the need for funding to help control these invasive plants.â Top management support of initiatives at WSDOT has helped drive invasive species control. At WisDOT, for several years, the Central Office Bureau of Highway Operations sponsored a budget initiative that allotted $400,000 to supplement the funds that each dis- trict budgeted for noxious weed control. Unfortunately, owing to severe funding limitations, districts budgets were drastically reduced and the initiative was dropped. Dedicated Annual Budget for Control of Invasives DOT maintenance divisions often receive no special budget allocation for invasive species. Spending on invasives ranged from very little to $10 million annually at PennDOT and $15 million at TxDOT on chemical vegetation control. At least 75% of all DOTs (88% of those responding, or 35 DOTs) have no annual budget for control of invasive species; all expenditures come from general maintenance funds. Only six DOTs (15%) reported specifically budgeting for IRVM or control of invasive species. Sometimes special allocations have occurred, as in Colorado, from the Transportation Com- mission, or in Wisconsin, from the Central Office Bureau of Highway Operations. Enhancement projects have also included funding for control of invasive species. In Iowa, some project funds are used to purchase materials for inva- sive species control in the project area by maintenance forces, before and after the project. Pressing safety-related maintenance needs such as snow and ice control often prevail over invasive species control in tight budgets. Some DOTs have estimated the amount of their total herbicide budgets where the product was pur- chased specifically for the control of invasive species; MoDOT estimated approximately 30%. In 2004, NYSDOT began requiring each district to redirect a portion of their operating funds to environmental stewardship activities, of which invasive species control was a primary activity. Plans, Geographic Information Systems, Research, Posters, Guidance, Fact Sheets, Signs, Tours, Personal Contact, Training, and Field Resources DOTs are taking a variety of steps to share information across division areas and professional specialties, to address cross- cutting needs, and to take a more integrated approach. Infor- mation is often exchanged informally; however, foremost among the more formal approaches are the development of organization-wide and district-specific IVM plans and GIS systems with locations of weed patches and the ability to track and assess treatments. Also common are the creation of infor- mational posters and laminated field materials (17 DOTs, 43%). Seven DOTs have developed and distributed newslet- ters or fact sheets on invasive species control. In addition, seven DOTs have developed summer field tours for roadside
and maintenance staff to build awareness, share roadside research and field findings, and for districts to compare con- trol programs. DOT landscape architects and IRVM man- agers have also developed session topics at statewide annual environmental, construction, and maintenance meetings. Other communication activities include: â¢ Meetings across functional areas, specifically environ- mental, project development, and maintenance meetings. â¢ Participation in conferences. â¢ Cooperation with design on producing permanent veg- etation control features and better designs to reduce the need for continuous vegetation control. â¢ Creation of videos and training materials. â¢ Outreach to and by landscape architects and parts of the organization involved in land management. Training workshops open to and attended by other agencies. Atten- dance in regional workshops, with other states. Coordi- nation among landscape architects and with universities. â¢ Increasing involvement of maintenance in construction and project development review. â¢ Orientation, reminders, and signage of environmentally sensitive areas in the ROW. â¢ Inclusion of a chapter on invasive species in guidance manuals related to the environment, construction, and maintenance. â¢ Development of an agency-wide work group with rep- resentation from all regions and functional groups. â¢ Establishment of an electronic web space or information sharing group to promote communication, updates on outbreaks, and information exchange and technology transfer. â¢ Annual research reports geared to each field. Particular state communication efforts have included: â¢ Formation of an Invasive Species Work Group with representatives from all regions and main office func- tional groups, accompanied by an Invasive Species Web Board to foster intra- and inter-agency communi- cation and information exchange (New York). â¢ Active DOT leadership in establishing a state Vegeta- tion Management Association, creating a cooperative effort between utilities, cities, municipalities, university researchers, manufacturers, and distributors. Various DOT managers are active on the board of directors (North Carolina). â¢ DOT hosts a Local Training Assistance Program every year that shares what the DOT is doing with other local public agencies (Ohio). â¢ Publication of an annual Roadside newsletter, fact sheets, and annual research reports, through printed and electronic means of information sharing (Pennsylvania). â¢ Annual summer roadside field tour displaying tech- niques and strategies to control invasive species to roadside and maintenance personnel. The winter and summer roadside vegetation management training 70 sessions provide educational and brainstorming oppor- tunities for roadside personnel (Pennsylvania). â¢ Performance of a âtremendous amount of research, both in-house and contracted, on invasive control, plant establishment, and plant selectionâ (Texas). â¢ Development of technical manuals for roadside mainte- nance, landscaping, seeding, control of invasive species, and establishment of native plants (Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin). â¢ Use of Internet and intranet, articles in agency quarterly reports, internal roadside meetings and conferences (New York and Wisconsin). â¢ Strong central coordination through the DOTâs state agronomist. State agronomist and maintenance pro- gram work closely with the noxious weed program. Field maintenance personnel communicate through the agronomist for any seeding recommendations and setting up products for district broadleaf and growth retardant programs. The agronomist and maintenance program are working with construction and are starting to set up additional training with Wyoming DOA to review pretreatment of proposed construction zones and gravel sources (Wyoming). â¢ National Invasives Species Issue Team meets monthly. The team includes a staff director from the National Forest System Deputy Area, a staff director from the Research Deputy Area, and a staff director from State and Private Forestry Deputy Area. There are numerous staff people from the deputy areas on the team (U.S. Forest Service). Greater Funding, Higher Level Support, and Awareness Could Help Control Invasives DOTs also identified what their agencies were not doing to help control invasives. To help accomplish these objectives, DOTs suggested: â¢ Making invasive species control a priority. Having a clear commitment or policy by upper management and consistent funding. â¢ Decision making and planning needs to be at a direc- torâs level or higher. â¢ Determining actual harm to human health, natural areas, native plant communities, or economic consider- ations in state ROW from invasive species to influence decision makers. â¢ Fostering awareness of E.O. 13112 by management and communication of the departmentâs policy or intent to staff. â¢ Having transportation engineers responsible for the decision-making process and policy adjustments at all levels attend annual meetings of the National Roadside Vegetation Managers Association. â¢ Addressing specific funding to invasives control. Ded- icating staff and resources to address the growing problem.
71 â¢ Allocating sufficient resources and equipment to time mowing when it could be most effective for invasive species control, rather than when resources and equip- ment are available, or as close as can be achieved with the resources the agency has. â¢ Training for maintenance mowing crews and for con- struction inspectors. â¢ Expanding the list of invasive species for location, monitoring, and treatment. â¢ Providing a separate budget item for invasive control and inventory of area infestation. â¢ Developing an understanding of what invasives are and what impact they are having. Greater Attention During Construction Could Reduce Long-Term Maintenance Problems As found in WSDOTâs value engineering research, greater attention to pretreatment of construction sites and materi- als source, as well as more resources and inspection support for establishment of native vegetation, could sub- stantially reduce long-term maintenance costs. DOTs iden- tified the following as activities they believed would make the most difference, but that were receiving inadequate attention: â¢ Providing more attention to monitoring of construction sites. â¢ Restricting aggregate sources for construction projects and ensuring that contractors are working closely with local weed districts before beginning work. â¢ Disturbing less roadside area and being more active in managing topsoil or ensuring quality soil placement on our roadsides to grow the kinds of vegetation we desire. â¢ Establishing a program based on roadside acreage, amount of invasive species, and funding to implement the program and then monitoring results on whether one is gaining or losing groundâis the program successful? â¢ Better inventory of priority species and a much broader and consistent approach to implementing controls and identification of more detailed prior- ities by geographic regions. Tracking populations of invasive and noxious weeds so that spray contracts can be developed that are more accurate in their application. â¢ Increasing focus and funding for seeding competitive groundcovers. â¢ Developing weed and vegetation management goals and objectives. Developing formalized plan for removal of invasives; in particular, have a statewide plan of attack for top five invasives. â¢ Better coordination of areas and weed mapping. â¢ Having someone in each district whose position is devoted to vegetation management. â¢ Incentives and educational programs to the adjacent land owners; grants or additional budget items to con- trol invasive plants on private land. â¢ Including invasive species components in the federal funding review process for new projects. â¢ Shifting efforts from trying to control the uncontrol- lable species listed in state statutes, which are primarily agricultural weeds, to controlling new invasives before they become uncontrollable; that is, early detection and rapid response. â¢ Developing procedures in preliminary field engineering guidelines to make contact with local weed and pest districts to ensure that project areas and gravel sources are reviewed and treated before soil disturbance. Making sure this process is used on a regular basis. FINDING ASSISTANCE AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT DOTs draw on internal as well as external resources when seeking assistance and technical support, and to make con- crete progress toward control of invasives. Figure 8 illustrates the range of different sources DOTs use and the percentage of respondents using those sources. Department of Transportation Maintenance, Construction, and Landscape Architects When asked which sections of their organization needed assistance, all parts of the organization were mentioned as needing more support: 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Pe rc e n ta ge o f r es po nd en ts Pr iva te fo rc e s u se d fo r so m e w e e d co nt ro l So m e we e d co nt ro l co n tra ct ed o ut St at e fo rc e s ha nd le a ll w e e d co nt ro l Pa rtn er sh ip s wi th p riv a te la nd ow n e rs Pa rtn er sh ip s wi th n on -p ro fit gr o u ps Pr iva te fo rc e s u se d fo r a ll we e d co nt ro l O ff RO W a s we ll FIGURE 8 Department of transportation work force mix for invasive species control.
â¢ Design engineers and environmental analysts, â¢ Biological input/support in construction and mainte- nance, â¢ Landscape architects and landscape supervisors, â¢ Erosion engineers, and â¢ Maintenance staff. Maintenance was mentioned most often as needing sup- port, with landscape architects and construction staff men- tioned next most often. Public agencies managing invasive species and/or public lands have been advised to provide pro- ficient weed management expertise at each administrative unit; expertise means that necessary skills are available and corporate knowledge is maintained. When asked what would help staff who needed further support, DOTs mentioned the following: â¢ More resources, funds, and full-time employees for invasive species; the maintenance and construction costs of landscaping; and to identify and treat outbreaks. â¢ Awareness and training on species identification and management. â¢ Training and funding to conduct controlled burns to accelerate prairie establishment and maintenance. â¢ Certified personnel available to conduct spray programs. â¢ Research, because the agency is âstill experimenting with seed mix prescriptions to determine what works where.â â¢ Lists of salt and pollution-tolerant plants. â¢ Comprehensive/integrated (re)vegetation management plan(s). â¢ Additional training on the state of the practice. â¢ Training on revegetation practices. â¢ Vegetation management support in each district and region office. â¢ Clearinghouse that provides information on native seed suppliers and the latest research. â¢ Contact information of other DOT personnel for net- working. Other needs that were identified included âthe freedom to approach problems proactively rather than only reactivelyâ and âdirectives to do what the E.O. requires.â Other Agencies and Universities Offer Technical Support When in need of assistance regarding invasive species con- trol and restoration, more than three-quarters of invasive species leaders at DOTs go to other agencies or to univer- sities; the latter most often perform testing and studies (see Figure 9). Chemical company representatives also offer assistance; 68% of responding DOTs turn to them. Other DOTs are a resource for more than half (60%) of DOTs. Program leaders also find what they can on the Internet (50% of respondents). County weed personnel are con- tacted for information or assistance by more than one-third 72 of all state DOTs (38% of respondents), whereas AASHTO, FHWA, and NCHRP are contacted by 33%. Nongovern- mental organizations (NGOs) or conservation organiza- tions served as resources to a similar percentage (33%) of DOTs. Interagency weed management groups, vegetation management associations, and mowing and brush cutting equipment distributors also provide support. PARTNERSHIPS IDENTIFY AND CONTROL NEW AND EXISTING POPULATIONS Eighty-five percent of responding DOTs (34 states) are working with others outside the agency to identify existing or emerging populations of invasives. Just 10% said they were not. State DOTs are working with WMAs, regional associations and councils, other federal and state land man- agement agencies, and entities that may be able to provide technical support or concrete assistance like agriculture departments, U.S. Geological Survey, and various NGOs. Figure 10 shows some of the most common partnerships. State Invasive Species Councils or Task Forces Are Most Common Partnership The most common DOT partnerships for invasive species control are DOT participation on State Invasive Species Councils/Task Forces or state noxious weed committees (25 DOTs, 63% of total responding). More than 40% of DOTs (17) partner with universities to conduct research. Western states comprise most of the 25% of DOTs that partner with local WMAs. Ten states (25% of responding DOTs) address invasive species issues through watershed planning efforts. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Pe rc e n ta ge o f r es po nd en ts O th er a ge nc ie s Un ive rs iti es Ch em ica l c om pa ny re ps . O th er D OT s In te rn e t Co un ty w e e d pe rs on ne l AA SH TO , N CH RP , o r FH W A N G O s/ co ns er va tio n o rg an iza tio ns FIGURE 9 DOT information sources for invasive species control.
73 Three DOTs have conducted a survey of other agencies and organizationsâ invasive species work, approaches, or pri- orities. Other partnerships include those with: â¢ Herbicide manufacturers and vendors in test plots to find control options. â¢ Universities on research on specific control methods. â¢ Weed control associations on the state or regional level. â¢ Local weed district and WMAs. â¢ The Nature Conservancy to control weeds in the ROW and work with landowners of adjacent properties and natural areas. Partnerships with Other Agencies Twenty-five percent of responding DOTs work with another agency to have them review and treat the ROWs. For example, Hawaii DOT has the state DOA and Invasive Species Council handle high-risk invasives. WYDOT and NDOT administer noxious weed control programs on ROWs through their state DOAs and perform work through local weed and pest districts. Maryland State Highway Administration, New Hampshire DOT, and ODOT also work with their state DOAs to have them review and treat the ROW. Caltrans does the same with county agricultural commissioners, as does Alaska Depart- ment of Transportation and Public Facilities with its DNR Plant Materials Center. Eight DOTs (20% of respondents) participate in prevention, early detection, and rapid response and inventory programs with other agencies or organizations. In addition to its statewide focus on four priority inva- sive species, NYSDOT is a key partner in the APIPP. Five partners are cooperating agencies: NYSDOT, Invasive Plant Council of New York State, Adirondack Nature Con- servancy, New York State Adirondack Park Agency, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The agencies share an MOU for advancing regional, coor- dinated invasive plant species initiatives under the umbrella of the APIPP. Private landowners, local communities, and volunteers also participate and keep track of and take action to control invasive aquatic and terrestrial plants. With few access routes, the Adirondacks are one place in New York where preventative measures to control invasive species can be taken before widespread infestations are established. Priority aquatic species for the partners include Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, and curlyleaf pondweed. Pur- ple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, common reed, and gar- lic mustard are on its terrestrial list. These species have been found to affect native plant and wildlife populations; impair recreational access to and use of land and water- ways; reduce property values; negatively affect tourism, fishing, and boating opportunities; are easily spread by human activities; and are extremely difficult and costly to remove (115). NYSDOTâs role in the APIPP is outlined in the inter- agency MOU and includes the following (116): â¢ Conducts control activities within Interstate and state highway ROWs. â¢ With the appropriate releases, conducts control activi- ties on private lands adjacent to the departmentâs ROW. â¢ Collects requested data regarding location, species, and control methods. â¢ Develops guidance, specifications, training materials, and BMPs that reduce or eliminate the introduction and spread of invasive species within the ROWs. â¢ Utilizes species location information for BMPs when designing, constructing, and maintaining Interstate and state highway systems within the park. â¢ Seeks continued federal funding for research on inva- sive plant management issues. â¢ Develops a written annual work schedule committing to invasive plant species management within the ROWs in the park at the annual late winter partnersâ meeting. â¢ Provides status reports regarding the previous item at the annual summer and early winter partnersâ meetings. â¢ Provides invasive plant species awareness and manage- ment training to appropriate state DOT staff. â¢ Identifies invasive plant biomass disposal and transfer areas at local residencies and other department- controlled facilities. â¢ Coordinates with local municipal maintenance and transportation departments on highway BMPs that would be implemented on nonstate highways and roads. â¢ Assists maintenance of Terrestrial Invasive Plant Project database: documents new infestations, docu- ments management controls implemented on existing FIGURE 10 DOT partnerships for invasive species control. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Pe rc e n ta ge o f r es po nd en ts Su rv ey o f o th er a ge nc ie sâ in va si ve s pe cie s wo rk Pr ev e n tio n, e ar ly de te ct io n, a n d ra pi d re sp on se O th er s W a te rs he d pl an ni ng e ffo rts An ot he r a ge nc y W e e d M an ag em en t A re as Un ive rs ity St at e No xi ou s W e e d Co m m itt ee
infestations, and produces maps for APIPP website and participants. Some DOTs indicated that their partnerships are currently limited; however, that they anticipate a more active exchange with other agencies, the U.S. Forest Service, and tribal lands in the future. Coordination actions form components of the state DOTâs IVM plan in Montana. Links to state organiza- tions with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradica- tion of invasive species are available on-line. Partnerships with Nongovernmental Organizations and Quasi-Governmental Organizations Approximately one-quarter of DOTs turn to NGOs or conservation organizations when in need of assistance. Links to professional and nonprofit organizations with an interest in invasive species control are available on-line. State NHPs are available through NatureServeâs website. DOTs indicated that they are working with the following NGOs and quasi-governmental organizations: â¢ WMAs; â¢ Statewide committees for noxious weed management; â¢ State NHPs; â¢ Universities and extension services; â¢ The Nature Conservancy; â¢ Native plant and wildflower societies; â¢ Crop Improvement Associations, to provide the DOT with quality assurance for yellow tag native seed and certified weed-free mulch; and â¢ Local working groups and restoration enthusiasts. A number of innovative partnerships have been devel- oped. Some of the most well-known are those with The Nature Conservancy; in particular, NYSDOTâs APIPP program. In the environmentally sensitive Adirondack Park, NYSDOT regional maintenance staff, the Adiron- dack Park Agency, and the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy have jointly initiated a demonstration knotweed control program. The pilot demonstration proj- ect involves hand cutting individual knotweed plants, properly disposing of the harvested plants, and using NYSDOT-certified herbicide applicators to swab the resid- ual cut knotweed stems. This project incorporates a train- ing component by inviting local Department of Public Works maintenance workers and resource agency staff to observe and participate. Partnerships with Weed Management Areas or Districts Some agencies, such as Arizona DOT, rely extensively on weed management districts or areas and cite work with 74 these entities as one of their most effective strategies for controlling invasive species. One reason supplied was the DOTâs âlack of funding, resources, and commitment.â Cal- trans, for example, relies on local WMAs to identify areas of focus so that limited resources can be combined. NDOT uses established weed districtsâ labor and materials on a reimbursable, for spraying agency ROWs. NDOT provides Weed Management Associations with a contact at the agency. NYSDOT relies heavily on Weed Management Associations and calls them âthe best example of a Landscape-Level approach to invasive plant managementâ in the state. ODOT is involved with the Jordan Valley Partnership, a combination of county, state, and federal agencies that pooled resources to control vegetation that has been very successful and in place for several years. WYDOT relies heavily on its DOA and County Weed and Pest districts for invasives identification, inventory, and treatment, in addi- tion to participating with some local WMAs through WYDOT district staff. Iowa DOT maintains communica- tion with county and state weed commissioners, the exten- sion service, and the DNR when finding new invasive weeds. WSDOT is involved with state and local weed boards. Other DOTs cooperate more occasionally with Weed Management Associations with or partners with them little or not at all. A number of DOTs are aware of only one or none in their state. Benefits of Partnerships with Weed Management Areas and Districts DOTs identified a large number of benefits with partnerships with WMAs and districts. â¢ Outreach and education; â¢ Maximal use of resources (funding, personnel, and equipment) and coordination of efforts for the highest priorities in the area; â¢ Control of infestations that cross property lines; â¢ Knowledge, expertise, networking, common goals, synergy, and relationship building; and â¢ Risk taking. Nevada noted that most of the counties in the state do not have staff available to provide control measures and therefore the Weed Management Associations help fill in the gap. Challenges in Working with Weed Management Areas and Districts Many DOTs noted that the lack of focus derived from too many groups, lists, and different agendas has diffused the effectiveness of partnering with WMAs and districts. In some areas, the goals of the Noxious Weed District, may be different than that of the transportation agencies. The most commonly cited limitation with such partnerships was a lack of adequate resources; DOTs were often viewed as
75 having the most to contribute. However, local weed lists are particularly important in states such as California, with notable climate gradations within small areas. According to research for the NISC, all groups established to address early detection and rapid response to invasive species should have clear, unique goals and lines of commu- nication to and support for field activities (18). Proliferating groups, committees, task forces, etc., may find it difficult to avoid redundancy and spending undue time on coordination. The fire management system provides a useful model where there is a central âbackboneâ system with clearly related, hierarchical tiers; all working groups, boards, teams, etc., have clear relationships with the central backbone and its function (18). Information management, funding, and inter- agency coordination are all aspects that benefit from central coordination. Considering and Incorporating Local Weed Lists States or other areas with diverse climates and geology often require local lists of invasive species. DOTs had a number of suggestions for how to consider and incorporate local weed lists without getting bogged down: â¢ Prioritize. â¢ Maintain a local focus; base district efforts on local pri- orities. At the other end of the spectrum, âdonât incorpo- rate local lists unless definitive research has been done to show the harmful effects of the plant to roadsides.â â¢ Eliminate invasives from DOT plant lists. â¢ âWe try to honor requests but we are only required to control the 11 plants on the state prohibited noxious weed list. Some counties elevate weeds from the state secondary list to prohibited noxious weed status by County Board action.â â¢ Keep a common list available, posted, and current or just consider local lists as guidance. A few DOTs have opted not to incorporate local weed lists within the agencyâs list of priorities. One DOT noted that a drawback of many lists, âwhich are more or less dif- ferent peopleâs perceived invasives lists,â is the confusion and resistance that they can create in the landscape industry. Some DOTs have opted to only use the state noxious weed lists issued by the state DOA or other official list maintained by the state. These lists frequently focus on agricultural weeds rather than a broader set of invasive species. Lists issued by statewide invasive species control councils, also used by DOTs, may be more inclusive. Sample Department of Transportation Cooperative Efforts with Weed Management Areas and Districts State DOTs can cite a variety of cooperative efforts with WMAs and districts. Caltrans Partnerships with Weed Management Districts Caltrans partnerships with weed management districts are sometimes formalized in agreements, which oblige Caltrans to perform actions such as the following: â¢ Educate Caltrans employees about noxious weeds, their identification, methods of control, and prevention. â¢ When available, provide data on noxious weed infesta- tions on Caltrans ROWs property to the County Agri- cultural Commissionerâs Office. â¢ Identify high-risk pathways of noxious weed introduc- tion onto Caltrans-maintained roads and highways. â¢ Promote and implement elements of integrated weed management to prevent the establishment and spread of noxious weeds in the county or district. â¢ Cooperate with agencies and landowners in joint pro- grams and projects to prevent, control, and eradicate noxious weeds. â¢ Provide assistance with grant proposals to fund noxious weed control programs. WYDOT MOU with Agriculture Department and County Weed and Pest Districts By 2001, WYDOT had inspected 95% of all state and federal centerlane-miles for invasive species, the result of an effort begun in 1985 as an MOU with the state Agriculture Depart- ment and County Weed and Pest Districts to control inva- sives in public ROWs. The inspection and tracking effort resulted in the spraying of 4,600 ROW acres and the use of native, competitive plants for revegetation since 1991. WYDOT has required certified mulches on construction projects since 1986, a proactive approach that has saved sig- nificant funds (76). Coordinated WMAs in New Mexico In 2001, New Mexico Highway and Transportation Department and 32 other groups signed an MOU request- ing that all levels of land managers participate and support CWMAs covering the state. The signatories of the agree- ment jointly inventory, manage, prevent, and eradicate whenever possible, plants designated as noxious pursuant to the New Mexico Noxious Weed Management Act of 1978, using the New Mexico Strategic Plan for Managing Invasive species, as a basis for coordination. New Mexico built on the experiences of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. New Mexico Highway and Transporta- tion Department implements Noxious Weed Management Plans for individual projects and is reviewing mainte- nance strategies to further improve its weed reduction efforts.
Partnerships with Private Landowners State DOTs have a number of mechanisms for partnering with private landowners; however, an informal âgood neigh- borâ policy with adjacent landowners is the most common. Often, the DOT will advise a landowner when we are treat- ing an invasive so that they may take action at the same time (Mississippi). Some landowners request no-spray zones that the DOT honors as long as the landowners fulfill their agree- ment to control the prohibited invasive species in these areas (Minnesota). Cooperative Efforts Across State Lines Approximately one-third of all DOTs (15 states) reported that they were involved in cooperative efforts across state lines. Examples of these efforts include the following: â¢ Mississippi is spearheading a regional invasive species alliance in which Alabama DOT will be participating. â¢ Research funding of biological control for various inva- sive species (California). â¢ Multistate, multiagency coordination effort for priori- tizing and mapping Sahara mustard (California). â¢ Sharing news regarding new invasives, priority inva- sives, and treatment (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah). â¢ Participation in cross-border councils and/or annual conferences (New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wash- ington State, Wisconsin). â¢ Working on a reciprocal agreement on the use of certi- fied weed-free mulch to expand the market and make it more attractive for producers (Illinois, Iowa, Min- nesota, and Wisconsin). â¢ Partnering international organizations may be located on-line. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Commission and Delaware Basin are examples of other widely known multi- state efforts. Department of Transportation Partnerships with Utilities Recently, NCDOT began working cooperatively with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Division and utility companies to erad- icate a site of purple loosestrife found on a utility easement that crossed the DOT ROW. This initiative is on-going as annual inspection tours are conducted to control any newly germinated seed. Utility companies have also pioneered no-spray agree- ments with landowners, which have been models for DOTs. In the summer of 1998, utility companies in North 76 Carolina reached a private agreement with landowners regarding management of their 75,000 miles of ROWs. The agreement, which does not have the force of regula- tion, was sparked by complaints to the state pesticide board regarding the North Carolina utility companies decision to begin broadcast spraying of their ROWs. Organic farmers and people concerned over the use of herbicide demanded that the state pesticide board require the utilities to request permission from landowners to spray herbicides on adja- cent ROWs. The state pesticide board asked the utilities and complainants to sit down together and devise an agree- ment among themselves. The final agreement, accepted by all parties, with petitioners represented by the Agricultural Resources Center, requires utilities to include inserts about their herbicide use in customer bills. The inserts include the names and descriptions of the chemicals, how they are applied, and sources for additional information about the applications. The inserts do not disclose spray schedules. The agreement also gives state residents the right to refuse herbicide use on their property, and individuals can post their property with no spraying signs provided by the util- ities. For those opting for no-spray agreements, the utili- ties will still maintain the ROW by mechanical means without extra charge to the individual landowner. Carolina Power & Light voluntarily sends notices to its customers in South Carolina regarding ROW herbicide applications as well (117). BLM, U.S. Forest Service, FWS, and National Park Ser- vice are currently working with the Edison Electric Institute to develop an MOU for vegetation treatments along utility corridors. DEALING WITH PRIVATE PROPERTY ISSUES As indicated in Figure 11, when asked how their agency deals with private property issues and invasives or noxious 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Pe rc en ta ge o f re sp on de nt s D o no t t re a t p riv a te pr op er ty M a ke la n do wn er a w a re o f p ro bl em O bt a in la n do wn er pe rm iss io n FIGURE 11 Private property treatment.
77 weed control, nearly three-quarters of the responding DOTs (29 states) stated that they do not treat private property; how- ever, 25% of responding state DOTs will make landowners aware of any problems and inform them of other resources and programs to assist them. Six DOTs (15%) have on occa- sion obtained landowner permission to control invasives on properties adjacent to the ROW. NCDOT is one of those that noted that it will work cooperatively with private landowners on request. Some DOTs noted that they rely on Weed Management Associ- ations and volunteer groups to coordinate with property owners. Others do their best to cooperate with adjacent landowners; one said, â[i]f our âgood neighborsâ are trying to control invasiveâwe try to help them out on our side of the fence.â WYDOT noted that their agency will treat private lands where the agency has easements for snow fence, materials, or borrow areas. On occasion, NYSDOT has obtained written landowner releases to con- trol invasive plant populations that have spread beyond the DOT ROW. Not having up-to-date statewide invasive species inventory information limits the prioritization of management activities by NYSDOT because coordina- tion with control efforts by others adjacent or nearby to ROW is hampered. When a DOT cannot treat private property and no noxious weed law compels private landowners to control invasives on their property, some agencies noted that it does little good to control the inva- sives on the ROW. WisDOT has resolved the problem by only controlling weeds where the landowner is controlling them on his or her side of the fence, to concentrate resources where they will do the most good. This has worked because WisDOTâs control efforts are currently directed at weeds that are primarily agricultural. OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE COORDINATION The decentralized approach to invasive species control is one of the biggest obstacles to effective coordination and control of invasives. A patchwork of different state and local laws and shifting state administration priorities or level of emphasis on invasive species control complicates both con- trolling the invasives and working with one another, despite the benefit of faster communication mechanisms. In July 2001, the GAO reported to Congress on various obstacles to federal rapid responses to the growing threat of invasive species (118). GAO found that, in general, species that threaten agricultural crops or livestock have elicited a faster response than those affecting forestry, rangelands, aquatic areas, or natural areas. More than 20 federal agen- cies have responsibility for some aspect of invasive species management. Invasive species are not specifically identified in the missions of many agencies. Within the Departments of Agriculture and Interior that have these missions, many priorities compete for scarce resources. According to GAO, the major obstacle to rapid response is the lack of a national system to address invasive species. Other factors involved included (118): â¢ Federal agency funding and authorities vary; â¢ Federal response to invasives that threaten natural areas has been minimal; â¢ APHIS does the most rapid response, focusing on crops and livestock; â¢ Invasives that threaten natural areas receive less funds than those that threaten crops and livestock; â¢ Where rapid response has not occurred, costly conse- quences follow; â¢ Additional detection systems are needed for earlier identification; â¢ Stronger federal, state, and local partnerships can help; â¢ Enhanced technologies and additional research are needed; and â¢ Rapid response depends on the centrality of invasive species to an agencyâs mission. Because many agencies do not have responsibility or mis- sion for rapid response, the report suggests that a coordinated approach nationwide is needed to ensure that invasive species get a level of attention commensurate with their risks. The NISC agreed with GAO and new emphasis is being placed on that area. The Department of Homeland Security has recently joined NISC, and FWS now leads the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Departments of Transportation Identify Their Primary Coordination Obstacles The 40 state DOTs that participated in this research identi- fied a number of obstacles in their attempts to coordinate with others to achieve effective invasive species control. â¢ Lack of authority outside the ROW and treatment of invasive plants only within the ROW. Acquiring a complete list of representative species and working with private landowners to spray their fence lines adjacent to DOT ROWs. Uncooperative landowners, absentee landowners, etc. â¢ Permit requirements and liability issues if others work on ROW. â¢ Communication and varying priorities among different agencies. Assessment of weeds, perception of different species, politics, and personalities. â¢ Who to coordinate with, different inventory approaches, and accuracies. â¢ Inadequate internal expertise. â¢ Lack of a statewide plan. â¢ Few agencies have a dedicated invasive species contact person. â¢ Lack of dedicated funding hampers follow-up. â¢ Many of the meetings occur outside of normal work times so it is difficult for employees to attend.
â¢ Very little assistance is available from others to control invasive species. â¢ Public awareness. Departments of Transportation Recommended Solutions DOTs recommended the following to help address the chal- lenges they identified previously: â¢ Formal statewide IVM plan and weed management policies. A master plan reflecting consensus on strat- egy, mapping protocol, inventory, and dollars to imple- ment the plan. â¢ More certainty with the long-term direction of the state invasive species council. â¢ Someone in each district whose position is dedicated to vegetation management. â¢ Faster response from upper management with go-ahead to carry out staffâs ideas. â¢ Increased resourcesâdollars, equipment, personnel, especially federal funding. â¢ Increased emphasis by upper management and/or a state executive order. â¢ Creation of state weed lists where none currently exist. â¢ Public education. â¢ Incentives. â¢ A statewide weed board with fines for noncompliance. â¢ Money to buy herbicides for the private landowner, as is done in some states. Source would most likely be DOA. DOT recommendations regarding successful, efficient strategies for coordinating with others include the following: â¢ Participate actively in groups. Network and have open communications. â¢ Establish a leader. â¢ Focus on common issues and âwork the best you can around the funding.â â¢ Provide a place for âone stop shoppingâ for communi- cation and information sharing on the state level. â¢ Communicate with all groups. Have a local DOT repre- sentative participate in the local weed management group. â¢ Participate in landscape-level approaches, such as WMAs and conservation programs. â¢ Build on the strengths of each other. â¢ Involve community in planting of roadside restoration projects. In Mississippi, the state DOA provided herbicides for pri- vate landowners to treat cogongrass, which successfully raised public awareness and involvement in the political process, including invasive species control. WYDOTâs âgreatest success has been in partnering with and developing an MOU with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, 78 Weed & Pest Control section. They are the agency that is statutorily responsible for administering the Wyoming Weed and Pest Act. This allows us to rely heavily on their expertise and relationship with the county weed & pest staffs, thereby reducing redundant efforts on our part.â One DOT noted that the âtransfer of information between resource groups evolves from the federal government groups down to the local level.â Articles in the summer 2001 Issues in Science and Tech- nology (7) and a subsequent article in FHWAâs Greener Roadsides (119) discuss the need for a National Center for Biological Invasions to ensure that the United States is bet- ter prepared to respond to new invasions and to mange existing. Given the challenges presented by a necessary multijurisdictional response, the authors suggest a model akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. Both organizations monitor their problem, work on prevention and management, and do so as the problems emerge in a region or nationally. A national center could help increase effectiveness of invasive species control efforts by (119): â¢ Coordinating early detection and rapid response to new invaders among agencies; â¢ Addressing homeland security concerns; â¢ Enhancing coordination of prevention and control efforts; â¢ Increasing information exchange among scientists and technicians; â¢ Integrating, tracking, and sharing university-based research, and using diverse communications methods for public education about invasions; â¢ Helping coordinate surveillance and tracking new invasions; â¢ Assisting existing weed networks and building on exist- ing frameworks and partnerships; â¢ Ensuring correct species identification; and â¢ Defining economic impacts and more. DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION LESSONS LEARNED REGARDING INTERNAL COMMUNICATION AND OWNERSHIP DOTs use internal meetings, internal training, attendance at conferences, communication and networking within and out- side the agency, e-mail, phone calls, interdisciplinary work- ing groups, and partnerships with others to share lessons learned within and beyond the DOT regarding invasive species control. Other mechanisms include: â¢ Annual Vegetation Management Classes/Conference conducted by the DOT, often the Maintenance Bureau (Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Texas). â¢ Individual Vegetation Management Update Training Session, Sprayer Inspection, and Calibration, pre-season meetings (Maryland and Minnesota).
79 â¢ DOT Environmental School/Academy (Minnesota) reaches design and construction. â¢ Periodic Vegetation Management Newsletters sent out from the Maintenance Bureau (Alabama). â¢ Articles in general/environmental newsletters distrib- uted by the DOT (Arkansas and Texas). â¢ Changes in specifications (California). â¢ Networking between District and Central Office, and with other entities and peers (Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, and Texas). â¢ Pilot efforts/research (Florida). â¢ Information posted on web board/pages (California and New York). Mn/DOT developed the following best practices for pro- moting an IRVM philosophy internally (120). Legislative Considerations â¢ Communicate to the legislature that IRVM is a worth- while investment that will result in lower maintenance life-cycle costs. To do so, initial costs must be presented clearly in relation to long-term savings with innovative technologies. â¢ Maintenance funding must be dedicated at a reasonable base level for accomplishment of all critical mainte- nance and some preventive maintenance activities. Upper Management â¢ Communicate the role that IRVM can play as a problem- solving tool for roadsides. â¢ Provide the necessary links with design and construc- tion personnel when constructing the roadway. Maintenance Supervisors â¢ Recognize that these individuals are the primary resources for motivation, coordination, guidance, train- ing, and follow through on an IRVM program. â¢ Develop a management system that includes necessary record-keeping and cost-tracking components for mea- surement and evaluation. â¢ Require these staff members to develop and imple- ment relevant technology and computer applications for the implementation and practice of the IRVM program. Maintenance Staff â¢ Hire, train, and dedicate crews for roadside maintenance. â¢ Inspire crew members and motivate them to learn and continuously improve the quality of roadsides in their care. â¢ Recognize those individuals and crews that succeed in improving their roadside environment. TRAINING APPROACHES Fourteen DOTs (35% of respondents) provide training for all maintenance forces on invasive species identification, con- trol, and expectations. Some DOTs conduct annual vegeta- tion management classes (Alabama, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington State) or revegetation training for construction inspectors (Texas). DOA and DNR specialists have also helped conduct train- ing at DOTs and with county roadside maintenance staff. In some states, DOT environmental services sections, landscape architects, and agronomists have conducted invasive species identification and control practices to successfully raise aware- ness. In some states, resource agencies or the state NHPs have conducted such training. DOT agronomists, landscape archi- tects, and maintenance supervisors have also conducted brief- ings on DOT invasive species eradication trials and results. Training sessions may utilize handouts, live plants, site visits, powerpoint presentations, and discussion. WSDOT conducts annual training for all state vegetation management personnel; area meetings are held bi-annually to review and refine IVM plans. Attendance at external training workshops and confer- ences is also an important source of training for DOTs. FDOT sends notifications of external training to all maintenance yards. Herbicide representatives also provide training. Some of the most effective training is provided on an ongo- ing basis, taking advantage of as many occasions and forms as possible. In addition to special classes by environmental spe- cialists or landscape architects, district shop meetings, and annual construction and maintenance meetings provide train- ing opportunities. NCDOT conducts on-site tours and presen- tations during various conferences, in addition to presenting identification materials to division personnel on a regular basis. DOTs shared ideas and recommendations on what is working best for their agencies that could be used elsewhere. â¢ Advocate for forming formal partnerships (Arkansas). â¢ Include project development, design, construction, maintenance, management, and/or planning in invasive species control training courses (Arizona). Get design- ers involved and aware of their role (Texas). â¢ Conduct field trips and a weed training school (Col- orado). Identification works best when conducted in the field so that personnel can feel and examine the plants (Mississippi). On-site tours are best, as first- hand experience is critical to successful control (Mis- souri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington State). â¢ Become involved with the organizations that put on the annual training, such as the state Vegetation Manage- ment Association, and work with them to model the training to best meet the needs of your state and the department (Florida).
â¢ Conduct field training at university research sites (Indi- ana). Share research with university (North Carolina). â¢ Promote interest in plants through inclusion of informa- tion relevant to home and farm (livestock toxicity, human health concerns, ethnobotany, etc.). For identifi- cation, use live plant samples as well as images, includ- ing similar looking species in self-corrected quizzes about identification and status; that is, noxious weed, invasive weed, other weed, and wildflower (Iowa). â¢ Identify targeted weed species and include input from representatives of the chemical industry (Louisiana). â¢ Conduct annual training sessions at each maintenance shop (Maryland). â¢ Conduct informal field training sessions entailing âlearning by doing.â The next best concept is pulling together small informal groups of 20 to 25 maintenance staff (supervisors and front-line workers) for interactive sessions, as is done each spring for âPesticide Applica- tor Pre-Season Meetings.â An agenda can be followed to ensure consistent messages for key items; however, allow time for informal, constructive, and facilitated dialogue regarding issues and concerns of the local area (Minnesota). Crew-level meetings appear to work the best (Oregon). â¢ Take the time to work on plant identification. Road- side alerts and/or newsletters help (Missouri and Pennsylvania). â¢ Provide DOT examples of successful and unsuccessful management techniques (New York). â¢ Work with your Local Technical Assistance Program (Ohio). â¢ Educate people in the wide variety of seed transport methods. For example, weed seed may stick to clothing when walking through weed-infested areas. â¢ Train road maintenance staff and utility truck operators to recognize weeds and report locations to the local weed specialist. Inventory weed infestations and sched- ule them for treatment. â¢ Develop weed-awareness programs for local residents, fishing and hunting license holders, the visiting public, and staff members of the different county, state, and federal agencies. Photographs and control tips for various species are widely available on the web. Furthermore, many resources developed by your state extension service or partner entities may be used in DOT training efforts. Short training courses relevant to Invasive Species Man- agement include the FWSâ Integrated Approach to Invasive Species Management (4 days) at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Courses focused on plants include the following: â¢ Control Methods for Invasive Plants (one day). New England Wild Flower Society, Framingham, Massachusetts. 80 â¢ Aquatic Weed Control Short Course (1 week, given annually). University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Office of Conferences and Insti- tutes, Gainesville, Florida. â¢ Noxious Weed Management Short Course (1 week, given each April), Weed Management Services, Helena, Montana (e-mail: email@example.com). â¢ Short training course on invasive marine species of San Francisco Bay and the central California coast, Univer- sity of California, Davis, and other institutions. PUBLIC OUTREACH Educating range managers, landowners, workers on the land, and the general public about their role in monitoring and con- trolling the problem increases the success of a vegetation management program. A successful plan to address invasive species issues depends on the publicâs understanding and acceptance of the actions needed to protect our valuable resources. To that end, a wide variety of education, outreach, and training programs are needed to help motivate people to take action and raise awareness of the causes of establish- ment and consequences of invasive species. E.O. 13112 directs federal agencies to promote public education and awareness on invasive species, as well as actions to minimize their impacts. Because many people are unaware that their actions can result in the introduction and spread of invasive species, edu- cation and outreach programs constitute an important line of defense for prevention and control. New Hampshire DOT, for example, considers awareness building, literature publi- cation and distribution, and public outreach in general to be their most effective mechanism(s) for combating invasive species. Mn/DOT developed the following best practices for promoting an IRVM philosophy and associated public involvement (120): â¢ Educate the public on why and how roadsides are man- aged, including the reasons for roadside vegetation management in relation to functional roadway objec- tives, surrounding land use, the overall ecosystem, nat- ural processes, and applied technologies. â¢ Communicate an appreciation for the beauty of self- sustaining, low-maintenance roadsides. â¢ Communicate the cost savings realized through lower life-cycle maintenance costs, less negative environ- mental impact, and efficient use of tax dollars. Bounty programs in Montana successfully involved the community in a cost-effective monitoring and early treat- ment program for newly invading spotted knapweed (121). This bounty program encouraged monitoring by providing a $5 reward for every unmapped infestation and $50 if the
81 âbounty hunterâ could persuade the landowner to control knapweed infestations. During its first year, Stillwater County reported a $4,500 savings in the county weed budget. These bounty programs were successful in finding and treat- ing newly invading weeds; however, for widespread weeds the program was modified by educating local high school stu- dents to help with weed control efforts. In Columbus, Montana, high school students have been involved in weed control efforts since 1990. Students map weed infestations using aerial photographs, study and moni- tor biocontrol insects and pathogens, and work on DNA test- ing and biotechnology. This investment in the education of young people results in greater public awareness, which con- tributes to a concerted effort against weeds (122). With regard to external communication and information exchange, DOTs recommended the following as part of this survey effort: â¢ Information exchange with various volunteer weed management groups (Arizona). â¢ Regional and national meetings, such as Roadside Veg- etation Managers Association and regional invasive species control meetings (California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas). â¢ Systems to share species location and control methods with counties and others (Iowa). â¢ Local Technical Assistance Program (Ohio). EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES, INFORMATION SOURCES, AND DATABASES Educational resources are available on-line at www. invasivespecies.org and include: â¢ Invasive species educational resources, hosted by the National Science Foundation, Center for Integrated Pest Management. â¢ Conference proceedings, conferences, and workshops. â¢ A large number of frequently asked questions on gen- eral topics, and a wide variety of aquatic species, plants, animals, and microbes. The gateway to federal and state invasive species programs and activities also maintains a library of publications, including CD-ROM products, educational resources for K-12 students, general publi- cations and reports, government and organization fact sheets, newsletters, bibliographies, books and mono- graphs, and scientific journal articles. Bibliographies by state or other geographic region are also available, as well as a wide range of invasive species databases. FHWA and other organizations have compiled on-line resources for the control of invasive species (9). Resources from The Nature Conservancy include, but are not limited to: â¢ Element Stewardship Abstracts, which summarize the existing literature on a given plant and provide detailed information on life history, control methods, and research needs. â¢ Wildland Invasive Species Program and its Weed Con- trol Methods Handbook. This handbook reviews man- ual, grazing, fire, biocontrol, and herbicide techniques. â¢ The Wildland Invasive Species Program offers deci- sion makers years of land management experience regarding problem plants, control methods, an adapt- able power point presentation, a press release template, and ways to utilize volunteers. â¢ Invasives on the Web includes an interactive map showing invasive plants specific to different regions, a large library of information on controlling invasive plants in your garden, and an extensive photo gallery of invasive species. â¢ ConserveOnline is a âone-stopâ online, public library, created and maintained in partnership with other con- servation organizations. Resources from regional councils and information sites include: â¢ The Aquatic Plant Information System (APIS)âpro- vides the identification and management of more than 60 species of native and introduced aquatic and wetland plants. â¢ Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plantsâa site that con- tains images and information for 383 native and non- native species found in Florida. â¢ The Prairie Region websiteâtargets invasives. It in- cludes the Heibert ranking assessment. â¢ Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse. â¢ Center for Invasive Plant Managementâhome to an in- depth western weed clearinghouse of information. â¢ Minnesota DNR invasive species pagesâincludes information on purple loosestrife, other invasive species, and their harmful exotic species program. â¢ Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group (APWG) (formerly NPCI) Weeds Gone Wild websiteâa public education project of the APWG focused on invasive plants and their harmful effects on natural ecosystems in the United States. â¢ USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Databaseâprovides extensive database of plant infor- mation, as well as numerous links to other useful sites. â¢ The Roadside Research Projectâcooperative project by PennDOT and Penn State University: includes research reports, a discussion forum, publications, and useful links. â¢ Penn State University Weed Management research and education projects information. â¢ Mid-Atlantic, California, Florida, and Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Councils. â¢ Invasive Plants Atlas of New England (IPANE)â searchable database of invasive plants of New England.
â¢ New England Plant Societyâcomprehensive list of books and links for the Northeast gardener. â¢ Virginia Native Plant Societyâfact sheets on invasive plants. â¢ Sea Grant Non-Indigenous Speciesâconcerned with aquatic nuisance species. â¢ Chesapeake Bay Program invasives informationâfact sheets and updates on the working group. â¢ The Bugwood Work Group (managed by the University of Georgia)âresources and tools to enhance and com- plement information exchange and educational activities primarily in the fields of entomology, forestry, forest health, and natural resources. â¢ University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plantsâplant information and images and biblio- graphic database on plants. â¢ Delaware River Basin Commission [Delaware River Invasive Plant Partnership (DRIPP) partner]âinforma- tion on the Delaware River watershed. â¢ Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) (DRIPP partner)âinformation about the Penn- sylvania DEP watersheds protection program and vol- unteer monitors network. â¢ Archive of photographs of invasives, a joint project of The Bugwood Network, USDA Forest Service, USDA APHIS Plant Protection Quarantine, and the University of Georgia. â¢ St. Louis Invasive Plant Species Workshop on Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasionsânews on groups working together to prevent new invasions. â¢ Native Plants Network and Native Plants Journalâinfor- mation on the propagation of native plants for restoration. â¢ University of Montana, INVADERS databaseâexotic plant names and weed distribution records for five northwestern states. The INVADERS website contains actual examples of how land management and weed regulatory agencies are using these data to improve their weed management programs. Noxious weed list- ings are provided for all U.S. states and six southern tier Canadian provinces. â¢ The New England Invasive Plant Groupâa new orga- nization that networks agencies, organizations, and individuals involved in invasive plant issues in the region. It promotes the sharing of information among network members, research into plant biology and man- agement techniques, alternatives to invasive species still in use, and provides a clearinghouse and referral system for information. 82 â¢ The New England Wildflower Societyâthe oldest plant conservation organization in the United States, promoting the conservation of temperate North Ameri- can plants through programs in conservation, educa- tion, research, and horticulture. â¢ The Invasive Plant Control Initiative Strategic Plan for the Connecticut River Watershed and Long Island Sound Regionâhighlights agencies and organizations already working on the issue in the watershed and New England, what needs exist, and what actions would best serve the region within 5 years. â¢ The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Groupâ maintains a website on invasive plants and their control, as well as announcements of conferences and other events. â¢ Invasive Plant Council of New Yorkâwebsite with information on invasive plant species, their control, and their alternatives, as well as a database of resource peo- ple experienced with managing them. â¢ A Guide to Invasive Non-native Aquatic Plants in Massachusetts. â¢ Wisconsin Manual of Control Recommendations for Ecologically Invasive Plants. â¢ Native Alternatives for Invasive Ornamental Plant Speciesâhighlights alternatives to four species consid- ered widespread and invasive in Connecticut [autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate), Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), purple loosestrife (Lythrum sali- caria), and burning bush (Kochia scoparia)], and one potentially invasive species in Connecticut [Norway maple (Acer platanoides)]. The following works contain useful bibliographies and are included by geographical location: â¢ An Illustrated Guide to Arizona Weeds (123). â¢ Annotated Literature Review: Model Rapid Response Plan for Great Lakes Aquatic Invasions (124). â¢ Control of Invasive Exotic Plants in the Great Plainsâ An Annotated Bibliography (125). â¢ Bibliography of Nonnative Aquatic Species in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Regions (126). â¢ Annotated Bibliography of the Invasive Species of the Gulf CoastâGalveston Bay Invasive Species Risk Assessment Project (127). â¢ An Assessment of Exotic Plant Species of Rocky Moun- tain National Park: Useful References (128). â¢ Invasive Pest Plants in the Southern Appalachian Mountain Region Bibliography Database (129).