LAWRENCE, Kansas – February 16, 2016 – Volunteers in communities across the nation are getting ready for National Invasive Species Awareness Week, scheduled for February 21-27. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) is one of the sponsors of the initiative, which focuses on the costly damage caused by invasive species. Invasive weeds alone represent a multibillion dollar annual drain on our economy, experts say.
“It is extremely important that we educate ourselves, become mindful of invasive species and use what we know to guide our actions throughout the year,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of WSSA.
National Invasive Species Week organizers suggest the following tips for staying informed and making wise decisions:
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Fully comply with all U.S. government regulations regarding the transport of agricultural products into the country through U.S. Customs.
- If you camp, don’t bring firewood along. Instead, buy wood where you’ll burn it, or gather it on site when permitted.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location.
More ideas are available at www.nisaw.org.
NAIPC Webinars Offered
To jump-start your education on invasive species, you are invited to participate in a number of new webinars hosted by the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils (NAIPC) that will be offered during the week:
- “Let’s Take a Hack at ‘Hack and Squirt’ Individual Plant Treatments” (February 22)
- “Volunteers Make a Difference in an Early Detection Rapid Response Citizen Science Program” (February 23)
- “Protecting the Sierra Nevada from Invasive Plants: Incorporating Climate Adaptation into Wildland Weed Management” (February 24)
- “Treating Firewood is a Hot Topic: Seasoning, Solarizing, Kiln Drying and Heat Treatment” (February 25)
- “Weed Wrangle: A Template for Engaging Local Communities through Citywide Invasive Plant Events” (February 25)
To register to participate, visit www.nisaw.org/meetings/2016/2016-webinar and click on the webinar title.
Bioenergy Production and “Preventing the Next Kudzu”
Jacob Barney, Ph.D. of Virginia Tech will lead a panel discussion on a new Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) white paper titled “Preventing the Next Kudzu: A Lifecycle Approach to Low-Invasion Potential Bioenergy Production.” The session is scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. February 22 in Suite 700 at the Environmental Law Institute, 1730 M Street, NW in Washington, D.C. Register online to attend via webinar or in person. The CAST publication will be available for download on February 22 at www.cast-science.org/publications.
Congressional Reception and Fair
A congressional reception and fair is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. on February 25 in Room B-354 at the Rayburn House Office Building. USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea will deliver a keynote address at 5:35 p.m.
To Learn More
Additional educational resources and details on both national and local activities are available at www.nisaw.org. You will even find an online toolkit to help you plan an event in your own community.
About the Weed Science Society of America
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.