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Invasive species: what it’s really about

October 29, 2013
By Hilary Smith ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

It is that time of year again. The passing of the summer swell of activity signals that Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program staff are putting their shoulders into data crunching from a field season full of surveys and management. With end-of-year reporting just around the corner, it is a time to reflect on the successes and challenges of 2013.

An army of advocates has arisen in the Adirondacks to defend its lands and waters from invasive species. Diverse groups are working at all levels: on individual properties, in lakes, in towns and counties, throughout watersheds and park-wide, too. Invasive species action is underway, and it's getting stronger.

Many pieces make up the mechanics of a region-wide invasive species program: innovative prevention measures like the boat launch steward program; new regulations testing the waters for mandatory inspections, hundreds of volunteers surveying hundreds of lakes and ponds for aquatic invasive species, thousands of miles driven searching thousands of acres for new invasions, precise management projects tipping the scale in favor of waters, wetlands and woods, press releases, publications and educational programs raising public awareness, and much more. What do all of these efforts add up to?

Working on such a tough challenge as invasive species can be overwhelming. New invasives are always on the move, management is costly and complex, and our successes rely on public understanding, support and funding. Those of us working on invasive species, however, know that solutions are within our grasp. Doing nothing is not an option. It's important to remember what it's really all about:

At the end of the day, these are the reasons why we are working to stop the spread of invasive species that can irreversibly impact our way of life, our local economies and our environment. With your help, we are making a difference and protecting the unique and cherished character of the Adirondacks for generations to come. To learn more, contact the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program at 518-576-2082.



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