How can we help you enhance your land through invasive species removal?
In West Virginia, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners Program) is expanding its efforts to assist landowners with invasive species control, specializing in activities such as restoring pasture lands through invasive shrub mulching, as well as providing assistance in chemical treatment of invasive species, especially along riparian corridors.
Invasive species can cause a multitude of problems for landowners. Problems can range from pastures being overtaken by invasive shrubs like autumn olive, bush honeysuckle and multiflora rose, to loss of stream banks from species such as Japanese knotweed that do not effectively hold the stream bank soil, to a reduction in habitat quality due to plants that have poor wildlife food value such as Japanese stiltgrass. Some invasives like Japanese stiltgrass, garlic mustard, and Japanese knotweed inhibit or preclude the regeneration of our native forests. The Partners Program is working to engage landowners to take advantage of the opportunities available through the program to eradicate invasive species on their lands. Two major partners are the Potomac Highlands Cooperative Weed and Pest Management Area and the West Virginia Invasive Species Working Group.
Methods to control invasive species
The Partners Program has the ability to contract with certified pesticide applicators for invasive species that require control by herbicide and can provide guidance for pesticide applicator licensing and pesticide application for landowners interested in doing the work themselves.
Work has been done in high-quality brook trout habitats along Thorn Creek and Seneca Creek to remove Japanese knotweed from creek banks, supplementing other stream improvement projects and improving the overall quality of the habitat for trust species.
The Partners Program has also initiated biological control projects to combat purple loosestrife spread in critical wetland habitats. Details of the biological control project can be seen in the following blog: http://eatloosestrife.wordpress.com.
The Partners Program recently acquired a forestry application skid steer loader equipped with a brush mulching head that can mulch large woody shrubs such as multiflora rose, bush honeysuckle and autumn olive. The initial clearing effort enables the landowner to maintain their reclaimed pastures through continued mowing and/or herbicide spraying. The result is more or improved pastures.
Become a partner
Landowners can participate in the Partners Program efforts to remove invasive species by contacting the West Virginia Field Office and setting up a consultation to find out what invasive species are on their property and what the program can do for them. Landowners and the Partners Program Coordinator sign a partners agreement that allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work on the landowner's private land, simultaneously allowing the landowner to retain their land rights while reaping the benefits of the Partners Program invasive species removal.
Learn about the invasive Japanese knotweed.