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2005 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Inventory and Monitoring Of Invasive Species on Wa
Region: 6
Station: Huron WMD
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Harris Hoistad, Project Leader, 6053525894
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
Current protocol for recording and mapping Canada thistle and leafy spurge on the Districts WPAs involves drawing the approximate location of invasive species patches on an 8½ by 11 aerial photo of the entire WPA. The accuracy and precision of the locations and acreage treated is extremely coarse and cannot be validated. In addition, there is no early detection, rapid response protocol currently in place for new invasive species. There are several invasive species with the potential to invade the Districts WPAs including spotted and Russian knapweed, yellow and dalmation toadflax, salt cedar, and purple loosestrife. The threat of these species invading the Districts WPAs is imminent, as infestations of all of these species (in many cases up to 500 acres) have already been found within the boundary of Huron WMD and in adjacent counties. To prevent a severe outbreak of new invasive species, we need to actively search out and map these species exactly. In addition, we must complete a comprehensive inventory of Canada thistle and leafy spurge on WPAs. GPS units (specifically Trimbles GeoExplorer CE Series GeoXM Model) would provide volunteers with sub-meter mapping accuracy and a high-resolution screen capable of displaying an aerial photo of the WPA and recording the exact location of the infestation in real-time. Using the comprehensive inventory, USFWS personnel could compare subsequent years data to accurately assess progress in controlling known invasive species and eliminating new invasive species. The time-frame for this project will be from May 10 to August 31 of the year the GPS units are available.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Canada Thistle Cirsium arvense
Sow Thistle Sonchus arvensis
Leafy Spurge Euphorbia esula
Wormwood Artemisia absinthium
Russian Olive Eleagnus angnstifolia
Eastern Red Cedar Juniperous virginiana
Smooth Brome Bromus inermis
Kentucky Bluegrass Poa pratensis
Crested Wheatgrass Agropyron cristsatum
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Work will be conducted as part of the duties of two volunteers recruited through the Student Conservation Association. In addition, Huron WMD maintains a highly active volunteer program, including support from the only volunteer Friends Group in eastern South Dakota.
Total Number of Volunteers: 2
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 2040
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
We successfully recruited 2 highly qualified interns through the SCA. These interns were instrumental in the success of the project.


Project Results:
Give an overview of the results of the project. Include quantifiable measure of success, such as maps produced, efficacy of control measures, number of sites where invasions were detected early and responded to, number of community contacts, etc. (Up to 250 words).
Thus far, a vegetative cover map has been developed in GIS for a total of 23 WPAs (8,345 acres). Fourteen of those WPAs (4,967 acres) were mapped with the assistance of volunteers and GeoXT GPS units purchased with funding from the Volunteers Working with Invasives grant. Of the 4,765 total upland acres mapped (with & without volunteers), 37 acres of Canada thistle and sow thistle, 2 acres of Russian olive, and 3,363 acres of naturally occurring, non-native grasses in patches >1/4 acre were identified as invasive species. Non-native grasses included smooth brome, Kentucky bluegrass, crested wheatgrass, pigeongrass, quackgrass, & downy brome. No patches of wormwood, leafy spurge, or volunteer Eastern red cedar >1/4 acre were identified. On 3 WPAs totaling 158 acres, GPS units on spray ATVs were activated to map 33 acres of treated Canada thistle and sow thistle with sub-meter accuracy. Complications during the first field season included impeded efficiency while learning how to use the GPS units & faulty GPS holders for the ATVs. In addition, the GPS purchased with grant funds for use in the John Deere tractor could not be made compatible with the tractor's current operating system before the spray season for thistle arrived. Nonetheless, most of these first-year quirks have since been worked out and use of GPS to track invasive species is expected to operate much more smoothly in 2006.
Number of Acres Treated: N/A
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 4967
Number of Acres Restored: N/A


Budget: Account for funds in broad categories such as equipment, volunteer stipends, travel, coordinator salary/contract, etc.

Total Grant Amount:

$ 15095

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 15095 100
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL 15095 100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
Our first year of inventorying and mapping of our invasive species focused on our units where we feel that we have the highest chance in successfully restoring native prairie. The ability to accurately map these infestations will allow us the opportuntiy to effectively control the plants and hopefully restore the prairie.


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