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2005 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Humboldt Bay NWR Vounteer-Supported Invasive Weed Mapping and Control Project
Region: 1
Station: Lanphere Dunes Unit, HBNWR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Patricia Clifford (707) 822-6378
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex (HBNWRC) began a volunteer-assisted Invasive Weed Mapping Project in September 2003. The project was intended to develop a program that would inventory the invasive species on the Refuge enabling managers to quantify the effects of invasive species on native ecosystems, prioritize areas for treatment, and monitor control efforts. During the 2003 season; invasive weed priority criteria, mapping methodologies, PDA/GPS/GIS instructions, and volunteer training guides were developed. The project uses the North American Invasive Plant Mapping Standards for data collection. These standards are endorsed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Several subunits within the Salmon Creek Unit, HBNWRC were surveyed for 24 invasive plant species. In 2004 the project was continued with an emphasis on mapping roadsides as vectors for invasive species dispersal and on completing the mapping of the high priority rated species in the Salmon Creek Unit. Several incipient populations of Cortaderia jubata and Phalaris arundinacea were removed during this year. The 2004 report detailed control methods and seasonal timing for the removal of mapped species, the development of a comprehensive weed management plan, and the use of the U.S. Forest Services Back Country Road Maintenance Guide to minimize the transport of invasive species within a road corridor. In 2005 the project was able to build upon the previous two years successes. This year we emphasized Early Detection Rapid Response techniques. Control methods were begun on incipient populations of high priority weeds. The data collected from mapping and treatment was incorporated into The Nature Conservancys Weed Information Management System (WIMS). A pictorial plant guide was developed to use on the PDAs in the field to help with plant identification.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea
Jubata grass Cortaderia jubata
Scotch broom Cytisus scoparius
Periwinkle Vinca major
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Canada thistle Cirsium arvense
Bull thistle Cirsium vulgare
Poison hemlock Conium maculatum
white morning glory Calystegia sylvatica
Project Status: Completed
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
                            VA_MGardener    VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
To develop a basic understanding of the threat of invasive species, volunteers were trained in several aspects of invasive weed control. Initially volunteers were educated through powerpoint presentations and journal articles on the; threats of invasive species to biological diversity; the ecology and management of invasive species; and early detection and rapid response concepts. The volunteers then manually removed incipient populations of high priority invasive species. Later in the season, they surveyed and mapped any occurrences of the Refuges high priority invasive species. They used PDA/GPS units with The Nature Conservancys WIMS database to map and record any occurrences and treatments. Later, one of the volunteers developed maps of species distributions.
Total Number of Volunteers: 4 volunteers and 1 contractor
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 380 volunteer hours and 135 contractor hours
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
This year we continued our partnership with Friends of the Dunes, our Refuge Support Group. We also further developed the partnership with Humboldt State University students. We are in the process of developing an internship description with a professor in the Natural Resources Department. We plan to recruit three students for this internship position in May 2006. The interns will help to train volunteers and will enable us to include more volunteers in the project and map more of the Refuges units.


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).
There were some substantial successes in volunteer and project organization, mapping methodologies and treatment of incipient areas. The connection with Humboldt State University students was continued and further developed. Their knowledge of computer systems allowed them to quickly learn the GPS units. Many had plant identification course work. A professor of the Natural Resource Department has agreed to work with us on developing an intership program for next spring. The Nature Conservancys WIMS database was successfully used with ArcPad to map and document species data. A troubleshooting guide is being developed to augment the WIMS listserve help. A plant guide was developed that can be used on the PDA/GPS units in the field to help identify species. This program is also available for desktop computers and has been a valuable teaching tool. A number of incipient populations of high priority invasives were mapped and treated so far this year. Thee new occurrences of Cortaderia jubata were mapped and removed. Twelve areas of Phalaris arundinacea, were treated and 8 new infestations were mapped. One occurrence of Cytisus scoparius, and eleven occurrences of Echinochloa crus-galli were mapped and treated. The areas are being monitored for resprouts. Maps were produced of each of the surveyed species distributions. Twenty four species were surveyed and 9 species were found in the surveyed areas.
Number of Acres Treated: In progress
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 390 acres surveyed and mapped for presence of 24 s
Number of Acres Restored: in progress


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ 8000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies 3240 40.5
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends 1260 15.75
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract 2000 25
Restoration Materials 500 6.25
TOTAL 8000 100

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This project has allowed us to begin a baseline map of invasive species at the Refuge. It has supplied GPS devices and stipends for volunteers. The continuance of the project will allow us to assess the theats to our native ecosystems. Increasing the grant amounts and the number of years for a project would allow managers to control or eradicate targeted species.


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