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2006 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Glacial Ridge and Rydell NWR Complex Invasive Species Monitoring Protocol
Region: 3
Station: Rydell and Glacial Ridge NWR's
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Juancarlos Giese 218-687-2229
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
Glacial Ridge NWR is the most current inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge System and is drastically in need of identifying, mapping and eradicating invasive species. Maintenance and mowing of highway and county road rights-of-way by the MN-Department of Transportation is a major vector for spreading seedpods for various exotic species; including spotted knapweed, leafy spurge, and Canada thistle onto refuge lands. Glacial Ridge NWR is the largest continual tallgrass prairie restoration project in the US. As new non-native seeds are dispersed, these restorations, which have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, would be threatened. Rydell National Wildlife Refuge has been a model for proper habitat management for over ten years and control of exotic and invasive weeds is of vital importance to the balance of the areas wildlife and ecosystems. Woody exotic species such as European buckthorn, Siberian pea shrub, as well as herbaceous species such as leafy spurge and spotted knapweed have been designated as invasive species of concern by the Rydell NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Utilization of a Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) intern through the summer of 2006 will enable effective coordination and facilitation of all aspects of invasive species mapping, volunteer recruitment and coordination, and also GIS, Weed Information Management System(WIMS), and other necessary technical aspects of this project. Through the 2007 season, continuation of mapping on newly infested units and control of mapped units will occur.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  spotted knapweed( Centaurea maculosa
leafy spurge ( Euphorbia esula
Canada thistle( Cirsium arvense
European buckthorn( Rhamnus cathartica
Siberian peashrub( Caragana arborescens
Common Reed Phragmites australis
Birdsfoot trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Crown Vetch Coronilla varia
Queen Annes Lace Daucus Carota
Project Status: InProgress
Project Completion Date
or Estimated Completion Date:


Volunteer Affiliation:
(Check all that apply)
VA_FriendsGrp     VA_SchoolGrp                            VA_Other
Volunteer Involvement:
Describe the type of work the volunteers performed. (Up to 150 words)
Coordinated through the Rydell NWR, volunteers were utilized to systematically survey selected high priority units of the Rydell and Glacial Ridge NWRs through the summer of 2006 in order to identify areas with high concentrations of invasive species, remove exotic species from designated units of concern, and continue to monitor treatment areas for two years following the first treatment. In order to maintain the most efficient standards for completion of a project of this magnitude combined with the responsibility of handling volunteer recruitment and training, a seasonal volunteer coordinator was employed whose responsibility was to recruit, educate and train volunteers and visitors for the 2006 season. Special exotic species identification courses were held on the refuge prior to the eradication effort to familiarize volunteers with target pest and control methods, as well as procedural training on how to utilize GPS receivers to map areas of invasive species presence and abundance.
Total Number of Volunteers: 10
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 55
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
The Friends of Rydell Refuge Association has historically been involved in many aspects of Refuge management. Any opportunity is encouraged for them to become more active in the day-to-day operations of Refuge management opportunities for habitat restoration and management. Through the FRRAs weekly Learning at the Lakes educational program series, STEP intern Jennilynn Bohm was able to educate the public as well as recruit new volunteers through an interpretive invasive species program that involved educational training on invasive species identification as well as the impacts to sensitive habitats. Utilizing University students from Bemidji State University as well as the University of Minnesota- Crookston colleges to aid in evaluation of infested habitats, mapping high priority areas with high concentrations of exotic species and training them to apply herbicides provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate local students and garner local support for such a pervasive problem.


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).
The Rydell and Glacial Ridge NWRs invasive species monitoring and control protocol effectively set in motion methods to curtail current invasive species infestations and keeping new infestations from expanding. Early detection and immediate control of advancing pathogenic invasive and exotic species through the use of volunteers also ensures a community based support system that clearly understands the threats posed to the natural ecosystems throughout Minnesota. Through STEP intern, Jennilynn Bohm, as well as volunteers recruited, over 1,850 acres of land were systematically surveyed for invasive species on the Rydell and Glacial Ridge NWRs. Over 880 infestations representing 19 invasive species were encountered throughout the Refuges during the 2006 season. All infestations were accumulated utilizing a Recon GPS unit and then transferred to an ArcGIS database at the Rydell NWR. From these GIS layers, over 20 maps were produced identifying each species as well as maps depicting the cumulative data compiled for all species. Previously unrecorded infestations of Birdsfoot trefoil and Crown Vetch were mapped, allowing immediate control of infested units to help prevent spread throughout the units. Where the over 110 new infestations of particularly dangerously enveloping invasive species such as Spotted Knapweed and Leafy Purge were encountered; immediate herbicide control was utilized. These methods of herbicide application were applicable to controlling 2006 plants and preventing seed dispersal on new infestations. On existing patches of invasive species, follow-up applications will have to be applied for upwards of 7 consecutive years in order to exhaust the seed bank and effectively eradicate each species.
Number of Acres Treated:
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 1,850
Number of Acres Restored:


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ 7,000.00

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract 6,666.19 95
Restoration Materials
Other 326.16 5

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
The 2006 project was very successful in conituing the constant battle with new and existing exotic species within the Rydell and Glaical Ridge NWR's. The Recommendations for subsequent years centers on the equipment that is being utilyzed during the project. The greatest battle the refuge fought during the 2006 season were problems dealing with the GPS units and the programs utilized to collect and tranfer data to the Refuge GIS system. Throughout the summer, several glitches were found as well as difficiences with the equipment. Actual work on the project was delayed over three weeks due to unexpected issues during programming of units and installation of programs. The trouble was attributed to the newness of the technology. I would recommend testing any new technology thoroughly before distributing to refuges.


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