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2008 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Common buckthorn control at Shiawassee NWR
Region: 3
Station: Shiawassee NWR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Steven Kahl (989) 777-5930 ext 16
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
Shiawassee Refuge protects 4,225 acres of forested wetland. These wetlands provide breeding habitat for many Partners In Flight priority species, including hooded merganser, black-billed cuckoo, yellow-billed cuckoo, yellow-throated vireo, wood thrush, prothonotary warbler, and Baltimore oriole. Common buckthorn is a recent non-indigenous invasive plant on the refuge. This species occurs on approximately 100 acres of forested wetlands and has become the dominant understory woody plant in some areas. Consequently, habitat quality for these bird species has been degraded and the threat of more widespread degradation is imminent. Refuge staff implements buckthorn control on 5 – 10 acres per year via mechanical and chemical methods and occupied acreage is gradually diminishing. This effort is assisted through practices by adjacent farmers to eradicate buckthorn because of its role in the lifecycle of the soybean aphid. However, increased resources are required to eliminate common buckthorn from the refuge. The refuge has begun to incorporate volunteers into this program by providing herbicide applicator certification, equipment, herbicides, and supervision. Volunteers will also be used for more precise GPS mapping of existing treated and un-treated buckthorn stands and to conduct surveys to identify newly invaded sites. Adjacent farmers eradicate buckthorn which reduces re-colonization potential on the refuge.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  common buckthorn Rhamnus catartica
Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii
autumn olive Eleagnus umbellata
common reed Phragmites australis
garlic mustard Ailliaria petiolata
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)
Volunteer completed pesticide applicator certification. Volunteer also applied foliar and basal herbicide treatment to common buckthorn and Japanese barberry on approximately 50 acres of refuge lands. Adjacent farmers continue to eradicate buckthorn which reduces re-colonization potential on the refuge. Refuge receives significant recognition for our efforts from farmers since it helps their efforts.
Total Number of Volunteers: 1
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 160
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
New refuge volunteer gained. Relationship with adjacent farmers reinforced.


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).
Common buckthorn follow up treatment completed on 30 refuge acres treated in previous years. Initial control implemented on 54 new acres. New control areas mapped in refuge GIS program. Also, 80 acres of Japanese barberry, 40 acres of autumn olive, 64 acres of Phragmites and 36 acres of garlic mustard treated.
Number of Acres Treated: 304
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 304
Number of Acres Restored: 304


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ $5,000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $2,500 50
Chemical $974.63 20
Biocontrol Agents
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials
TOTAL 3,474.63 70

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This program was very helpful in enabling the refuge to make a meaningful impact toward common buckthorn control. Previously we only treated 10-20 acres per year. This program enabled the refuge to treat 84 acres. Also, 220 acres of other important invasive plants were treated, including japanese barberry, autumn olive, Phragmites, and garlic mustard.


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