U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

2010 "Volunteers Working With Invasives"
Grants Report Form

Display Report


Project Title: Early Detection of Emerald Ash Borer
Region: 3
Station: La Crosse District/UMRNW&FR
Contact Person:
Name and Phone Number
Jim Nissen, 608/783-8401
Project Description:
(Up to 250 words)
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found on the UMRNW&FR in Navigation Pool 9. Staff from the Refuge's McGregor (IA) District manages this portion of the Refuge and are working with staff from other agencies to monitor sites. The Refuge's La Crosse District (Navigation Pools 7 and 8) is located immediately upriver from Pool 9. Thus far, no EABs have been found in the La Crosse District. Given the proximity of known EAB sites, tree/shrub plantings in 2010 were made with EABs in mind. Sections of three newly-constructed islands in Pool 8 (about 10 acres), a former agriculture field on the Root River Tract in Houston County, MN (19 acres), and sections of an island near NoName Chute in Pool 7 (about 6 acres) were planted to a mixture of trees/shrubs by volunteers and staff in 2010. No ash trees were planted. Invasive plants also will be affected by these plantings. Additional tree/shrub plantings are planned in 2011 and beyond on islands and former agriculture fields. Ash trees will not be included in the plant mix at these sites. When asked, volunteers and staff also will be engaged in future monitoring efforts in concert with staff from other agencies.
List of Invasives Species Targeted:Common NameScientific Name
  Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis
Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
Reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea
Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata
Crown vetch Coronillia varia
Project Status: Completed
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)
Volunteers planted 5,000+ trees/shrubs on three Pool 8 islands (Raft, Cygnet, and Dabbler) on 12-14 May. Species included silver maple, river birch, high bush cranberry, nannyberry, red osier dogwood, buttonbush, black willow, and silky dogwood. About 800 swamp white oak trees were planted by volunteers in the former agriculture field to diversify a developing forest of cottonwood and silver maple trees. Volunteers also constructed weld wire cages, and placed cages, mats, or tree tubes around the newly-planted oak trees. This work was completed in late April/early May. Three volunteers from the Brice Prairie Conservation Association planted about 40 swamp white oak, black oak, and American elm seedlings on the island near NoName Chute in Pool 7 on 4 May.
Total Number of Volunteers: 25
Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 275
List both new and existing partnerships utilized in this project. (Up to 150 words).
Our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was strenghened as a result of the Pool 8 islands project. Students from Western Wisconsin Technical College were teamed with agency staff in a "service learning project." Through their involvement, members of our Friends group and individual volunteers learned more about the Refuge and the challenges facing managers. This project also is being used as a recruiting tool to increase membership in Mississippi River Wild, our Friends affiliate. Members of the Brice Prairie Conservation Association remain active in Pool 7. Press coverage included an article that appeared in the Houston County News, a local weekly newspaper. Refuge staff also recieved several positive comments about the projects.


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 focus in 2010 was using volunteers to begin restoration activities on three sites in the La Crosse District of the UMRNW&FR. To-date, EAB monitoring in Pools 7 and 8 has largely been handled by staff from other agencies. La Crosse District staff and volunteers are equipped to assist when more intensive monitoring efforts are required. With known EAB sites located downriver, tree/shrub plantings continue, but without ash trees in the mix. Volunteers helped plant nearly 6,000 trees/shrubs in 2010. These efforts will continue in 2011 and beyond as newly-constructed islands and retired agriculure fields are scheduled to be planted. These plantings also will impact invasive plants by providing competition. For example, the challenge is to manage newly-forested sites for several years by appyling herbicides to reed canary grass plants to allow enough time for the tree/shrub seedlings to grow above canary grass plants. Shrubs planted on river islands should also reduce the area colonized by crown vetch and purple loosestrife plants.
Number of Acres Treated: 35 (Pool 8 islands, 10; 19 in former ag field; 6 on Pool 7 island)
Number of Acres Inventoried and/or Mapped: 0
Number of Acres Restored: 0


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

Total Grant Amount:

$ $7,000

Breakdown of Expenditures:


Total $ Spent
% of Total Grant
Equipment / Supplies $3,915 55.9%
Chemical $1,145 16.4%
Biocontrol Agents
Travel $555 7.9%
Volunteer Stipends
Volunteer Coordinator Salary/Contract
Restoration Materials $1,385 19.8%
TOTAL $7,000 100.0%

Recommendations: (OPTIONAL)
How useful was this program for meeting refuge invasive species objectives and how can it be improved?
This program is extremely helpful in meeting refuge habitat restoration and invasive species objectives. The flexibility in the program allows us to use the funds to meet a variety of needs for individual projects. Volunteers also appreciate the opportunity to engage in habitat work. Please keep this program funded!


- Return to Main Menu -