Fighting Invasives with CISMA
The Upper Connecticut River Watershed Invasive Species Management Area (UCCISMA), formed in late 2010, is a group of individuals, organizations, and government agencies working with landowners to curb the threat of invasive species in the watershed. A warming climate, continued habitat fragmentation, and entry vectors such as road, rail line and utility corridor promote the spread of invasive plant populations negatively impacting water quality and native species of flora and fauna.
While invasive plants are at an earlier stage of colonization in the upper reaches of the watershed, the water quality of the entire Connecticut River is impacted by the ecosystem health of these headwaters, making management a high priority. Infestations in this northern area tend to be scattered and in smaller populations, which means that targeted eradication and control efforts are still feasible.
Partnering agencies, organizations and individuals helped map the distribution and size of Japanese Knotweed infestations from the upper headwaters to Bloomfield VT. Thanks to key partners including Essex County Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will support the efforts of UCCISMA in treating identified priority sites. The NorthWoods Stewardship Center has been participating as a partner in the UCCISMA since its inception and was recently selected to manage the treatment project. This work will involve obtaining landowner permission, working with a contractor to administer treatment and ensuring all required permits are obtained.