The Pennsylvania Governor’s Invasive Species Council released findings from the first statewide survey of impacts from invasive plants, insects, pathogens, and animals and announced a pilot regional invasive species management program will launch this summer.
The survey was conducted last fall to hear directly from Pennsylvanians about impacts they’re experiencing from invasive species and included participants from every county in the commonwealth. Problems were reported in a range of settings: 70% in parks, forests, or other natural areas; over 50% in or along waterways, on roadsides, and in urban and suburban areas; and 30% in agricultural areas. More than 600 participants described firsthand experiences with one to three invasive species, including spotted lanternfly, mile-a-minute vine, and zebra mussels. The emerald ash borer was among the species reported most often, which has destroyed thousands of ash trees since it hit Pennsylvania in 2007.
The council and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts will partner to pilot-test a small-scale version of a Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) in 13 northwest counties in July, using federal funding. PRISM programs identify regional priorities and solutions by bringing together expertise from local and state government, industry, community, and academic organizations. Click here to read the press release and here to see more survey results.