Spring-Summer 2012 – Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) Invasive Plant Project

The PNW Invasive Plant Council is working in partnership with the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and other state and local conservations groups to develop a Citizen Science EDRR program in Washington State with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. We are recruiting volunteers in the next three to four weeks to participate in the EDRR project.

What makes this conservation project unique is that we are focusing on eradicating plants currently in low abundance in target areas. The goal is to find these newly established populations and remove them before they have a chance to spread and cause serious ecological damage and deplete economic resources.

Volunteers will be asked search for a suite of invasive plants while they explore and enjoy the outdoors camping, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking etc. and report plants if they encounter them. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to have a more directed search assignment, concentrating on certain “red-flag” areas. We are piloting our surveys in four different Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMA); Nisqually, Yakima, and Chehalis River Watersheds and HWY 12 -SR 410, which includes Mt. Rainier National Park.

We will conduct volunteer trainings in mid-July to train volunteers to identify plants, collect and report data to the IPC who will then alert local weed managers so they can act to remove these invaders. If you are interested in participating as a Citizen Scientist to help detect newly established invasive species please e-mail Julie Combs (pnw.ipc.org@gmail.com) for more information or to sign up for one of the trainings. We will announce training dates and locations based on volunteer response.