March 22, 2013

Invasive-species program cited


---- — KEENE VALLEY — The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program has received a 2013 National Invasive Species Awareness Week Award.

The program was founded by the Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, based in Keene Valley, along with the New York departments of Environmental Conservation and transportation and the Adirondack Park Agency.

It was honored in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Invasive Species Leadership.

The national recognition is for leadership in invasive-species prevention and control, including collaboration and coalition building.

The program was started in 1998 as a grassroots effort to address threats posed by invasive species and minimize costs to governments, businesses and landowners.

It has since harnessed the energies of hundreds of volunteers, forged numerous partnerships and influenced local and statewide action, a press release said.

Examples of the work that earned the program the Outstanding Invasive Species Leadership Award include:

▶ Instituting early detection programs with hundreds of volunteers surveying lands and waters and gathering data to identify priority areas for prevention and management.

▶ Directly reaching more than 1,000 citizens per year through education programs.

▶ Reaching thousands through a seasonal news column, “Eye on Invasives,” published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Adirondack Express.

▶ Leveraging private funds to deploy rapid-response teams to eradicate new infestations encroaching on ecologically significant areas.

▶ Helping to support boat-launch stewardship programs that reach more than 30,000 people per year.

“All New Yorkers hold a stake in protecting our natural resources for future generations, which is why it is so critical to address invasive species,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release.

“APIPP has been leading the charge for more than a decade. This is well-deserved recognition of the excellent work APIPP has done and a testimony to what can be accomplished through private-public partnerships, dedicated funding through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and coordination at the state level.”