Setting priorities and tracking progress on a landscape scale

GLPC Editor’s Note: This case study showcases prioritized management over a large service area, careful management of small patches, consistent monitoring, and successful community outreach efforts.  This model is most applicable for organizations that can support dedicated full-time staff, and possibly hire and equip a seasonal rapid response team.

Authors: Brendan Quirion and Zachary Simek

The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) was founded in 1998 as the Adirondack Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), the first of eight PRISMs in New York. APIPP is a partnership program whose mission is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species. It was founded by the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Since 1998, the partnership has grown to more than 30 cooperating organizations and supports more than 600 volunteers.

This map shows the Core Area and the boundary of the APIPP PRISM

APIPP began comprehensive non-native Phragmites australis control efforts in 2011.  These initial treatments occurred within a 3.7 million acre region, known as the Core Area (see map), of the PRISM. The PRISM covers nearly seven million acres of public and private lands that encompass the entire Adirondack Park and portions of northern Clinton and Franklin Counties. As of 2015, the Core Area contained 339 known infestations of non-native Phragmites, typically less than 0.1 acres but up to 1.43 acres. Most infestations occurred within emergent or forested wetland complexes, in wet drainage ditches, or on fill piles or waste areas.

APIPP faces several challenges, including sustaining sufficient staff capacity to handle the quantity and remoteness of land that must be surveyed and managed, and completing management in the short 5-month growing season of northern New York.