APIPP uses a multi-tiered science-based prioritization framework that guides management efforts. Non-native Phragmites was identified as a priority invasive species for management within the Adirondack PRISM due to its high level of invasiveness under New York’s non-native plant threat ranking assessment process, and its ability to quickly invade and degrade wetland habitat. The Core Area was prioritized for management due to low levels of disturbance, few roads, abundance of protected land, relatively low human population, and low invasive species abundances and infestation sizes. These qualities indicated promising opportunities for long-term invasive species management success.
When selecting infestations to be managed, priority is given to areas where there is the greatest potential for spread and the opportunity for high conservation returns. Such areas include roadsides where plants may be spread by mowing or the movement of contaminated fill, and wetlands where plants can easily spread via rhizome growth and overtake native wetland habitat. In addition, management efforts focus on true early detection and rapid response infestations that are still localized and where eradication is a likely outcome. Based on APIPP’s management data collected since 2011, infestations under one tenth of an acre prior to treatment had the highest likelihood of being successfully eradicated. Other research has suggested that infestations with an original gross acreage of one hectare or less have the highest likelihood for successful eradication.
Several tools also help set management priorities, including New York’s Non-Native Plant Species Invasiveness Assessment, The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool (IPMDAT), the Weed Information Management System (WIMS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Unfortunately, these tools are not designed to accommodate external data sets or account for any level of uncertainty in the known distribution of the target species (New Hampshire has attempted to create a comprehensive management area prioritization tool that accounts for these issues). Nevertheless, these tools have allowed APIPP to prioritize which invasive species to focus on, identify areas with the highest likelihood for success and/or conservation returns, and determine which projects are feasible given resource constraints.