Sunday, July 01, 2007

Invasive Species follow up: Basket Grass Removal in Beltsville

The International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank Group had an employee volunteer retreat in June. As part of invasive species out-reach efforts on the part of Dr. Marc Imlay, and the volunteer efforts at the Little Paint Branch Park in Beltsville, Maryland, a model of Early Detection & Rapid Response was undertaken.

In November, 2006, I posted an essay about Oplismenus hirtellus subsp undulatifolius, and had a chance top stop by and see the work of removal underway. Dr. Imlay had almost cleared the small park completely of the regular cast of bad actors (English ivy, stilt grass, and garlic mustard), when he uncovered this new invader. Because it is limited in its scope of infestation, some would say that the cry of invasive is premature. This “where is the science”: school of thinking asks us to wait until there is overwhelming evidence of destruction and harm, before listing and labeling a species as invasive. The result of such a position is that when at last the evidence is in, the resources no longer are adequate enough to remove or control. So Dr. Marc Imlay is a leading exponent of remove it when it can be easily done, and let others argue about labels.

For me, what he and the volunteers are doing looks remarkably similar to what I will be doing after I write this posting: weeding. Traditional gardeners already know that it is a time and resource disaster to let the weeds reach a point of obvious concern. It is rather too late then to recapture the garden without a considerable effort. Far easier to remove as soon as noted, and be done with it.

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