Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Urban Invasive Species Issues Forum March 1, 2012

See Schedule of Events at for details on workshops and other events being held throughout the Washington, DC Area.

Urban Invasive Species Issues Forum
March 1, 2012
Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel
1001 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005


Overview and Purpose: Initiation of process to create a “toolkit” to be used by municipal/local governments for invasive plant management. The toolkit would include definitions, principles and guidelines for dealing with invasive species.

Organizer: Rita Beard, National Park Service, Biological Resource Management Division; Moderator: John Peter Thompson, Maryland Invasive Species Council

  • 3:15-3:35 pm Policy and Regulatory Framework for Healthy Ecosystems - CJ Lammers, Master Environmental Planner, M-NCPPC Prince George’s Planning Department
  • 3:35-3:55 pm Challenges, Opportunities and Needs of local Urban Ecology- Damien Ossi, Wildlife Biologist D.C. Fisheries & Wildlife Division
  • 3:55-4:15pm Managing Ecosystem Services and Resources in an urban/suburban park system - Carole Bergmann Forest Ecologist/Field Botanist, M-NCPPC Montgomery County Parks
  • 4:15-4:35 pm Trials and Tribulations of Volunteers - Dr. Damon Waitt, Senior Director at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin
  • 4:35-4:55 pm IPM3: Potential for using online distance education programs to address urban landscape management needs- Dr. Robert M. Nowierski, USDA NIFA
  • 4:55-5:15 pm Workforce Development Capacity Community College as Partners - Dr. McClure Prince George's Community College
  • 5:15- 5:30 pm Discussion: Concepts, ideas, topics and suggestions for a municipal/local government toolkit for invasive plant management; components, stakeholders and next steps

Monday, January 23, 2012

Maryland Invasive Plant Advisory Committee to Meet for First Time

A News Release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture


CONTACT: Julie Oberg, 410-841-5888 or Vanessa Orlando, 410-841-5889

MEETING NOTICE: Invasive Plant Advisory Committee to Meet for First Time
General Assembly Created Committee to Develop Risk Assessment Protocols

ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 23, 2012) - The Maryland Department of Agriculture's
(MDA) Invasive Plants Advisory Committee, established during the 2011
Legislative Session as an advisory body to the Secretary, will meet for the
first time on Friday, January 27, at 9 a.m. at MDA headquarters in
Annapolis. The Committee's charge is to advise the Secretary on regulations
that should be adopted to establish a risk assessment protocol for invasive
plants and to establish lists of invasive plants using the protocol. This
first meeting will focus on organizing the 11-member committee and setting
goals and timelines for completing the first year's task for establishing a
science-based risk assessment protocol for invasive plants.

"The nursery and landscape industry is the second largest agriculture sector
in Maryland, second only to our poultry industry," said Agriculture
Secretary Buddy Hance. "It is critical that we do all we can to prevent and
control the potential damage that invasive plants can inflict on our plant
and animal communities in natural areas, wildlands, managed areas, farms and
even the backyards of residents. The members of this committee have
considerable expertise and experience with invasive plants and they are well
regarded within industry. I look forward to receiving their

The committee is chaired by Carol Holko, MDA's Assistant Secretary of Plant
Industries and Pest Management. The full text of the bill which created the
committee can be found at:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Libraries, SOPA and PIPA - it's about information and power

link to my commentary: Prince Georgian: Prince George's County Libraries, SOPA and PIPA - it's about information and power     

The information infrastructure of the US is degrading; herbaria are underfunded or left un-curated; systematic collections have seen a 50 oer cent or great reduction of professional expert staff with some collections now orphaned.

Everything we need to know is NOT on the internet but in many cases sitting in boxes in libraries with no funds to curate let alone digitize.

Access to scientific peer reviewed papers is becoming unaffordable to the lay person or un-accessible to organizations because of rising costs.

The free flow of information is the bedrock upon which functioning democracies are organized; an informed public is key but the doors to knowledge are being locked.

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. ~Potter Stewart

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Please consider participating in a Strategic Planning Task Force Survey/Questionnaire for the U.S. National Arboretum

Please consider participating in a Strategic Planning Task Force Survey/Questionnaire for the National Arboretum: it needs  your help.   It will only take a few minutes of your time, and the results will influence the direction the Arboretum will take in the future.  Your voice matters.  What do YOU want the Arboretum to be?  How can it better serve your needs?  Let us know by completing the survey below. 

Please follow this link to complete the survey.  It should take only about 10 minutes. 

thank you in advance for your assistance.  Also feel free to share the link with others who care about our National Arboretum.