2017-12-07 / News

Invasive Species Management Continues Throughout EUP

By Nick Cassel
Three Shores CISMA

As the snow begins to fall here in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, another field season comes to a close for the Three Shores Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (Three Shores CISMA). The 2017 season was productive, successful, and the busiest year to date managing invasive species. Priority species that were actively managed in 2017 include garlic mustard, European frogbit, Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, and invasive phragmites.

Three Shores CISMA, created in 2010, is a cooperative partnership made up of federal, state, tribal, and private entities working together throughout Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac counties to properly manage invasive species, which threaten our local ecosystems, local economy, and overall quality of life. This is accomplished by promoting awareness through education and outreach, sharing data and equipment, using up-to-date management strategies to combat invasive species, and using volunteers for a positive impact in our region.

In early spring, the Three Shores CISMA was awarded a second twoyear grant in the amount of $311,570 obtained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality, and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Invasive Species Grant Program. The grant is to fund continued management of priority invasive species found in the EUP.

The first season of this two-year grant has ended. Accomplishments achieved during 2017 included employment for eight invasive species staff, 351 acres of priority invasive species were treated, and 1,538 acres of forest and shoreline were mapped. Active management is important to successfully controlling invasive species, but education and outreach is just as crucial. More than 51,000 individuals were educated on invasive species through outreach efforts, which include public workshops, trainings, and publications. Other 2017 seasonal highlights included discovering several new invasive species not previously known to exist in the EUP, autumn olive (discovered near Curtis) and common teasel (discovered near Rudyard). These particular species have dominated fields and pastures downstate, but have not taken a foothold in the region. Because of the early detection of these species, Three Shores CISMA has begun management strategies to eradicate known infestations before they become too large to manage.

In addition to the grant work, Three Shores CISMA continued work improving habitat for the endangered shorebird, the piping plover, as well as other threatened/endangered plants with specific funding from the Hiawatha National Forest, restoring more than 315 acres of shoreline habitat critical to plover nesting and survival through removal of invasives such as spotted knapweed, white sweet clover, and Scotch pine.

Proper treatment of invasive species will help control efforts; however, the most successful management tool is still education and outreach. The Three Shores CISMA strives to educate public and private landowners on identification and the importance of working collaboratively to manage invasive species across jurisdictional boundaries. Such tasks are accomplished through public workshops and education events informing thousands of individuals each year on the importance of invasive species management.

These accomplishments would not be possible without the support of the Three Shores CISMA partners and volunteers. To learn more about invasive species or to get involved in efforts for 2018, contact Nick Cassel at (906) 632-9611, extension 121, or e-mail threeshorescisma@gmail.com.

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Nick, Thank you for this

Nick, Thank you for this excellent summary of the fine work you and the Three Shores CISMA staff do for our communities. You have been extremely helpful to us on LaSalle Island trying to eradicate invasive phragmites. Before your involvement, we were fighting a losing battle and our shoreline was 75% overtaken and the phragmites were so thick and tall we couldn't even see our boat at the end of the dock. We appreciate your professionalism and your care for our environment. Anne Phelps

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