Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Phenology Report for April 14, 2015

From time to time, we will be reporting on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.  Feel free to add to the knowledge by emailing chris.evans@illinois.gov and letting me know what the plants are doing in your area of Illinois.
Phenology Report for April 14, 2015*
(Contributors include Cathy McGlynn, Mike Daab, Caleb Grantham, Nick Seaton, and Eric Smith, )
*Report based upon observations between April 8-14, 2015
Southern Illinois
  • Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora and bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii  - These two common woody shrub species are actively expanding their leaves right now and are nearing full leaf expansion.  This is not the time of year to treat these species with chemicals.  Wait until the leaves have fully expanded before conducting cut stump or foliar applications.
  • Autumn olive, Elaeagnus umbellata - This species is actively expanding its leaves and starting to flower. This is not the time of year to treat this species with chemicals.  Wait until the leaves have fully expanded before conducting cut stump or foliar applications.
  • Callery (Bradford) pear, Pyrus calleryana - This species is past peak for flowering.  Many of the plants still have flowers on them but the leaves are expanding now as the flowers fade.  It is still a great time of year to find and report new populations.  Look for this species along roadsides, rights-of-way, and other open habitats.
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata - Garlic mustard is bolting right now and starting to bloom. If a population is bolting but not flowering, it can still be treated with herbicide.  Once the population starts flowering heavily, you best option is to hand pull, bag, and remove the plants.
  • Italian arum, Arum italicum - Is starting to actively grow.  New succulent leaves can be found.  This new invader is showing up in land within and adjacent to urban areas.
Central Illinois
  • Bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii; autumn olive, Elaeagnus umbellata; and Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica - These woody species are starting to leaf out, moving towards mid-leaf expansion.  This is not the time of year to treat these species with chemicals.  Wait until the leaves have fully expanded before conducting cut stump or foliar applications.
  • Callery (Bradford) pear, Pyrus calleryana - This species is beginning to flower now.  This is the perfect time of year to survey and find new populations of this plant.  Look for this species along roadsides, rights-of-way, and other open habitats.
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata - Garlic mustard is not yet starting to bolt in Central Illinois but is expected to soon.  These populations can be treated with herbicides or hand-pulled.  Once the populations start to flower heavily, then hand pull, bag, and remove the plants.
Northern Illinois
  • Lesser celandine, Ranunculus ficaria - This new invader is starting to bloom.  The bright yellow flowers blooming in low woods are easily spotted this time of year.  Be sure to verify identification, as there are native wildflowers that bloom in early spring that could be confused with this species.
  • Japanese barberry, Berberis thungbergii and goutweed, Aegopodium podagraria - These two invaders are actively expanding their leaves right now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium - May 28th in Champaign, IL

As the culminating event of 2015 Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month, the Illinois Invasive Species Symposium promises to be a great opportunity to learn more about what is happening on the invasive species front throughout Illinois. The Illinois Invasive Species Symposium is a one-day, all-taxa symposium that features talks on current and emerging issues surrounding invasive plants, diseases, insects, and animals in Illinois.  Also including in the symposium is a ceremony for this year's Invasive Species Awareness Month Award winners.

This year's symposium will be held on May 28th from 9:30am - 4pm at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Champaign.  The symposium is free and open to the public.  We are planning on a live webcast of all presentations again this year, so check back for details on this as we get closer to the date.

More information on the symposium can be found at: http://www.invasive.org/illinois/2015InvasiveSpeciesSymposium.html

Recordings of last year's symposium can be found at: http://www.invasive.org/illinois/2014InvasiveSpeciesSymposium.html

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Japanese stiltgrass found in Iowa

Last fall, an infestation of Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was found in Johnson County Iowa.  This represents that first time this species has been found in that state and the furthest Northwest it has been found.

Even though stiltgrass is an annual plant that ‘comes on’ primarily in the summer, it can still be identified this time of year by the thatch.  New germinates will start in late spring / early summer.

Below is a link to a document on the identification of stiltgrass that you might find useful –

Lastly, if you do know of or find infestations of stiltgrass in areas that are not indicated on this map, please enter the record into EDDMapS at www.eddmaps.org.   Just from looking at the map, I would think the Mississippi River corridor between Illinois and Missouri is a prime spot to find new infestations.

Job Announcement - Invasive Species Project Coordinator - River to River CWMA

The Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc.
River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area

Job Description

Position Title:                   River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area Project Coordinator
Salary:                               $3,700 - $5,800 per month
Location:                           Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Marion, IL
Closing Date:                    4/17/2015

Essential Functions
The River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area Project Coordinator (PC) is a full-time contract position.   As this is a contract position, benefits are not included.  Contract work is secured through June 2017.  The PC serves as the coordinator of the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, a joint project of 13 Steering Committee members (see table below).  The PC’s office is based at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Marion, IL but work will be conducted throughout the entire CWMA area.  This position takes lead responsibility for the CWMA, providing oversight and support for the implementation of CWMA projects and further development to achieve the mission of the CWMA.  The CWMA’s mission is to establish a framework for cooperatively addressing the effects of non-native invasive plants across jurisdictional boundaries within the 11 southern counties (Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Williamson, and Union) in Illinois.    To learn more about the CWMA, visit www.rtrcwma.org.

  River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area Steering Committee Members
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
USDA Forest Service - Shawnee National Forest
USFWS-Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge
USFWS-Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
USFWS-Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Illinois Department of Transportation
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
University of Illinois Extension
The Nature Conservancy
Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development Area, INC.

The coordinator will work as part of the CWMA Steering Committee to provide oversight and support for the planning and implementation of projects to achieve the mission of the CWMA.  The coordinator has primary responsibility for completed project deliverables on existing grant-funded projects.  The coordinator also works with public agencies, conservation groups, and private landowners to advance the CWMA and ensure abatement of invasive plant species threats to the Cooperative Weed Management Area.  The CWMA Project Coordinator does not currently supervise other employees but does help direct the contractual work of others.

Specific Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management or related area and 1 to 2 years related experience or equivalent combination.  Additional education may be substituted for experience.
  • Proven effectiveness in working with public agencies and other land managers.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the CWMA mission to diverse groups including elected officials, donors, agencies, the public and others.  Working knowledge of invasive species prevention, early detection, containment and control techniques.
  • An in-depth understanding of the ecological impacts of invasive species.
  • Demonstrated ability to secure funding.

Specific Duties
  1. Coordinate CWMA steering committee meetings and other meetings as needed.
  2. Provide strategic financial and technical assistance to landowners for invasive plant control within the CWMA.
  3. Implement the invasive species control portion of a forest health project that incorporates prescribed fire (in collaboration with the Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association) to promote forest health.  Work with Master Naturalists, volunteers and the volunteer coordinator to establish the Forest Restoration Support Team (FRST).  Conduct workdays and education and outreach events.
  4. Facilitate the implementation of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan’s Invasive Species Campaign within the CWMA.
  5. Provide invasive plant workshops and training sessions for volunteers, landowners, businesses, and agencies.   Serve as the point person for collection and dissemination of information on invasive plant species in the CWMA.  Disseminate educational material focused on regional invasive species.  Prepare new educational materials. 
  6. Consult with land management agencies, the Southern Illinois Invasive Species Strike Team, and private landowners on up-to-date control information, regional invasive plant priorities, and application methods.
  7. Develop annual CWMA reports and management plans for priority species. 
  8. Identify and seek out available funding opportunities.
  9. Compile, collect, and enter invasive plant distribution data into the EDDMapS mapping system.
  10. Work with CWMA members to continue Early Detection and Rapid Response for new invasive species.
  11.  Administer and initiate CWMA initiatives coordinated with local, state, and federal government agencies and other organizations.
  12.  Effectively represent the CWMA to the general public, elected and other governmental officials, industry, donors, media and other individuals and organizations.
  13. Facilitate Invasive Species Awareness Month activities and events within the CWMA.
  14. Continue the development of the CWMA website, Facebook page and news blog.
  15. Other duties as assigned by the Steering Committee.

  1. Knowledge of current trends in invasive species policy, management and planning at the local, state, and national scale.
  2. Successful experience in developing, directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic project goals.
  3. Management and administration experience, including ability to motivate, lead, meet objectives and manage performance of a large partnership.
  4. Demonstrated experience in MS Office software, database/website development and GIS.

Complexity/Problem Solving
  1. Cultivate the creative ideas of others to identify potential solutions.  Experiment to find creative solutions – think outside the box.
  2. Resolve complex issues independently within the project area. 
  3. Design, implement, and direct multiple projects within the local area, setting deadlines and ensuring project accountability.

  1. Make sound decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
  2. Act independently within broad program goals.
  3. Decisions will affect other partners within project area and may have project-wide impact.

Responsibility/Oversight – Financial & Supervisory
  1. Serve as project coordinator for CWMA and for some projects; coordinate the work of others.
  2. Financial responsibility includes setting and meeting fundraising goals, i.e. grant preparation, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies as needed.  Responsibility and accountability for meeting CWMA strategic goals and objectives.
  3. Will need to gain cooperation from individuals or groups over whom there is no direct authority in order to accomplish project goals.

Communications/Interpersonal Contacts
  1. Communication and presentations skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of CWMA to diverse groups including elected officials, donors, steering committee, the public and others.  Communicate strategic project goals and objectives.
  2. Work in partnership with other organizations in a collaborative or advisory role.
  3. Prepare and present project proposals, including negotiating with federal, state and local agencies and other organizations to achieve project goals.

Working conditions/Physical effort
  1. Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines.
  2. Ability to work an irregular schedule including weekends and unpredicted schedule change, travel on short notice.

To apply, send Cover Letter, Resume (including 3 references), and Narrative addressing the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities to:
Chris Evans
11731 State Highway 37
Benton, IL 62812
email: Chris.Evans@illinois.gov
fax: 618-439-7376

Note:  Electronic submittals are accepted and encouraged.  All materials must be received on or before Close of Business on 4/17/2015

For questions, contact Chris Evans at 618.435.8138 X 131 or Chris.Evans@illinois.gov

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 First Detector Training Workshop Dates and Locations Announced

Dec. 2, 2014

Source: Kelly Estes, 217-333.1005, kcook8@illinois.edu
News writer: Stephanie Henry, 217-244-1183, slhenry@illinois.edu

2015 Invasive pest awareness workshops will focus on early detection and response

URBANA, Ill.  – University of Illinois Extension has announced the dates for its 2015 Illinois First Detector Invasive Pest Workshops covering important landscape and nursery pests, diseases, and invasive plants. Workshops will be offered at eight locations in Illinois beginning in January 2015.

Early detection and response is key to managing invasive pests. The Illinois First Detector Workshops, now in their third year, are aimed at improving first detector training and invasive species awareness. The workshops will cover new topics on current and emerging invasive plants, pathogens, and insects. Each location will have sessions covering the brown marmorated stink bug, viruses in ornamental plants, and invasive plants and their management, as well as a session devoted to discussing invasive pest pathways.

“Community involvement is key in the early detection of invasive species. We are very excited about these new workshop topics and look forward to working with participants in learning more about these issues facing our local communities,” said Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator.

As in previous years, these in-depth training sessions will cover material that includes:

  • Identification/detection
  • Life cycle/biology
  • Hosts
  • Sampling
  • Management
  • Commonly confused look-a-likes

Once again, those attending will also take part in hands-on activities, which will allow attendees to examine these pests and diseases in more detail.

The target audience includes certified arborists, tree care professionals, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, forestry and natural resource professionals, conservationists, and others with an interest in trees.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available for:  IAA Certified Arborists, Continuing Forestry Education Credits, Master Gardener, and Master Naturalist.

Workshops will be held at the following locations:

  • Collinsville, Jan. 29 – 618-344-4230
  • Wheaton, Feb. 3 – 630-584-6166
  • DeKalb, Feb. 4 – 815-758-8194
  • Mt. Vernon, Feb. 11 – 618-548-1446
  • Charleston, Feb. 12 – 217-543-3755
  • Macomb, Feb. 18 – 309-837-3939
  • Moline, Feb. 19 – 309-756-9978
  • Bloomington, Feb. 26 – 309-663-8306

Those interested in attending should contact the host locations above for registration. A $40 non-refundable registration fee covers instruction, on-site lunch, and training materials. Space is limited.

This program and materials are based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2014-70006-22557and coordinated by Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator, IL CAPS Program at the Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, and Diane Plewa, Plant Clinic diagnostician and outreach coordinator, Department of Crop Sciences. Additional support for this program will be provided by Christopher Evans, the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan - invasive species campaign coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Scott Schirmer, plant and pesticide specialist supervisor, emerald ash borer program manager, Illinois Department of Agriculture. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness Workshops in Southern Illinois.

Recent discoveries of Emerald Ash Borer in Perry and Williamson counties underscore the need for communities to be proactive against Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The University of Illinois Extension is offering the following programs for local officials, municipalities, park districts, arborists, and others impacted by the recent Emerald Ash Borer findings. The programs will be held at the following locations:

Thursday, November 13
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center
8588 Rte 148 Marion, IL 62959
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 13
Perry County Government Building Conference Room
3764 State Rte 13/127
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
From: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, November 14
Shawnee National Forest
50 Highway 145 South Harrisburg, IL 62946
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Workshop participants will learn about emerald ash borer, why it is a threat to our natural forests and urban trees, regulatory implications of the recent discoveries, and how to create a community action plan to manage ash trees on city-owned and private property. This workshop will discuss how to take inventory of all ash trees within a community in order to develop budget needs should large-scale ash tree removal become necessary.

The program is FREE, but reservations are required by November 12. To register call University of Illinois Extension, Jackson county at: 618-687-1727 or register online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/fjprw/

Monday, October 27, 2014

Illinois Stop the Spread! Callery Pear Alternative Tree Demonstration Fall Planting

Jennifer Behnken, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Dept. of Forestry
Agriculture Building - Mailcode 4411
1205 Lincoln Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618/435-3341
Fax: 618/453-7475

Illinois Stop the Spread!
Callery Pear Alternative Tree Demonstration Fall Planting
Saturday, November 1, 2014, 9:30am-11:30am
Attucks Park/ Pyles Fork Reserve, 800 N. Wall St. Carbondale, IL       
           The Callery pear (also known as Bradford pear) is a potentially problematic tree for land managers and residents alike, prone to splitting and demonstrating invasive tendencies.  The Illinois Stop the Spread! campaign provides a positive solution to the problem of the Callery pear by identifying and promoting available species of native trees and shrubs which consumers, landscapers, and city planners may select as alternatives.  We continue these planting efforts at Attucks Park/Pyles Fork Preserve in Carbondale with the next installment of native trees and shrubs.
             Join us in the festivities to see how you can help extend our message and Stop the Spread in Illinois!  Come one, come all to view and participate in our planting project!  Approximately 20 trees and shrubs of varying species with desirable characteristics to serve as suitable replacements for ornamental pear trees will be planted with volunteers on the first Saturday morning of November 1st, starting at 9:30am.  Sport your favorite pair of work gloves and head on down to Attucks Park to help!  There will be a brief overview of tree planting methods followed by the planting itself.  Light refreshments will be offered. 
             This is a volunteer project and as such, we are asking for your help.  Please consider donating to Green Earth to supplement our efforts.  Funds will be used to offset costs of printing outreach materials which will be free to the public, as well as materials for tree maintenance, such as fertilizer and mulch.  Even one dollar can go a long way; all support, personal and businesses alike, is greatly appreciated! 
             For further inquiries, contact Jennifer Behnken, Southern Illinois University's community forestry coordinator at 618-453-2517 or jbehnken@siu.edu or Karla Gage, coordinator at River to River Weed Cooperative Management Area at 618-998-5920 or rtcwma@gmail.com.