WE Energies: Mitigation & Enhancement Fund (MEF): Expanding Community, Capacity, & Collaboration for Invasive Control
Spring 2019 to December 2020
Throughout the Menominee River Watershed (MRW), and the entirety of Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, invasive species continue to pose a significant threat to native and natural ecosystems. Yet the persistent spread of invasive species has spurred and consistently drives natural resource management throughout the region on both land and water. This effort, which focuses on prioritizing high quality habitats, promotes the preservation and enhancement of these natural areas as well as the endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna that exist within the MRW.
The Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC) is suitably located to address the imposition of invasive species in approximately 70% of the MRW, specifically the portions within the five county service area of WRISC (Florence, Forest, Marinette in WI; Dickinson, Menominee in MI). The continued funding of an invasive species Strike Team to implement targeted education, outreach, monitoring, and control will be critical in sustaining the momentum WRISC has built thus far. It will also contribute to the effectiveness of control by allowing follow-ups to previously treated sites and allowing priority invasives, such as Invasive Knotweeds, Garlic Mustard, Purple Loosestrife, Wild Parsnip, and more, to be discovered early on while at a manageable, initial infestation stage.
When approaching invasive species management at a watershed scale, we find it valuable to invest in people and the resources they can supplement to our organization. As WRISC continues to grow as an organization and expands project volume, partnerships have been strengthened with many groups throughout the management area and the MRW, currently including 36 formal Partners. However this expansion has highlighted the necessity to expand our connections with our local volunteer forces. By developing and coordinating a concentrated volunteer program WRISC can increase capacity for project implementation in early detection monitoring and targeted control efforts.
Spring 2019 to December 2020
Goal 1. Protect and promote the function of natural ecosystem services throughout the MRW by sustaining regional integrated invasive species management utilizing a Strike Team to implement project components such as monitoring, mapping, and control.
Goal 2. Foster the development of a coordinated volunteer program to supplement resources towards project components in an effort to protect natural MRW ecosystems through increased capacity.
Goal 3. Focus targeted efforts on manageable invasive species within the MRW to limit spread to natural habitats while simultaneously promoting an integrated management approach utilizing various control techniques