Blog from July, 2019

NAISMA is hiring!

The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, announces an employment opportunity for a 3⁄4 time Program Manager position to administer the PlayCleanGo® Program.

PlayCleanGo is an international education and outreach campaign for outdoor recreationists developed to promote awareness, understanding, and cooperation by providing a clear call to action to be informed, attentive, and accountable for stopping the spread of invasive species. The PlayCleanGo program needs a Program Manager with creative ideas for program growth and who thrives in a fast-paced and creative team.

The successful candidate will help grow the program’s reach in the U.S.; facilitate committees and partner involvement; oversee and manage new outreach, partnership, and program promotion initiatives; generate reports and communications for internal and external publications and grants as needed; have excellent communication skills; and experience managing projects with multiple partners.

While NAISMA’s office is in Milwaukee,Wisconsin, this position can be executed via telecommuting from anywhere if the successful candidate has demonstrated capacity to do so. This is a 1-year, non-salaried contractor position, renewable depending on the successful candidate’s performance and the organization’s fundraising efforts.

Click here for the complete Program Manager job announcement. Interested candidates, please email a single pdf file with a resume or CV and cover letter with 2-3 references to: bbergner@naisma.org by COB Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

A new species of thistle has been found in the Hells Canyon Wilderness of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. The Oregon population is found in Wallowa County, which borders Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin Counties in Washington.

Turkish or Spanish thistle (Carduus cinereus) has never been found in North America so this will be a new one to watch out for. See photos below. It was originally identified as Italian thistle (C. pycnocephalus). The plants were generally quite short at the Oregon sites but could grow up to 2 feet. There doesn’t seem to be a lot known about this species but it is worth keeping on your radar. 

A paper about this species should be coming out soon (Gaskin et al. Carduus cinereus (Asteraceae) – New to North America, in press). 

inflorescence with stem and rootInfested hillsidethistle leaf on person's leg, showing size and spiny leaf edges.Erect plant stem and leaves showing spines.Triple purple and white inflorescences and scale-like bracts.

WHEN:

Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 1:30pm – 2:30pm (Eastern time)

WHERE:

USDA FOREST SERVICE HEADQUARTERS - Yates Building, 201 14TH Street, SW (Washington DC) in the Civilian Conservation Corps room
(basement/promenade level)

TOPIC:

Endogenous chemical isolates research and development for invasive species control and management

SPEAKERS:

Dr. Shiyou Li, Stephen F. Austin University and DR. Rima Lucardi, USFS Southern Research Station

ABSTRACT:

Endogenous biocides are a novel innovation in the treatment and management of non-native invasive plant species. This research between the Forest Service (Research & Development, Southern Research Station), Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX), and Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS) seeks to utilize isolated chemicals produced and already present natively within the target plant species. When applied to infestations in specific concentrations or following chemical refining processes, these biocides can be auto-toxic and lethal to the undesirable species. This approach has already been demonstrated with local-scale, aquatic applications in Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta), with no non-target impacts observed. The collaborators on this research seek to identify and develop auto-toxic biocidal compounds for two highly invasive, non-native species in the southern United States: 1) Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) and 2) cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica & hybrids). Preliminary greenhouse trials of promising chemical isolates (endogenous biocides) applied to Chinese tallow tree seedlings have shown lethality within days. We seek to continue research and development of chemical compounds for the treatment of these and other highly invasive non-native species. We first plan to obtain and compare invasive and native lineages of both plant species in terms of genetic and chemical profiles. Second, we will identify and test isolated compounds in replicated greenhouse trials. Third, we will seek approval for set-up and field-testing of lethal compounds at SRS experimental forests, across states and ecophysiographic regions. Lastly, and perhaps the most challenging and ambitious step, is developing a method for chemical synthesis and scaling-up the process for the treatment and extirpation of large infestations of these invasive plant species, without non- target impacts, in forested ecosystems on both public and private lands.

INTERNET CONNECTION AND PHONE
Dial: 1-888-844-9904
Access Code: 3847359#
https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/sfmr/

On June 7, 2019, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it was investigating a detection of genetically engineered (GE) wheat in an unplanted agricultural field in Washington State.  The GE wheat plants in question were resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. After a thorough fact finding effort, APHIS has determined through testing that the GE wheat plants in question were developed by Monsanto (now owned by Bayer CropScience (BCS)) and referred to as MON 71300 and MON 71800.   

There is no evidence that any GE wheat has entered commerce or is in the food supply.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a voluntary food and feed safety evaluation on MON 71800 several years ago, concluding it was as safe as non-GE wheat currently on the market. MON 71300 contains the same gene for glyphosate resistance as MON 71800, previously evaluated by FDA. With respect to MON 71300, FDA states it “would have no safety concerns in the unlikely event that low levels of MON 71300 wheat or MON 71800 wheat were present in the food supply.”  Additionally, APHIS is announcing that a test kit will be available for our trading partners to detect MON 71300.  Previous test kits detected MON 71800 found in Oregon (2013) and MON 71700 found in Washington (2016). 

There is no GE wheat for sale or in commercial production in the United States at this time.

APHIS is collaborating with our state, industry and trading partners.  Announcing the availability of this test is part of our commitment to provide the public and all of our partners with timely and transparent information about our findings.

After previous detections of GE wheat, APHIS strengthened its oversight of regulated GE wheat field trials.  APHIS now requires developers to apply for a permit for field trials involving GE wheat beginning with GE wheat planted on or after January 1, 2016. Bringing GE wheat under permit enables APHIS to create and enforce permit conditions that ensure confinement and minimize the risk that the regulated GE wheat will persist in the environment.