The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic weeds (FICMNEW) represents an unprecedented formal partnership between 18 federal agencies with direct invasive plant management and regulatory responsibilities spanning across the United States and territories. FICMNEW was established through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by agency leadership in 1994 and 1997. It is currently co-chaired by USDA-NIFA (Bob Nowierski) and DOI-BLM (Gina Ramos).
During monthly open meetings, FICMNEW members interact on important national and regional invasive plant issues and share information with various public and private organizations participating with the federal sector to address invasive plant issues.
FICMNEW's charter directs the committee to coordinate, through the respective Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and Agency heads, information regarding the identification and extent of invasive plants in the U.S. and to coordinate federal agency management of these species. FICMNEW accomplishes these portions of its charter by developing and sharing scientific and technical information, fostering collaborative efforts among federal agencies, providing recommendations for national and regional level management of invasive plants, and sponsoring technical/educational conferences and workshops concerning invasive plants.
FICMNEW continues to bridge the gap between federal agency invasive plant management and science activities and has been a driving force behind the national emphasis against the broader invasive species threat.
Past Open Meeting
(next open meeting will be held May 29th, 2:30 PM; details TBD)
Wednesday, March 27th
2:30 PM ET
Recent Detection and Spread of a new type of Trapa, an Invasive Aquatic Plant, in the Potomac River Watershed
A review of the information obtained from 2014 to 2018 on a new type of non-native water chestnut spreading in Virginia. How do we better reach out to stakeholders to inform them and encourage them to stop the spread of Trapa bispinosa? Are you aware of an existing federal or municipal program or a case study of the use of EDRR for species that threaten landscapes and aquatic areas?
Dr. Nancy Rybicki, USGS emeritus aquatic plant ecologist
In the past Dr. Rybicki conducted long term research projects on the increase of submersed aquatic vegetation abundance and diversity in the freshwater, tidal Potomac River during a time interval when water quality improved. Her education was in Environmental Science and she is an affiliate professor at George Mason University.
This plant is a non-native floating aquatic plant that was discovered in 2014 in the Potomac River watershed and has been spreading rapidly since. Currently, it is reported and verified to occur in small colonies in about 30 water bodies, mostly ponds, in several northern Virginia counties (see the USGS NAS database for more information). Immediate action is needed to control this plant before it expands throughout the watershed and causes significant ecological, economic and recreational impacts.
Cryptic introduction of water chestnut (Trapa) in the northeastern United States
Chorak et al. 2019, Aquatic Botany 155:32-37
MOU's (memoranda of understanding)
Charter (2008) (pdf)
Fact sheet (2017) (pdf)
History - based on information provided by Bonnie Harper-Lore