Feb 24, 2015


Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program 2014 Annual Report Now Available


The 2014 Annual Report for the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (Adirondack Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management) is now available.


The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) serves as the Adirondack Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, one of eight regional partnerships across New York. APIPP is a partnership program among the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, more than 30 cooperating organizations, and more than 700 volunteers. We thank all of our partners and collaborators who participate in the program and share their ideas, time, and resources to protect the Adirondacks from invasive species. APIPP operates under contract with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation with funding provided through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

2014 in Review

Invasive species is an issue front and center of concern in the Adirondack region. Action is underway at local, regional, and statewide levels, contributing to a comprehensive approach to stop their spread. APIPP works every day – joining forces with great organizations, communities, and volunteers – to put strategic and innovative solutions into place.

Snapshot of 2014 Highlights:

  • Celebrating Staff Transitions! In September, Hilary Smith stepped down as APIPP’s director to assume the role of Invasive Species Coordinator with the Department of Interior in Washington D.C. Former Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator, Brendan Quirion, assumed the role of APIPP coordinator upon Hilary’s departure. In June, APIPP’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator, Erin Vennie-Vollrath, joined the team and APIPP is currently in the process of recruiting its new Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator.
  • APIPP’s Website Gets a Facelift! APIPP’s website underwent a much needed upgrade in 2013 and the new site went live in early 2014. The new site contains species profiles, distribution maps, a calendar of APIPP events, and much more! You can check out the new site at
  • Regional Boat Wash & Decontamination Program Gains Momentum! After a successful summer of implementing a mandatory boat wash and decontamination program on Lake George, there was strong interest among APIPP’s partners and Adirondack communities to expand a similar program across the Adirondack region to prevent the landscape level spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. In collaboration with Paul Smith’s College, The Lake Champlain Basin Program, and the Lake George Association, APIPP finalized a report entitled ―Boat Inspection and Decontamination for Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention; Recommendations for the Adirondack Region‖ to help inform this discussion. On December 19th, APIPP organized a meeting at Paul Smith’s College entitled ―Building Consensus for an Integrated, Regional Boat Stewardship, Inspection, and Decontamination Program in the Adirondacks.‖ Thirty-three people representing 23 different Adirondack stakeholder groups were in attendance and came to general consensus on a strategy to operationalize a regional program moving forward.
  • Legislative Victories Set New York up for Success! The State of New York passed important legislation in 2014 to further prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. Key legislative victories included finalizing a bill restricting the rearing and release of Eurasian boar and passing a statewide aquatic invasive species transport law.
  • Response Teams Ready to Respond! APIPP’s five year contract with the state was renewed in August 2014. The new contract contains additional funding for both terrestrial and aquatic regional response teams over the next five years. APIPP piloted the response team approach with private funding from 2011 through 2013 and the results of this work were able to leverage this new state funding.
  • Working to Protect our Environment and our Economy! APIPP commissioned Yellow Wood Associates, Inc. to finalize a report entitled ―The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment‖. The report identified eight high risk invasive species and calculated the projected economic impact of those species on the Adirondack Park’s economy. The report estimated the total annual loss to recreation and tourism, agriculture, and forestry sectors to be $48 - $53 million with an estimated long-term property value loss of $420 - $840.
  • Statewide Programs Speak with One Voice! Invasive species programs from across the state adopted the ―Stop the Invasion‖ logo and slogan to promote consistent invasive species messaging across the state. This new logo can be seen in the top left corner of the previous page.
  • Celebrating Partners! APIPP instituted its second Annual Volunteer Achievement Awards and recognized Jane Smith and Bill McGhie from the East Shore Schroon Lake Association for their exemplary volunteer leadership.

Round-up of accomplishments, by the numbers:

  • From project planning to boots-on-the-ground, more than 30 cooperating organizations worked together on invasive species prevention and management efforts.
  • The Terrestrial Project managed approximately 332 infestations of priority invasive plants and performed detailed trend analysis to better document management success over time. These trend charts are featured in the report.
  • 215 aquatic volunteers spent almost 700 hours surveying 111 waterways for aquatic invasive plants.
  • 97 waterways have aquatic invasive species (AIS); 235 have no AIS observed.
  • APIPP staff presented to nearly 1,500 people at more than 40 events: partner efforts further increased the reach.

This is just a sampling of the great work underway. Click here to read the full report and find ouit what else APIPP has we been up to, and where they are heading in 2015.

Feb 24, 2015


Western NY Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management 2014 Annual Report Now Available

The 2014 Annual Report for the Western NY PRISM is now available on the WNY PRISM page at document summarizes the PRISM’s many accomplishments from its first year of operation and includes:

  • Mission
  • Background
  • WNY PRISM Steering Committee and Staff
  • Goals and Accomplishments
  • Partner/Network Coordination
  • Information Management
  • Education and Outreach
  • Prevention
  • Early Detection and Rapid Response
  • Management and Habitat Restoration
  • Partners and Updates on Partner Projects
  • Summary of Project Expenses


Click here to view the full Western PRISM 2014 annual report.


Feb 23, 2015

NY Invasive Species Public Awareness Phase I Study Now Available

Ithaca, NY                                                                                                            Contact:  Chuck O’Neill

20 February 2015                                                                                                      


NY Invasive Species Public Awareness Phase I Study Now Available

The Cornell University Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program (CCE ISP) has announced that the report summarizing Phase I of the study “New York Residents’ Awareness of Invasive Species” has been completed and is now available for download at the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse website, NYIS.INFO. This study of the awareness and understanding of invasive species among average New Yorkers was commissioned by the CCE ISP with NY Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) funding through a contract with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The study is being undertaken by the Human Dimensions Research Unit in the Department of Natural Resources of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Invasive species have been introduced and spread throughout New York State for generations. Current efforts at preventing new introductions, detecting new invasions in time to undertake a rapid response that stands a chance of eradicating or at least preventing the spread of those introductions, slowing or preventing the spread of existing infestations, and undertaking effective control and management programs are generally based on the knowledge of a relatively small community of experts. While it has long been known that the general public, and also specific resource user groups, can help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, information on how much the public knows and understands about invasive species, and how willing they are to help be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, has never been collected on a statewide basis in NY.

“Understanding the level of awareness, knowledge, and concern about invasive species among the general public and the behaviors engaged in by specific stakeholder groups can guide educators and outreach coordinators as they develop programs to encourage people to behave in such a way as to prevent the spread of invasive species,” said Nancy Connelly, one of the researchers on the project. The CCE ISP hopes that this study will serve as a baseline against which future outreach efforts can be measured.

The study is being undertaken in three parts; Phase I was an initial screening survey conducted by telephone in the fall of 2014 to identify those New Yorkers with some level of awareness of invasive species, and Phases II will be a more in-depth follow-up survey by web/mail and Phase III will consist of  detailed telephone interviews with those who had some level of awareness. The follow-up survey and interviews were designed to identify how New Yorkers’ concern about invasive species compares to other concerns, and whether their behaviors influence the spread of invasive species.

This Phase I report details the results of the initial screening survey.

“Some of the findings were surprising,” says Chuck O’Neill, Coordinator of the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program. “The research team at the HDRU found that three-quarters (74%) of New Yorkers are aware of the term ‘invasive species’ or the definition that was provided by the survey. One-third (34%), by their own assessment, ‘know something about them,’ with knowledge levels being the lowest in NYC and Long Island and highest in the Adirondack and St. Lawrence – Eastern Lake Ontario regions.”

The HDRU team asked about public awareness of seven specific invasive species. The most widely known species, by name at least, were water chestnut (59%) and wild pigs (57%). Awareness levels for various species, which varied by region, can help educators decide where to focus their future outreach efforts to have a greater impact on public awareness.

TV and Internet were found to be the primary sources of news and information for New Yorkers. Using both of these outlets has the potential to reach at least three-quarters of residents with invasive species messages.

The follow-up Phase II and Phase III will provide more detailed information about levels of concern about invasive species, behaviors that may contribute to or help prevent introductions and spread of invasive species and New Yorker’s willingness to do more to prevent the spread and under what conditions.

The full report can be found on NYIS.INFO, or by visiting the Human Dimensions Research Unit website at

For more information on the overall study concept, contact:

Chuck O’Neill, Coordinator
Cornell University Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program