May 7, 2014

NYS DEC's 2014 Giant Hogweed Control Program Underway

Giant hogweed is a federal noxious weed, a non-native invasive plant and public health hazard which can cause severe burns, permanent scarring and even blindness. These very large plants also threaten biodiversity by shading and outcompeting native plants and can lead to soil erosion along slopes and riparian areas. 

This year, 13 NYSDEC giant hogweed seasonal staff will be doing giant hogweed control throughout NY State using manual and chemical control methods. Control crews are based at DEC's Avon, Allegany and Cortland offices and at the Montezuma Audubon Center; the hotline is located at DEC's New Paltz office. Funding for 2014 is provided by New York State (Office of Invasive Species Coordination and EPF Fund) and US Forest Service.

The Department is thankful for the collaboration of four PRISM*s (Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnerships*s (CRISP), Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program*s (APIPP), Lower Hudson, Saint Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO)) and the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) who agreed to do outreach, survey and control for some or all of the giant hogweed sites within their boundaries. 

Last year the Department controlled over 680,000 giant hogweed plants and monitored 251 sites that had no plants post-control. 23% of all known giant hogweed sites now have no plants post-control and 67% of all sites now have less than 100 plants; DEC's control efforts are really making a difference! To learn more about the Department's 2011 - 2013 program accomplishments, visit their NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Control Program page.

Please direct all giant hogweed inquiries that you receive to the:

NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Hotline

845-256-3111
ghogweed@gw.dec.state.ny.us

The hotline is a place for people to report new sites, get help identifying suspect giant hogweed plants, ask questions about the plant and how to control it, and connect with the statewide control project.  

More information can be found on the DEC giant hogweed control program information sheet.

The Department requests that if you notice giant hogweed while you are doing field work, please send an email to ghogweed@gw.dec.state.ny.us  with photos of the plant and its location. Please don't touch the plant while taking photos.

Information on giant hogweed, how to identify it, how to control it, maps of NY hogweed sites, can be found on the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse website Giant Hogweed Species Profile page, and on DEC's Giant Hogweed Identification page and DEC's Giant Hogweed web page.
 to learn .

For more information, contact:

Naja Kraus
Forest Health & Protection Program Botanist
Giant Hogweed Program Coordinator
NYSDEC Div. of Lands & Forests
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-256-3111
nekraus@gw.dec.state.ny.us