Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council

USDA FOREST SERVICE, SOUTHERN REGION, NON-NATIVE INVASIVE SPECIES (NNIS) STRATEGY AND NATIONAL FORESTS IN ALABAMA PROJECTS. Steve Rickerson, Forest Supervisor Alabama, and Rhonda Stewart, NNIS Coordinantor Alabama, USDA Forest Service, and USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, Non-Native Invasive Species Working Committee 2004. (


This presentation will introduce the USFS Southern Region (R8) Non-Native Invasive Species (NNIS) Strategy, and guidance to the federal programs. The presentation will also highlight on-ground NNIS projects that have been accomplished during the 2004-2005 season on the National Forests in Alabama.

The purpose of the Southern Region (R8) Non-Native Invasive Species Strategy is to provide an effective interdisciplinary framework to implement Non-Native Invasive Species (NNIS) management programs. The implementation will include R8 National Forests, State and Private Forestry, and Research and Development programs as applicable.

The goal of the R8 NNIS Program in the South is to reduce, minimize, or eliminate the potential for introduction, establishment, spread, and impact of non-native invasive species across all landscapes and ownerships. The vision for this program is to protect native ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as begin restoration of desired ecological functions or components after NNIS removal.

There are nine (9) Program Elements based on the high priority management actions identified by the National Invasive Species Council (NISC 2001). These are as follows:

  • Leadership and Coordination
  • Current Status and Trends
  • Prevention
  • Early Detection and Rapid Response
  • Control and Management
  • Restoration
  • Partnerships and Cooperation
  • Research
  • Information and Education

Priority Action Items for Non-Native Invasive Species (NNIS) - The following is a summary of the highest priority implementation items as determined by the R8 NNIS Strategy Steering Committee and Working Group:

  • Designate NNIS Coordinators at regional and forest levels. Incorporate existing or establish Memoranda of Understandings and Cooperative Agreements as needed to facilitate cooperative management of NNIS on national forest system and surrounding lands. Initiate or continue engagement with government, state and private partners.
  • Include direction in the budget advice for incorporating NNIS into all appropriate program areas. Identify and provide information on alternative funding sources.
  • Identify and implement prevention and control measures using multi-funding, partnerships, agreements and volunteers.
  • Explore use of the Wyden amendment for NNIS control. Where there are shared infestations among mixed ownership work with partners to develop rapid response plans that can be implemented across jurisdictional lines.
  • Compile lists of existing and potential occurrences of NNIS on each unit.
  • Prioritize NNIS posing the highest threats. Identify information gaps. Query forests to determine R8 NNIS status and information gaps; provide for information transfer to Research and State and Private Forestry.
  • Prioritize forest surveys, inventories and treatments based on threats to ecosystems and highest probability of NNIS occurrence, including but not limited to:
    • Threatened & Endangered species habitat, rare communities, etc.;
    • Designated special land allocations (e.g. Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, etc.);
    • Project proposal areas;
    • Migration pathways, (ex. urban interfaces, Rights-of-Way, water courses, etc.);
    • Administrative sites.
  • Provide training in identification, reporting and management of selected invasive non-native species to all Forest Service personnel. Collaborate with Research as well as State and Private Forestry to identify mutual priorities.
  • Implement existing preventive measures and explore new ways to implement appropriate cleaning of all equipment to prevent spread of NNIS.
  • Use all appropriate tools such as biological, cultural, chemical and physical controls for management of priority NNIS.
  • Monitor effectiveness of treatments and programs. Utilize Natural Resource Information System (NRIS) for storage and analysis of NNIS plant treatment data.
  • Identify and provide sources of alternative native or noninvasive species for use in rehabilitation and restoration projects.
  • Provide information to partners about NNIS and alternatives to use of NNIS.
  • Develop a NNIS communications plan for the Southern Region. Develop and maintain a R8 NNIS web site; coordinate with Public Affairs on the four threats web site.
University of Georgia The Bugwood Network Forestry Images   The Bugwood Network - The University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Warnell School of Forest Resources
Copyright 2002. All rights reserved.       Page last modified: Monday, April 29, 2002
Questions and/or comments to: