Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council

SE-EPPC E-NEWS August 25 Volume 1


1. Starting Now…SE-EPPC News is on-line
2. Developing a SE-EPPC strategic plan
3. SE-EPPC launches mapping and database project
4. Ask questions and find out what's happening on SE-EPPC's new listserve
5. New officers and representatives to SE-EPPC Board
6. 8th Annual SE-EPPC Symposium Meets in North Carolina
7. State chapter report: Alabama
8. Report on NAEPPC activities
9. Upcoming Events
10. Jobs, resources, and other opportunities

1. Starting Now…SE-EPPC E News is on-line
SE-EPPC is back in the newsletter business. After a hiatus of four years, when SE-EPPC NEWS was last published, SE-EPPC E-NEWS is now up and running. It will be emailed to SE-EPPC members and posted on-line on a quarterly basis. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide news from around the region, summary information regarding SE-EPPC activities, and occasional information about EPPC activity outside the southeast. This includes upcoming meetings, conferences and job opportunities, as well as updates on the National Association of EPPC.

The decision to revive the newsletter emerged through a strategic planning process that began at the October 2004 Nashville SE-EPPC Board meeting. The strategic planning process continued into the spring of 2005 and was the subject of a forum at the 7th Annual SE-EPPC Symposium in Birmingham, Alabama. At that forum, over 100 SE-EPPC members overwhelmingly agreed that the newsletter should to be resurrected. Per a proposal submitted by past president Brian Bowen, the SE EPPC board decided, at the February 06 board meeting, that Brian would serve as editor.

The newsletter is intended to complement and promote other available SE-EPPC resources including Wildland Weeds, the SE-EPPC website and the newly launched listserve. Wildland Weeds is published quarterly by the Florida EPPC and provides SE-EPPC members' articles and in-depth news on invasive plant issues. The website is managed by Bugwood through the University of Georgia and is located at It provides invaluable tools, links, databases, and is the sign-up location for participation on the SE-EPPC listserve.

It is with great pleasure that SE-EPPC sends you the first of many e- newsletters to come. If you prefer not to receive it, please email Carrie Miller at if you are outside of Florida, or Dianne Owen at if you are in Florida. Otherwise, it will be sent automatically to you on a quarterly basis.

2. Developing a SE-EPPC strategic plan
The strategic planning process got off the ground in Nashville October 2004, continued into the spring of 2005, and was a part of the 7th Annual SE-EPPC Symposium in Birmingham Alabama. The Nashville meeting included interested individuals as well as board members. The strategic plan identified certain projects that have regional importance and established major goals. An outline of the plan, developed during the forum, can be viewed by clicking on

There were three major goals identified: 1) establish SE-EPPC regional committees; 2) hire a fulltime Executive Director to raise funds and provide leadership; and 3) continue to work to complete a visionary five year strategic plan. The regional committees that were proposed include: program development, training and technical support, early detection and rapid response, communications, and research.

As a starting point in implementing the strategic plan, the newsletter editor will assist in reinvigorating committees that have been semi-dormant for some time. Some of these may re-emerge as the committees identified above. One such committee will work to identify potential funding sources to hire an executive director, develop a job description, and job plan.

The third goal, to complete a visionary five-year strategic plan, is simply a way of stating that the strategic plan is dynamic and will constantly need to be refined as we continue to reinvent SE-EPPC so that it will always be improving and responsive to its members and mission.

3. SE-EPPC launches mapping database project
The early detection and rapid response committee has been established. It is in its infancy but will coalesce around the SE-EPPC regional mapping database. This project was recently launched on the SE-EPPC webpage at Its inception evolved by committee over the past two years and has been implemented by our webmaster, Chuck Bargeron and his associate Chris Evans, who help operate the Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia. The Bugwood Network provides images and information sources to support forestry, natural resources and agriculture through the development of 15 web sites that receive over 10 million hits each month.

You can visit the site and register to help enter invasive species data that will then be displayed on distribution maps. Once you register and get a password, you will be able to view the invasive species distribution maps and access the report infestations site that will allow you to become a participant in this important project. There you will find a user-friendly report form with scroll down choices specifically designed for your state to foster easy data entry. The quality control (qc) of data will be the responsibility of the state. SE-EPPC is working with each state to develop a committee that will be responsible for this task. All data will become part of the database, provided the report forms are accurately completed. A record will occur as either verified or non-verified. A record becomes verified if it has been reviewed and approved by the state committee.

The project has multiple values, one of which is to create a much more accurate database of invasive plant distribution throughout the southeast. This, in turn, will allow states to better refine their state invasive species lists, and provide better information for invasive species assessments. By creating a better mapping database, we will also increase our capacity to implement early detection and rapid response. However, this aspect of the project becomes effective only once the database becomes populated with verified site reports.

Please keep your eyes open for more on this. SE-EPPC will be providing workshops and will continue to host a session at our annual symposia to increase participation. You will be able to learn more about the mapping database project in the upcoming fall edition of Wildland Weeds. Please participate!

4. Ask questions and find out what's happening on SE-EPPC's new listserve
If you are interested in interacting on-line with others and you want to find out what's happening around the region, check out the new SE-EPPC listserve. You can sign up and participate by visiting our website at or by going to the listserve host at

You will be prompted to join (or leave) and asked for your name, email address and a password. Once a confirmation message is sent back to you, you have joined the listserv. Once you have joined, you will simply need to log in at the SE-EPPC home page. You then can search in the archives to see what's been written. It's a great chance for you to provide input and directly communicate with other SE-EPPC members.

5. New officers and representatives to SE-EPPC Board
SE-EPPC elected new officers at their past board meeting in Raleigh N.C. on May 22, 06. Tony Pernas was elected president. Lee Patrick was elected treasurer. Tony has served on the board since 1999 and was past vice president. He is a FL EPPC board member. Lee is a TN-IPC member and previously served as treasurer when SE-EPPC was first established in 1999. Brian Bowen will serve on the board as past president. He is a member of TN-IPC. In addition, Florida recently delegated Karen Brown as FL EPPC representative to the SE-EPPC board. She is also editor of Wildland Weeds. South Carolina has delegated John Brubaker as their representative. Michigan Invasive Plant Council delegated Amy Frankman. Amy, John, and Karen will serve on the Board as members at large. A directory of SE-EPPC Board members can be found online at

6. 8th Annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium Meets in North Carolina - report by Johnny Randall, NC-EPPC President. The 8th annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium was hosted by the North Carolina-EPPC, May 23-25, at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Sponsors included the North Carolina Botanical Garden, U.S. Forest Service, Syngenta Crop Protection, and the North Carolina Vegetation Management Association. The theme was "Invasive Plants: Detection, Response, and Control." Abstracts available at:

We crafted a meeting that provided information to bolster our efforts to move forward on three primary fronts: detecting invasive species through widespread education; responding to invasive species occurrences before they become established; and controlling these occurrences appropriately by using current methods that are effective and ecologically sound.

The symposium presentations also demonstrated how one person can make a difference, that partnerships are crucial, that success is achievable, and that persistence and dedication are essential. And an unspoken sub-text of this and all SE-EPPC symposia is that we all are reminded there are others with similar goals who enjoy and appreciate the renewed optimism and a sense of possibility.

Over 150 people from 12 states attended the three-day symposium. Sixty-nine presenters contributed to concurrent sessions, plenary talks, field trips, workshops, and poster presentations. Twenty vendors and exhibitors also tended displays germane to the field of invasive plant species education and control. And an evening reception at the Museum offered a stimulating venue for connecting with old colleagues and for making new acquaintances. The symposium program and proceedings are available on the SE-EPPC web page in addition to the PowerPoint presentations.

Invasive species are here today and they will be here tomorrow! The symposium presentations, however, helped us to define where the possibilities lie. Some are entrenched, such as Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), and beyond eradication, but can be controlled with the proper techniques in our highest quality natural areas. Others are limited in occurrence, such as beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia), and should be removed ASAP, particularly on coastal dunes. Invasive species are, of course, only one of the threats to the natural environment. Habitat fragmentation, land conversion, pollution, and other factors cause overall environmental decline, but all of these ecological disruptions can favor invasive species spread.

7. State chapter report: Alabama- report by Howard Peavey, President of the Alabama Invasive Plant Council Over the past year there has been a push to introduce Arundo donax as a commercial crop for pulp in the State of Alabama. ALIPC has been active in the education of the general public as well as the local communities that would be directly impacted by this proposal; educational efforts have focused on the aggressive invasive nature of this plant and the damage to the natural ecosystems that could result from the escape of this plant.

Work has continued on the development of an invasive plant list for Alabama; an original list of 10 has been expanded and criteria for future inclusion have been developed. This list is somewhat unique in that it indicates how various land use segments view each plant (weed or crop).

ALIPC held it 4th Annual Conference on May 4th, 2006 and had over 120 participants. The program included presentations on local and statewide programs underway for the control of invasive species as well as presentations on funding programs available to landowners. New species to watch for were highlighted and Chuck Bargeron was on hand to discuss the new mapping opportunity being made possible through Bugwood.

Finally, ALIPC has contracted with Dr. Doug Phillips, creator and host of the Emmy nominated Alabama Public Television Series Discovering Alabama, to make a 30 minute documentary on invasive plant species and their impact on the natural heritage of Alabama. The finished product should be available in the fall of this year. The documentary will appear as a segment of Discovering Alabama and then the video, as well as a Teacher's Guide script, will be made available for use in the Public School System.

8. Report on NAEPPC activities
NAEPPC met on Feb 27 as a part of National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week (NIWAW) in Washington D.C. There were 23 participants present or participating via speakerphone who represented the following states and regional organizations (included is the membership numbers for each organization):

California IPC - 1200 members
Florida EPPC* - 300 members
AL IPC* - 80 members
Kentucky EPPC* - 35 members
Mid Atlantic EPPC - 200 members
Midwest Invasive Plant Network-100 members
Mississippi EPPC* - 75 members
South Carolina EPPC* - 25 members
New York Invasive Plant Council-100 members
North Carolina EPPC* - 100 members
New England Invasive Plant Group-1500 members
Southeast EPPC*
Tennessee EPPC* - 40 members
Wisconsin Invasive Plant Association-250 members
Georgia EPPC* - 87 members

15 organizations represented = 4,092 members

Each representative was given a chance to report on his/her organization's activities. Officers were selected. They are: Tony Pernas - chair, Brian Bowen - vice chair, Mike Bodle - secretary, Nancy Fraley - treasurer

Meeting attendees discussed NAEPPC serving as a forum for such projects as data management, standards, information sharing, etc. Since the meeting, a policy committee has met and drafted a position statement currently on review by its organization member chapters. In addition, the NAEPPC website has been created and can be visited at The position paper can be reviewed there. The next NAEPPC meeting will be held in Flagstaff, AZ in September (see below).

9. Upcoming Events

National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils Membership Meeting, Wednesday, September 20, 1 :00-4:00 pm, Dubois Conference Center, Flagstaff, AZ as part of the 33rd Annual Natural Areas Conference.

September 21 the Natural Areas Conference will host the following: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Symposia on Invasive Species; 1:30-4:40 PM: Symposia on Invasive Species: Early Detection and Monitoring (with panel discussion).

33rd Annual Natural Areas Conference at Northern Arizona State University, Flagstaff, AZ, September 20 - 25, 2006. Information available online at

The Midwest Invasive Plant Network is offering a free distance-learning workshop, How Start a Cooperative Weed Management Area in the Eastern United States, September 27th . The workshop will cover the following topics:

The workshop will be held on September 27 from 2:00-4:00 pm EDT/ 1:00-3:00 pm CDT. Participation is limited to 25 participants, so please sign up early. To register, please send your name, affiliation, and mailing address to Kate Howe at Registrations will be accepted until the workshop is full.

Conference in Washington State: September 19-20, 2006, "Meeting the Challenge: Invasive Plants in Pacific Northwest Ecosystems." Held at the University of Washington's Botanical Garden At (

Japanese knotweed workshop, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, October 11-12, 2006

Japanese knotweed is considered one of the most invasive and ecologically damaging introduced plant species in North America. Present day populations of Japanese knotweed consist of Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed), F. sacchalinensis (Giant knotweed) and their hybrid F. x bohemica. This two-day workshop is intended to review the current status of research on spread, genetics, and impacts of Japanese knotweed and present updates on control methods (mechanical, chemical and biological). A discussion of needs in furthering the development of biological control and integrated control methods will close the meeting.

This workshop is intended both for researchers as well as land managers. We strongly encourage such interactions but the meeting will be limited to about 100 participants and have a focus on the East Coast (due to the location of the meeting). We strongly encourage graduate students to present their work. Talks will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Please contact Bernd Blossey ( if you wish to attend and we will provide additional details. Those wanting to present a talk, please provide a title and 3-4 sentence summary.

The meeting will be hosted by the Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program and is co-sponsored by the US Forest Service, Forest Health Protection. There will be no registration charges but attendees will have an option to order catered lunches.

To sign up or for additional information and inquiries please contact:

Dr. Bernd Blossey
Department of Natural Resources
Fernow Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
Phone: 607-255-5314

Updates and the workshop program will be posted on:

The Nebraska Invasive Plant Conference: August 22 - 23, 2006, the Nebraska Invasive Plant Conference entitled, "Threats to Nebraska Rivers: Invasive Plant Conference" will be held at the Holiday Inn, in Kearney, NE. The goal of the conference is to inform and to promote the control of invading plants and prevent further degradation of the state's riparian areas. For more information and to register please visit

Conference on Invasive Plants in Pacific Northwest Ecosystems: September 19 - 20, 2006, a conference entitled, "Meeting the Challenge: Invasive Plants in Pacific Northwest Ecosystems," which is co-sponsored by the University of Washington's Botanical Gardens, the Pacific Northwest Research Station, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and the Nature Conservancy, will be held in Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington's Botanical Gardens. For more information, visit, or contact the Conference Coordinator at (206) 685-8033 or

The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) Invasive Plant Symposium: October 12, 2006, the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) will host an invasive plant symposium entitled "Working Together for the Landscape of Tomorrow." The meeting will take place at the Mountainside Resort in Wallingford, CT (2 miles from Interstate 91). Morning topics include "What's New" and "Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasions." The full day's agenda and registration information are available at For additional information, contact Donna Ellis (860) 486-6448

9th Annual Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council; Dates: March 20-22, 2007; Location: Athens, GA; If anyone is interested in presenting papers or organizing a session please contact Chris Evans at

10. Jobs, resources, and other opportunities

Graduate Assistantship in Kentucky
Dr. Songlin Fei is seeking a qualified student who wants to work with invasive exotic plants in city parks in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. This Ph.D. research assistantship will begin in the fall semester 2006. Qualified students should have a strong interest in working in the area of invasive species and GIS technology. Opportunities exist for the student to assist and help with other projects, as they desire. This project will study the association between the occurrence of invasive exotic plants and the characteristics of urban forest remnants and their surrounding landscapes (size, structure, usage, and management). The assistantship is funded by USDA Forest Service. It pays $13,000 per year plus tuition and health insurance. Application should be made as soon as possible and must include a statement of research and career interests, a copy of all transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Interested students should contact: Dr. Songlin Fei,, 859-257-9760

Tennessee Department of Transportation to give grants for community landscaping ( Anyone can now begin applying for grants to landscape areas along state highways and intersections, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Municipal and county governments as well as civic and neighborhood groups are encouraged to apply for the Tennessee Roadscapes Grant. Per the arrangement, TDOT will fund 80 percent of the cost with a grant recipient contributing the remaining 20 percent. "The Tennessee Roadscapes Grants will assist with localized efforts to enhance the aesthetic appeal of Tennessee roadways," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "These environmentally-friendly landscaping projects will significantly advance the maintenance and improvement of Tennessee's roadways while giving a value-added boost to our statewide tourism and economic development." The minimum grant award is $10,000. Grants are derived from federal funds that are specifically earmarked for roadway enhancement projects. Qualifying categories for grant applications include: Community gateways and entry corridors, Interstate and highway interchanges, Highway crossroads, Scenic vistas and overlooks, Points of interest (e.g., historic sites, park entrances), Exotic/Invasive plant removal, Native plant restoration, View shed/landscape enhancement, Stream bank/wetland restoration. Grant application materials are available through the TDOT web site at The deadline for submitting applications to TDOT is September 1, 2006. Grant applications will be reviewed by TDOT and a statewide advisory council. The program is set to continue on an annual basis, as federal funding availability allows.

Schoolyard Invasive Species Inventory Curriculum.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences developed a curriculum called "Pushy Plants and Alien Animals: Invasive Species in North Carolina" for use with schoolchildren in K-5 and 6-12. Presented on-line as a spiral-bound notebook, the curriculum provides information on 12 invasive species that are commonly found on school grounds in North Carolina. The kit provides materials and forms to help children inventory their school yards, with follow-up activities, along with other activities and resources.