Invasives battle needs funding

To the editor:

Since 2014, Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec), Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) and Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (Glacierland) have been developing the most comprehensive invasive species control program in Wisconsin.

Together with many partners, we have identified, mapped and treated thousands of invasive species populations across Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Calumet and Fond du Lac counties. With support from a variety of state and federal sponsors, we have offered invasive species control for free to all enrolled properties. Our success is made possible by willing landowners who volunteer to participate in and support our control program. 

Our primary target invasive species is non-native Phragmites, which is found in wetlands, riparian areas, shorelines and other wet areas such as roadside ditches. Invasive Phragmites takes over large areas, pushes out native vegetation and reduces habitat quality for wildlife. Long-term control over the course of many years is essential to protect habitat quality, water quality, access to shorelines and property values. We have made significant progress mitigating the spread of Phragmites. Without multiple years of consecutive control, Phragmites will re-establish, and the momentum gained will be lost.

Our grant funding is ending after the 2021 growing season in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties, and we need additional funding to support on-going efforts in Ozaukee, Calumet and Fond du Lac counties. Therefore, we are seeking your financial support to establish a long-term control fund to continue our efforts where needed across all counties. This Phragmites fund will directly support on-the-ground control efforts and the professional development of student interns who are completing the bulk of the re-treatment efforts. Our goal is to make these five counties Phragmites-free by raising at least $300,000 to support ongoing control efforts over the next three years.

A strong collective Phragmites fund will ensure the investment of time and resources made will be protected for the benefit of future generations. Please help us contribute to keeping Wisconsin’s ecosystem healthy and thriving.

To contribute to the collective Phragmites management fund, you can visit www.glacierlandrcd.org/phragmites-control-project to contribute with a credit card, or send a check made payable to Glacierland RC&D to Glacierland RC&D, P.O. Box 11203, Green Bay, WI 54307.

For more information or questions, contact Glacierland at 920-465-3006 or visit www.glacierlandrcd.org/phragmites-control-project.

 Sincerely,

 

Kari Divine, executive director

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