> Home | Planning & strategies | Learning networks | Eastern Invasives Network | Workshop summaries
Eastern Invasives Workshops

Workshop #1. Assessment and Prioritization of Threats
Dec. 11-13, 2001, St. Simon's Island, Georgia

The network's first workshop focused on the identification, assessment, and prioritization of invasive plant threats to conservation targets. Plenary talks were given on (1)assessing invasive plant threats to conservation targets (John Randall, TNC), and (2)using remote sensing and GIS technologies to map invasive species (Susan Ustin, UC Davis).

Peer review sessions focused on the current or proposed assessment and prioritization methods used by each of the focal landscape teams, as well as past and future threat abatement strategies for each landscape (Altamaha River, Kissimmee Valley, Allegany Forests, and Berkshire Taconic Landscape).

A half-day field trip to the Altamaha River Bioreserve introduced participants to the impacts of Chinese tallow-tree on the landscape's floodplain communities.

Thirty-three people participated in the workshop, including area-based practitioners; partners; and scientific experts from the Conservancy, UC Davis, and Harvard University. In all, 21 landscapes were represented. There were participants from 18 states and the District of Columbia. The summary highlights the best practices and lessons learned that were identified throughout the meeting.

Workshop #2. Landscape-Scale Threat Abatement Strategies
Sept. 24-26, 2002, Western Massachusetts

The second workshop focused on setting priorities and developing strategies for abating invasive plant threats at the landscape scale. Plenary talks were given on: (1)mapping and controlling weeds in the Adirondacks (Doug Munro, Adirondack Partners), (2)mapping and tracking invasive species data using hand-held electronic data recorders and a new invasive weeds database developed by the Conservancy and the BLM (Mandy Tu, TNC), and (3) measuring the impacts of barberry and garlic mustard in the Berkshire Taconic Landscape (Sylvan Kaufman, Harvard University).

Peer review sessions focused on providing feedback to the focal landscape teams on their priorities and strategies for abating landscape-scale invasive plant threats. Feedback was also provided on the teams' analysis of the key ecological factors that sustain their conservation targets, and how this information was used to prioritize threats and develop threat-abatement strategies.

A half-day field trip to the Berkshire Taconic Landscape introduced participants to invasive plant control efforts occurring at several sites in the conservation area. The field trip also included a visit to experimental burn plots where researchers from the University of Massachusetts are determining the most effective combination of cutting and burning to control barberry.

Forty people participated in the workshop, including area-based practitioners, partners, and scientific experts from the Conservancy, Harvard University, Penn State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Massachusetts, and the National Park Service. In all, 21 landscapes were represented. There were participants from 18 states.

Workshop #3. Strategy Implementation & Measures of Success
March 4-6, 2003, Cumberland, MD

The third workshop focused on implementing strategies for abating invasive plant threats, and measuring the success of those strategies using guidelines developed by the Conservancy's Measures and Audit Team. Plenary talks were given on (1)setting conservation priorites in an ecoregional context (Tim Abbott, TNC), (2)defining acceptable conditions for invasive species threats and indicators (Doria Gordon, TNC), (3)using the Conservancy's conservation area planning tool to develop strategies (John Randall, TNC), and (4)measuring the success of threat abatement strategies (John Randall, TNC).

Peer review sessions focused on how to set measurable threat abatement and monitoring goals. The homework assignment for this workshop is available for reference.

The workshop included a half-day field trip that introduced participants to the invasive species challenges in the Allegany Forests landscape. The trip demonstrated that in many places the steep terrain will constrain the types of invasive plant control strategies that can be implemented in this region.

Thirty-five people participated in the workshop, including site-based field practitioners, partners, and scientific experts from the Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Initiative, the National Park Service, the University of Connecticut, and Adkins Arboretum. There were participants from 17 states and Washington, DC.

Workshop #4. Monitoring and Adaptive Management
Jan. 13-15, 2004, Lake Placid, Florida

The EIN's fourth workshop focused on monitoring and measuring the invasive species threat to our conservation targets, as well as monitoring the success of our invasive species threat abatement strategies. Additional discussion about using adaptive management as a management model was considered at multiple scales. Plenary presentations were given on monitoring and measures of success (Rob Sutter, TNC), and project presentations of specific measures and monitoring protocols were given for Hickory Nut Gorge (Beth Bockoven, TNC), the Berkshires LCA (Jess Murray & Tim Abbott, TNC), central Florida (Bob Nelson, TNC), and in Maryland (Deborah Landau, TNC).

Peer review sessions focused on developing suitable guidelines for invasive species survey and monitoring, how to export lessons-learned from the network to other sites, and on using adaptive management.

A field trip to Kissimmee River invasive plant control and restoration sites demonstrated some successes and challenges in working in this rugged and wet landscape. In total, there were 28 participants from 14 states and Washington, D.C.

Workshop #5. Implementing Comprehensive Invasive Species Management Strategies
April 19-21, 2005, Hendersonville, North Carolina

The fifth workshop of the EIN was designed to appeal to a wide variety of conservation practitioners (for instance, TNC project directors, government relations, development, and conservation science and stewardship staff) who are dealing with invasive species in the Eastern U.S. Central themes of this fifth workshop were to work on invasive species beyond stewardship: (1) Share the successes/failures of implementing comprehensive invasive management strategies at several landscape-scale conservation areas using the enhanced 5S framework, (2) To learn about incorporating communication/marketing and fundraising strategies within comprehensive invasive abatement strategic plans, and (3) To nest conservation area strategies within the context of larger spatial scales to identify multi-site strategies which can be implemented at state, regional, or national levels.

Updates from several landscape-scale projects were presented, including: the Berkshire-Taconic Landscape (Jess Murray, TNC), the central Florida Lygodium strategy (Bob Nelson, TNC), and the Disney Wilderness Preserve (Chris Matson, TNC). New project presentations included: Great Smoky Mountains N.P. (Kristine Johnson, NPS), Southern Blue Ridge Project (Kristen Austin, TNC), and the Japanese stilt grass control project in West Virginia (Amy Cimarolli, TNC).

Additional sessions on working with the horticulture and landscape industry, communications and marketing, government relations, and forest pests and pathogens, discussed how best to expand our work beyond stewardship.

A field trip to nearby Hickory Nut Gorge and the Bat Cave to see some beautiful spring wildflowers and to discuss invasive species strategies demonstrated some of the conservation targets for that project area.

Thirty-six people participated in this workshop, including site-based field practitioners, partners, and scientific experts from the National Park Service, the U.S. Air Force, USDA-Forest Service, and local agencies and NGOs (County Parks and Upstate Forever). In addition to TNC Science and Stewardship staff, there were also participants from TNC's Government Relations and Communications/Marketing. Participants came from 16 states and Washington, D.C.

Workshop #6. Setting Measurable Objectives & Assessing the Invasive Species Threat
October 3-5, 2007, Saratoga Springs, New York

Held October 3-5th, 2006 in Saratoga Springs, New York, this workshop emphasized working with government relations (GR) staff on policy and legislative solutions for invasive species issues. We worked on "Setting Measurable Objectives & Assessing the Invasive Species Threat " with a focus on exporting those project-scale lessons learned from the project scale to influence communications and public policy. TNC GR staff were specifically invited to the workshop to discuss successful (and unsuccessful) invasive species policy initiatives, to voice their needs to stewardship staff, and to create a dialogue for how to make a difference in abating the invasive species threat over the long-term and at multiple-scales.

Workshop #7. Invasive Species Prevention and Management: Spotlight on Salty Species
October 7-9, 2008, Eastern Shore, Virginia

Approaching rapidly!

Participating site information
More than twenty-eight conservation areas have participated in the Eastern Invasives Management Network. Here you can find detailed information about many of these conservation areas, including general descriptions and management tools (e.g., conceptual ecological models). Participants of the EIN have included numerous project sites for The Nature Conservancy and many private and public partners such as IPANE, NPS, DRIPP, DOD, DNR, and land trusts.

Additional network resources
Web sites and documents related to, produced by, or supporting the Eastern Invasives Network.

Updated August 2008
©The Nature Conservancy, 2003