Trail Conference Receives 5-Year Contract to Continue Leading Lower Hudson PRISM

September 19, 2017
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Trail Conference Receives 5-Year Contract to Continue Leading Lower Hudson PRISM
Invasives Strike Force crew member holding invasive Giant hogweed. Photo by Daniel Pollard


For the last five years, the Trail Conference has been doing our part to protect the rich biodiversity of the region as leaders of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LHPRISM).

During this time, LHPRISM partners have removed more than 220,000 invasive plants over 1,600 acres and involved 7,000 volunteers in protecting our natural areas. So we’re thrilled to announce that the Trail Conference has been awarded a new, 5-year contract from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to continue leading the Lower Hudson region’s invasive species management efforts from 2018-2022.

This new contract allows us to build on the successes of our current program. We plan to:

  • Work with partners to develop and implement a regional strategy for invasive species management.

  • Develop management plans for high-priority species in the region.

  • Offer training programs for volunteers and members of the public.

  • Assist with developing site management plans.

  • Continue our volunteer programs, such as the BlockBuster Survey and Southern Pine Beetle trap monitoring.

  • Enhance our capacity to detect new invaders in the region.

  • Improve our website and social media presence.

With this funding, we will grow the impact of our work with:

  • Full-time staffing of an invasives program educator and volunteer coordinator, an invasives project manager, and an aquatic program coordinator.

  • Full funding for a seasonal crew to perform invasive plant early detection and control work in the Lower Hudson region and a seasonal aquatic stewards crew to perform watercraft inspections and survey for aquatic invasives.

  • Budget an annual amount of $100K for contract projects.

Dr. Linda Rohleder, the Trail Conference’s Director of Land Stewardship, will continue to lead LHPRISM and its 45 partner organizations. The aquatic program will be led by Samantha Epstein at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Mike Young, a member of the 2016 Invasives Strike Force Crew, is the new terrestrial invasive species project manager. He is responsible for overseeing all invasive plant control projects we undertake and training and managing the seasonal ISF Conservation Corps crew. Eric Stone is the new invasives program educator and volunteer coordinator. He will conduct training sessions and manage the volunteers for our ISF program and several programs for the LHPRISM.

More Awards for Invasives Programs

The Trail Conference was also awarded a 3-year NYS DEC Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control grant in July to manage sticky sage (Salvia glutinosa) in Dover, Japanese angelica tree (Aralia elata) in Red Hook, silver vine (Actinidia polygama) in Mt. Kisco, and giant hogweed throughout the Lower Hudson region.

We also recently completed a program agreement with USDA APHIS to head up the mile-a-minute biocontrol program for the Lower Hudson, which will fund a seasonal intern position and provide for biocontrol weevil releases.

You Can Help

Invasives know no boundaries; a robust Invasives Strike Force in both New York and New Jersey benefits the entire region. Help us expand our efforts—please consider helping the Trail Conference fund a dedicated New Jersey Invasives Strike Force crew in 2018 and 2019. Call Development Director Don Weise at 201.512.9348 ext. 813 for more information. To donate directly to our invasives work in New Jersey, write “NJ ISF Crew” in the special instructions box when making your donation.


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