Michigan’s Early Detection and Response (EDR) Program for High Threat Aquatic Invasive Plants

Even the best prevention efforts are unable to stop all invasive species introductions, but a program that responds prudently and engages key stakeholders will help minimize the threat of invasions negatively affecting ecosystems. Under several Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants we implemented a statewide invasive species response program focusing on high threat aquatic plants. We conducted outreach, surveyed reported occurrences, planned and implemented responses for confirmed infestations, monitored results and delivered education programs. These efforts coincided with the revision and implementation of the Michigan AIS State Management Plan, led by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Through this work, we expanded our collaboration with additional partners, including the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) and Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs). We will discuss the results of our work, and how it can inform future EDR efforts.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016 - 11:10am to 12:00pm
Kile Kucher
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Kile started with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Division in 2013 as a Wildlife Biologist, in the position of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator. A major focus of Kile’s work is serving on an inter-departmental team to implement Michigan’s AIS State Management Plan. Prior to this position, Kile worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Biological Science Technician at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge where he worked extensively on invasive species control. This included chemical and mechanical treatments, as well as identification and mapping of known and new invasions. Kile has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University (MSU) and graduate work in Conservation Biology from Central Michigan University (CMU). Prior to his graduate research, Kile spent several field seasons conducting wildlife surveys with MSU and Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Kile lives in Perry with his wife and son.
Phyllis Higman
Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Phyllis Higman is a Senior Conservation Scientist and Botanist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory with over 20 years of field-based experience studying Michigan’s native ecological communities and rare and declining species. She has studied invasive plants since 2003, and led the development of two field guides to Michigan’s terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic invasive plants and a strategic plan to address their impacts. Phyllis is currently working with the MDNR, MDEQ, MSU and partners statewide to aggregate invasive species distribution data through the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), to better inform response strategies. She is also working to expand early detection and response efforts and enhance prioritization of control efforts based upon site values and likelihood of success.
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