Non-Native Phragmites Management in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Non-Native Phragmites Management in Michigan's Upper Peninsula: Working to De-Phrag the UP! (INT)
Darcy Rutkowski, Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council

The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, working in partnership with county conservation districts, state and federal agencies and other local organizations, recently completed a 2 year project to systematically survey and map all the non-native phragmites (Phragmites australis) in the UP of Michigan and treat more than 500 priority acres. Approximately 1,900 acres of Great Lakes shoreline and coastal wetlands were found to be infested with non-native phragmites, and these infestations were prioritized for treatment based on proximity to high quality natural communities, rare species and high value sites. Outlying infestations were treated first with the remaining resources being devoted to treating the source infestations. Through this UP-wide partnership, we have begun to establish sustainable, long-term control of this invasive species by reducing known populations and coordinating efforts across jurisdictions and land ownerships to maximize the benefits and efficiency of grant funding.

Darcy Rutkowski, Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council
Darcy Rutkowski is the executive director and UP phragmites project manager at the Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development (UP RC&D) Council. She has degrees in biology from Alma College (BS) and Michigan Technological University (MS) and has managed multiple grant funded programs for the council over the past ten years, including the RRIP-IT-UP (Rapid Response Invasive Plant Intervention Team for the UP) Project, and a UP-wide garlic mustard project. She represents the UP RC&D Council as a partner of all five cooperative weed management areas in the UP and is a member of the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition Core Team. Prior to working for the UP RC&D Council she worked for eight years on various ecological projects in Isle Royale National Park.