Invasive species: Facing the backcountry threat, limiting the spread

3:58 p.m. on July 16, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

This thread is for comments on the article "Invasive species: Facing the backcountry threat, limiting the spread"

Mountain pine beetles have devastated forests from Colorado to Canada over the past decade, but this year the trees aren't the only species at risk.

Full article at http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2010/07/16/invasive-species-backcountry.html

5:16 p.m. on July 16, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,426 reviewer rep
1,233 forum posts

Fore some reason The "New World" seems way more susceptible to invasive species from Europe, Asia and Africa than vice-versa. Weeds, animals and others seem to flock here to create mayhem and practically nothing from here (except snow berries) seems to infest the "Old World." Its not fair ( I sound like I'm nine).

I wish something awesome like citrus trees or avocados would infest us instead.

7:57 p.m. on July 16, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

I'd never thought of that before ... is there any research backing that up?

10:22 p.m. on July 16, 2010 (EDT)
142 reviewer rep
2 forum posts

Here in California when they bring in equipment to fight fires they set up wash stations to clean the equipment before it gets deployed. I can't imagine how easy it would be for some flora and fauna to take root after a Forest Fire has cleared the way.

6:21 a.m. on July 17, 2010 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

There is a place in our local mountains (San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles) I have been day hiking for over three decades. Recently I saw a new sign at the trail entrance informing fisherman how to handle wet gear and their catch, to preclude spreading a non resident snail. I found this very odd, since the creek never had a resident fish population, or this suspect snail. You would think the best environmental practice in this instance would be not planting fish in the creek.
Ed

9:06 a.m. on July 17, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

Ed: sometimes the warnings cast a wide net to get the word out ... for instance Maine is warning of a bug that to date has not been sighted within the state's borders -- the concern is it could have nasty effects on the state's maple syrup industry so they want everybody to know about it even if it does not exist at the point where the warning is posted.

10:35 a.m. on July 17, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts

Hits close to home...... See my avatar? Most of the trees in that pic are gone.

10:51 a.m. on July 17, 2010 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,051 forum posts

NPR had a story on bark beetles this morning. The audio should be up at the link below later today:

The pine bark beetle has an appetite for destruction; it's responsible for the largest-known insect infestation in North American history. Host Scott Simon speaks to Richard Hofstetter, an entomologist at Northern Arizona University who's experimenting with driving away large populations of the pests by scrambling their sounds to disrupt mating patterns.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128584741

1:45 p.m. on July 18, 2010 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
301 forum posts

Tom - thanks for writing this one up. Haven't put up pictures from the last couple of hikes... but the beetle kill here in SW Montana is horrible. Some areas have seen up to 70-80% of standing trees affected (killed).

We are waiting for the fires. When it starts, it will be devastating to many ranges around here. Some will be wiped clean of any trees.

The NPR story is fascinating. Among other "fixes" being tried around here are chemical patches being attached to vulnerable trees (think 4x4" patch... stapled to the trunk). What I have heard from a friend who is retired FS is that we just need a good and hard winter, which hasn't happened in a few years.

I'll try to get those photos up soon... very sobering.

10:18 p.m. on July 18, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

I've heard some grumbling from The Usual Suspects about environmentalists fighting any attempt to remove old trees from forests even when it would do some good.

I saw numerous references to how the forests were overgrown with these big trees that are the most susceptible to the beetles -- so maybe there's something to those complaints, but I can't help wondering whether there is a cost-effective, safe and profitable way to go into a forest and cut only a few trees while leaving everything nearby unscathed.

7:16 a.m. on July 19, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
682 reviewer rep
676 forum posts

Fore some reason The "New World" seems way more susceptible to invasive species from Europe, Asia and Africa than vice-versa. Weeds, animals and others seem to flock here to create mayhem and practically nothing from here (except snow berries) seems to infest the "Old World." Its not fair ( I sound like I'm nine).

I wish something awesome like citrus trees or avocados would infest us instead.

See the book "Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900" by Alfred Crosby.

However there are a number of Asian plant species, including the beach rose and the knotweeds, that are considered invasive here in Norway.

4:50 p.m. on July 19, 2010 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,426 reviewer rep
1,233 forum posts

Good point BigRed. Also the Guns Germs and Steel book/vidoes also detail this phenomenon. But I think the "Ecological Imperialism" author makes a better point about diseases than he does about weeds and insect invaders.

I even get the impression that the author writes to counter a percieved "cultural superiority" once thought to belong to Western Culture which has come to dominate the world. He gives credit to disease and other invasive species, rather than some sort of European superiority for doing much of the work of New World conquest. I do agree though, that the geographic isolation of the Americas combined with very little to no domestication of wild animals led to the Americas being easy pickings for the much more cosmopolitan weeds, pests and diseases of the "Old World."

Either way, I am not convinced that there is a good way to put the invasive "genie" back in the bottle. The only thing we can do though is slow down their inevitable march across the continent. One really good way to do this is to find out what controls them back in their native country and introduce that agent to fight on our side. It sounds like swallowing a spider to catch a fly but, when properly "starvation" tested, biological control can help lessen the blow from invasive species.

12:23 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

Here in the Appalachians (and across the eastern US) the impact of the Woolly Adelgid on the Eastern Hemlock is sickening.


The Eastern Hemlock was just a few short years ago a cornerstone in the grand mixed evergreen/deciduous forests. They provided a dense upper-story cover interspersed in the more open canopy of nearly all the other native trees. These stands of Hemlock provided deeper shade and much cooler conditions in the under-story, especially in deep ravines and drainages.

But now virtually all that remains are vast skeletal graveyards of the once towering trees. The emerald depths of shade are gone. The streams are warmer, and the lush plants that once thrived in the coolness have withered back into the deepest glens and fells.

It breaks my heart to see the king of the Appalachians dead and broken this way.

(The images and video above are from http://www.nativetreesociety.org/tsuga/finale/tsuga_search_finale.htm )

1:09 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts

I used to think it was a really bad deal. But now think it is just nature doing it's thing.

1:23 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

I know what you mean. On one hand I feel the same way- these cycles of death and renewal are nothing new at all. On the other, it is hard to see something so noble, beautiful, and stately destroyed and fade from the landscape. When I go places I know, and it is so changed, it feels like I have lost friend. I know it sounds silly, but I know the hemlock almost like I know a person, it has a distinct character and quality that is unlike any other.

1:49 a.m. on July 21, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts

Okay....... As a kid I had a great big dead pine who had grown out of granite as a spiritual partner. I thought much and still do about the life it had lived and all it had seen. That tree was huge and the cracks in it enormous. It had been burned in a fire but to this day can not figure out how fire ever reached it over an enormous expanse of granite.

11:14 p.m. on July 22, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

I don't know what it is about really big trees, but they do have an uncanny charisma -- old-growth redwoods especially. I always feel like I'm in church when I'm among them.

While I can't help nodding in agreement with noddlehead's "this is just nature taking its course" line of thinking, I get the willies when I think about the invasive pest that's gonna go through our species someday. It seems like the more we mess w/nature's way of doing things, the more likely it'll be that we'll somehow turn this pest loose.

8:51 p.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Thought it interesting no one mentioned: Invasive Species: Man.

I've walked about 1,400 miles of Appalachian Trail and have positively identified only ONE Old Growth Tree and it is the Keffer Oak, in Virginia. I don't love this photo but it is one of the few that give a sense of the impression it can make: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=38422&c=

10:00 p.m. on July 29, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
263 forum posts

Thought it interesting no one mentioned: Invasive Species: Man.

I've walked about 1,400 miles of Appalachian Trail and have positively identified only ONE Old Growth Tree and it is the Keffer Oak, in Virginia. I don't love this photo but it is one of the few that give a sense of the impression it can make: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=38422&c=

Was it on the Walton's property?

September 19, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Google Earth 5.2 adds data for the outdoors set Newer: Outdoor Retailer: Welcome to SLC
All forums: Older: Jacket for Oct. Rockies Trip Newer: A few Day Hikes in The Wichita's