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January 17 04:48 AM
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Last Call — Catskill Center Announces the Availability of Funding for Invasive Species Control, Education and Citizen Science Programs


01/10/2019 - The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) is funding projects (up to $30,000) to stop the spread of invasive species that threaten our region, raise awareness about invasive species, encourage the public to participate in the study of invasives and support local conservation organizations.

A total of $120,000 will be awarded to fund proposals, received by January 15th, that best accomplish one (or more) of the following priorities:

1. Stop emerging invasive species infestations through Rapid Response.

2. Surveys for Early Detection Species.

3. Raise public awareness of Early Detection/Prevention Species to address introduction pathways of forest pests, pathogens or species approaching the region.

4. Develop a structured Citizen Science program that engages and retains participants.

5. Improve the scientific understanding of the extent, ecological impact and effective controls of invasive species in the CRISP region.

"The Catskill Center, as host of CRISP, is excited to be able to make a direct impact on invasive species management through awarding these funds. We are proud that this program will help support our local businesses and organizations to protect Catskill forests, streams and our local economy," said Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center. "We are grateful to the State of New York for making these resources available and helping in the efforts to manage invasive species."

Organizations eligible to receive this funding include nonprofit organizations, consultants, local governments and educational institutions that work within the CRISP region. CRISP's region covers all of Otsego, Schoharie, and Delaware Counties; most of Ulster, Greene and Sullivan Counties; and a small part of Orange County. One of eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management in New York State, CRISP is funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund and administered as a contract through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The complete Request for Proposals, including the list of high priority early detection species, is available for download on the CRISP website: www.catskillinvasives.com and www.catskillcenter.org/crisp

CRISP is a collaborative of organizations and agencies that work cooperatively to promote prevention, early detection/rapid response, and control of invasive species to protect natural resources, the economy, and human health. Invasive species are plants, animals or pests that are not native to the Catskills ecosystem and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

2018 Grantees in their own words:

"The students I trained learned to identify species of invasive plants local to New York or of species potentially invading from neighboring states. These students would be eager to be hired to work at environmental engineering firms, and thanks to this funding, makes them especially well qualified for positions in New York State. During my surveys and the Invasive Species Teach-in event, I encountered land managers of campgrounds, arboretums, and private citizens—the majority of which wanted to know how to manage nuisance species on their properties. Clearly invasives species are currently impacting the beauty, ecological integrity, and value of property in New York State. The funding I received through CRISP and the literature provided by CRISP gave these tax payers welcome tools to protect the value of their land." —Donna W. Vogler, Ph.D, SUNY Oneonta

"CRISP has funded two projects for us, both of which will benefit the region and its residents. The first enabled us to help identify the ecosystem services provided by hemlock stands, including water quality protection, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Hemlock trees are an important feature of the Catskills - historically, aesthetically, and ecologically - and this project will help prioritize the most beneficial stands for conservation. The second project consists of implementing our program Monitoring and Managing Ash (MaMA) throughout the Catskills. This program provides great hope for long-term conservation of native ash trees facing the onslaught by the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that threatens to kill all the native ash in the Catskills and beyond. Specifically, it includes particular steps that land managers and citizen scientists can take to enable detection of naturally occurring resistant trees, which can be used to breed lines not only for reforestation but also for landscape planting. Moreover, MaMA's workshops and other outreach throughout the CRISP region have informed people of the best approaches to manage ash to both mitigate emerald ash borer damage and promote long-term ash conservation." —Jonathan Rosenthal, Director, Ecological Research Institute

"With the help of CRISP funding, we have been able to protect our local tourism economy and empower local citizens of all ages to better protect their waterbodies for aquatic invasive species by educating them to the threats, teaching them to inspect their boats and equipment, showing them how to treat their boats and equipment, and facilitating their transfer of their knowledge to others." — Paul Lord, SUNY Oneonta.

"The regional Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), Catskill Invasive Species Network would not have been possible without funding support from CRISP. For several years, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware, Greene, Otsego Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties have functioned as a complimentary network to help community members learn about, and act on, the impacts of regional invasive species. In 2018, this network worked with over 1000 individuals, who participate in IS programs, as well as providing invasive species information to over 70,000 people via displays at fairs and similar venues. In particular, Master Gardener volunteers from these counties were the front line for questions about invasive species, those here, as well as those on our horizon." —Marilyn Wyman, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia & Greene Counties.

For more information, contact the Catskill Center at 845-586-2611, jthompson@catskillcenter.org, or visit www.catskillinvasives.com

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