Monitoring, Mapping and Risk Assessment and Management of Invasive Species in Nebraska
GoalsFunding was provided through a federal-aid grant from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to:
1. Provide outreach to and facilitate communication among stakeholders regarding biological invasions, coordinate the Nebraska Invasive Species Council, and assist with any additional legislation regarding invasive species as needed;
2. Develop management tools including an invasive species adaptive management plan, a risk analysis for high-risk invasive species in Nebraska, a multi-agency prevention protocol for preventing the spread of invasive species (terrestrial and aquatic), and identification of invasive species introduction pathways.
The Nebraska Invasive Species Program continues to coordinate monthly meetings for the Nebraska Invasive Species Advisory Council, which was formalized as a state council through legislation in April 2012. This seventeen–member advisory council discusses topical invasive species issues, develops management plans and Early Detection–Rapid Response (EDRR) plans, builds collaborative partnerships to address priority issues, and informs the Nebraska Legislature of the status of invasive species in the state. An adaptive management plan was written by the Council in 2015 and provided to the Governor and legislative agricultural committee. The Council was instrumental in the passage of a law in 2015 creating an aquatic invasive species prevention program within the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. EDRR efforts were expanded through identification courses council members provided their own staff and other groups. The council updated the Nebraska weed watch list to identify key species of concern for management efforts. Nebraska Invasive Species identification guides were updated and distributed to the public at outreach events to assist in identifying invasive species and report them via the program’s website. The council assisted the program in development in several new brochures to target hunters and boaters to educate them on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Council members disseminated the brochures at district offices and parks frequented by the public. The program coordinator severed on regional boards to coordinate invasive species prevention efforts with surrounding states. The program attended outreach events throughout the state disseminating invasive species prevention materials to the public. Providing these materials to the public can increase reports of new invasive species infestations and increase public knowledge of invasive species to manage. The program coordinator taught students at several events including the outdoor discovery program and the groundwater festival.