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INVASIVES By Charlie Otto Rasmussen Staff Writer Protecting manoomin Monitoring aquatic invasive plant permits Odanah Wis.Much attention has been given to aquaticinvasiveplantsinrecent years. These are unwanted plants that are capable of creat- ing havoc in wetlands and lakes by out-competing the more desirable native plants. Two common aquatic invasive plants that can be found in ceded territory waters are Eurasian water milfoil and curly leaf pondweed. Once established in a waterbody invasive plants can edge out native plants by ger- minating earlier and growing more aggressively than the native plant community. Problems may then arise when the expanding invasive beds interfere with naviga- tion and recreation or threaten the waters ecological values. When invasive plant growth is perceived as too much then control strategy optionsaredraftedthroughofficiallakemanagementplanningdocuments.Inaddi- tion permits are frequently submitted to the state by lake associations outlining intentions to treat the invasiveseither by mechanical or chemical means. One way GLIFWCs Biological Services staff is involved with protecting manoomin is by tracking aquatic invasive plants and monitoring these mechanical and chemical permit applications. When a lake association or individual shoreline property owner proposes to treat invasives in a lake they must first submit a permit to the Wisconsin Depart- ment of Natural Resources.These permits are forwarded to the Commission where potential impacts to manoomin and the local fishery are investigated. Each year about 110 permits are reviewed for potential impacts to rice and rice habitat in the ceded territory. Of these an average of 23 permits are for known manoomin waters. By Lisa David GLIFWC Manoomin Biologist Curly-leaved pondweed. photo by Chris Evans Illinois Wildlife Action Plan Bugwood. orgEurasian water-milfoil. photo by Alison Fox University of Florida Forthesemanoominwaters GLIFWC develops comments on the treatment type location extent timing and proposed chemical concentrations. Com- ments submitted to the states permitting department may suggest treatment plan modifi- cations designed to protect the waterbodysresources.Consul- tation between the tribes and the state has even taken place on waters of special concern to the tribes. Attimeslow-doseconcen- trations of federally-approved chemicals are used to control invasive plants in lakes. Plants coming in contact with the treatment chemical have their normal growth cycle disrupted so that they cannot reproduce and spread that year. In mechanical control treatments large weed cultivators essentially mow and remove aquatic vegetation from the water. Or removal can also be done through a new technique where trained divers selectively hand-pull and discard invasives. Much thought and care needs to go into lake planning dealing with and potentially treating aquatic invasive plants. Precautions must be in place to ensure that the desirable native plant and fish community remain healthy and intact. While complete eradication of invasives is unrealistic containing or keeping the invasive populations at low levels will allow native plants to remain a part of the lakes environment. For more information on invasive plants in the ceded territory check out GLIFWCs invasive species website at Here you will find a wealth of information pertaining to both invasive aquatic and upland plants. You can also help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives in ceded terri- tory waters by not transporting invasives from one waterbody to another on boat props or boat trailers. Tribal gatherers agency experts size up invasive organism threat RedCliffWis.Lurkinginbagsoflandscaping mulch firewood loaded on pick-up trucks commer- cial shipping containerseven floating on the wind invasive pests are on the move and coming to a forest near you. For many native forest trees and plants used by Ojibwe people the future looks grim. At a unique meeting March 19 more than 50 tribal gatherers land managers and scientists from federal state and tribal agenciessatdowntoshareideasonwhattodoaboutit. Emeraldashborerisgoingtowipeoutblackash. It may take 15 years or longer said JoAnn Cruse US DepartmentofAgricultureStatePlantHealthDirector. But we want to have these discussions with tribes in advance. We need to know each others names. While many at the GLIFWC-sponsored Forest Invasive Regulatory Meeting looked upon unfamiliar faces the gathering shared a deep interest in wood- landsscientistswhostudythemandtraditionalpeople whose lifeway is intertwined with native trees and plants. Cruse proposed a cooperative plan to preserve and store healthy black ash logs. Future generations could still learn how to pound and peel a black ash log to separate the annual growth rings she said making strips used in traditional basketry. Black ash craftsman Josh Homminga said that for him the emerald ash borer EAB threat is a call for native people to step-up as forest caretakers. Im not here to protect the black ash tree because I want to make baskets. Its because Im Anishinaaabe. Its because of our migration story. Since its discovery in Detroit in summer 2002 the emerald ash borer EAB has killed tens of mil- lions of ash trees across the eastern half of the United States and portions of Canada. In the last few years themetallicgreen-wingedbeetlehasinfestedscattered locationsintheOjibwecededterritory.Landmanagers now consider EABoriginally from East Asiathe most destructive forest pest ever seen onTurtle Island. Another Asian invader grabbed the attention of meeting presenter Bernie Williams a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources WDNR conserva- tionbiologistandself-describedwormgeek.Carriedin yardwastepottedplantsandsoldasnew-and-improved fishingbaitthesejumpingwormsorcrazyworms are making their way into Wisconsin. Itsreallydifferentlookingfromcommonnight- crawlers she said. This is the most handsome worm out there. They are very very smart and very unique. Known asAmynthas these worms are voracious eaters efficiently clearing forests of the duff layer. Williams said that crazy worms transform landscapes by preventing native seeds from germinating on bare forest floors making it easier for invasive plants to grow. Unlike European worms already established in the Great Lakes region Amynthas also eat seedlings and fine plant roots wreaking havoc on forests and gardens alike. Earthwormsencourageinvasivespeciesbecause theychangethesoilstructureWilliamssaidconfirm- ing that there are no native earthworms in Wisconsin. Amynthas is asexual and becomes mature in only two months time easily out-producing all 25 European varieties found in Wisconsin by 21 she said. Presenters Andrea Diss-Torrance WDNR and BrianKuhnWisconsinDepartmentofTradeandCon- sumer Protection wrapped up the presentation part of themeetingandstressedtheimportanceofcooperation between tribes and state and federal agencies to slow the spread of invasive organisms. A lively afternoon discussion moderated by Paul DeMain provided the opportunity for all participants to offer perspectives on how to deal with EAB and other invasives. Several tribal gatherers spoke eloquently about how all forest beings depend on each other and that the forest must be treated with respect. The meeting was made possible through a grant from the Administration for Native Americans US Department of Health and Human Services. For more informationcontactGLIFWCForestPestCoordinator Steve Garske at 715.682.6619 or Sugar maples cannot seed in soil where earthworms have removed the duff layer. The invasive beetle emerald ash borer is expected to wipe out the ceded territorys ash population within the next few decades said JoAnn Cruse US Department of Agriculture State Plant Health Director. photo by Charlie Otto Rasmussen MAZINAIGAN PAGE 10 SUMMER 2015