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Rhode Island Natural History Survey » FHWP FAQ
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dgregg on 07 Apr 2010 12:43 pm

FHWP FAQ

  • Why are we using ARRA (federal stimulus) funding for this project?
  • Why do they have to be removed, what harm are they doing? / How does this help the environment and forest health?
  • Why control invasives?  Aren’t we just fighting nature?
  • Aren’t there more worthwhile projects needed in the state with larger rewards and impacts?
  • Are there jobs involved?
  • Will the invasive species be completely removed and won’t they return?
  • Why do they still sell invasive plants at some big box stores and garden centers in RI?
  • What’s the benefit for the homeowner and property owner?

Why are we using Federal ARRA funding for this project?
The FHWP is funded by ARRA through the U.S. Forest Service award specifically for forest invasive work. For a long time RI hasn’t been able to effectively address invasive plants. These funds represent a once in a lifetime chance to catch up and improve the long-term “biodiversity and boardfeet” of our woodlands.

Why do they have to be removed, what harm are they doing? / How does this help the environment and forest health?
Invasives threaten forest health. They can disrupt normal forest processes like succession. This means less boardfeet, less biodiversity, and typically less attractive forests for recreation, among other things. A large body of scientific research shows that controlling invasives is important.

Why control invasives?  Aren’t we just fighting nature?
In the absence of human activity and disturbance, invasives wouldn’t do nearly as well in nature.  In other words, we’re already unintentionally managing for invasives — but not the way we want to. FHWP is about directing our management activities in a positive way.

Aren’t their more worthwhile projects needed in the state with larger rewards and impacts?
These are funds were awarded by the U.S. Forest Service specifically for forest invasive control. Nationally invasives species are estimated to cost $27 billion in lost output.

Are their jobs involved?
10 positions will be created through RINHS & URI.  An estimated 40 projects totaling ~$300,000 will be put to bid for RI contractors in the “green industry. 6 High School youth crew jobs in ecosystem management will be created.

Will the invasive species be completely removed and won’t they return?
Invasive control is a long term management activity – just like any other type of stewardship.  After a treatment, there may still be viable seeds in the seed bank or new dispersal events so follow-up will probably be necessary.

Why do they still sell invasive plants at some big box stores and garden centers in RI?
The regulation of plants for import and sale is a legislative issue. Currently RI doesn’t ban anything. FHWP represents a great opportunity to educate & mobilize constituents to help change these laws.  One great output of this project will hopefully be a reconvening of the RI Invasive Species Council.  This council determines what is invasive, though it has no regulatory power.

From a more consumer/bottom up approach, the Rhody Native effort to develop a market for locally-sourced native plants represents a great, positive way to educate consumers and provide economic incentive for the RI nursery industry.

What’s the benefit for the homeowner and property owner?
RINHS will be providing FREE invasive inventory, management recommendations, and potentially removal for landowners — no strings attached.

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