COS 150-1
Reducing risk in invasive species management planning

Friday, August 14, 2015: 8:00 AM
344, Baltimore Convention Center
Harold Balbach, USA ERDC, Champaign, IL
Lisa J. Rew, Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Background/Question/Methods Numerous public and private agencies, organizations, and the general public regularly operate vehicles off-road.  Foresters, wildlife managers, and wild-land firefighters are prominent, as are military land maneuver activities of every country. This movement of vehicles, persons and equipment has potential to transport seeds and plant parts among locations where they have been stored or operated. Just how great IS this risk, and what steps may be taken to completely or partially alleviate the risk?

Results/Conclusions The risk associated with such activities has now been quantified. One focus determined how many seeds can be accrued and quantified the potential for civilian and military vehicles to pick up weed seeds when they are operated either on or off road, and also how much of the seed load is lost along the driving route between the field site and the destination. These studies have shown that considerable seed loads may be acquired, and that they remain largely intact over hundreds of kilometers on paved or unpaved roads in dry weather. The second focus was on the effectiveness of existing cleaning methodologies to remove soil, seeds and other propagules from the vehicles. It was found that cleaning using field-portable equipment typically removes up to 80+% of the soil on a vehicle. This clearly reduces risk of transport from place to place, but does not eliminate it. The data and risk assessments are applicable to all types of vehicles and all public and private operators of the vehicles, including the military, forest managers, private farmers and ranchers, and the recreational public. Such cleaning actions may become a part of the invasive species management plan for a property depending on the perceived need.