Upper White River CWMA

Upper White River CWMA

The Upper White River watershed includes the headwaters of the White River downstream to the confluence with the Tweed River.

The Upper White River Cooperative Weed Management Association (CWMA) formed in 2009 to inventory, monitor, control, and prevent the spread of non-native invasive plants across jurisdictional boundaries within the Upper White River watershed.

A 5-member Board works with a part-time, paid Coordinator to implement projects each spring and summer. Board members include the Green Mountain National Forest, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, Town of Rochester, and White River Partnership.

Funding for CWMA activities has been provided by the National Forest Foundation and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

Species of concern

Non-native invasive plants found in the Upper White River watershed include:

  • Autumn olive
  • Garlic mustard
  • Goutweed
  • Japanese barberry
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Multiflora rose
  • Purple loosestrife
  • Shrub honeysuckle
  • Wall lettuce
  • Wild chervil

Activities

During the field season the CWMA Coordinator conducts inventories of road and trails within the Upper White River watershed boundaries to identify and map non-native invasive plant infestations. Several species of concern are well-established in the Upper White River watershed, including wild chervil and Japanese knotweed. So while the inventory identifies and maps all infestations, the primary management strategy is “early-detection, rapid-response” – identifying and removing small infestations that are not yet widespread in the watershed.

CWMA_Rochester-School_Jun15

Rochester School students pull garlic mustard, a non-native invasive plant that is not yet widespread in the Upper White River

If the inventory identifies an infestation within the public right-of-way that may be controlled manually, the Coordinator removes the plants and composts them. If the inventory identifies an infestation outside of the public right-of-way that may be controlled manually, the Coordinator conducts outreach to the landowner(s) about the infestation and options for removal.

The CWMA partners with private landowners to remove high-priority infestations. For example the CWMA has worked for 7 years to control a garlic mustard infestation on several private properties between the Rochester School and Rte 100. For the past 6 years, Rochester School students have helped remove the garlic mustard along a well-used trail as a hands-on, service-learning component of their science class.

Accomplishments

Since 2012 the Upper White River CWMA Coordinator has engaged individual landowners, students, community volunteers, town officials, and contractors to accomplish the following activities:

  • Surveyed NNIP along 97 miles of roads and trails;
  • Entered survey data into the online database iMapInvasives;
  • Trained 145 community volunteers to identify and control NNIP; and
  • Conducted early-detection, rapid-response control activities at 61 NNIP sites.

For more information

Please contact Mary Russ at 802-763-7733 or mary[at]whiteriverpartnership.org.