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.
Non-native invasive plants found in the Upper White River watershed include:
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.
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.
Since 2012 the Upper White River CWMA Coordinator has engaged individual landowners, students, community volunteers, town officials, and contractors to accomplish the following activities:
Please contact Mary Russ at 802-763-7733 or mary[at]whiteriverpartnership.org.