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November 8, 2012

Program to focus on invasive species

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will host a one-hour invasive species awareness and New York iMapInvasives, or iMap, training at the Brenner Recreation Center in Oneonta’s Neahwa Park, according to a media release from Cooperative Extension.

Immediately following the training there will be a two-hour walk in Oneonta parks and on walking paths to identify potentially affected trees. The walk will be guided by Oneonta City Park & Recreation staff, state Department of Environmental Conservation staff, and Cornell Cooperative Extension Natural Resource educators.  

The iMap training and parks walk will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, rain or shine.

 Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated by Thursday, Nov. 8, at Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties at (518) 234-4303, or email schoharie@cornell.edu.

The purpose of this training is to help citizen science volunteers identify the invasive emerald ash borer  and the hemlock woolly adelgid as well as the trees that are potential targets of these insects. In addition, educators will demonstrate how to enter GPS coordinates on the iMap website when invasive species (of any kind) are found. Both the EAB and HWA have been identified in Greene and Ulster counties and are considered as serious threats to the ash and hemlock tree populations in Schoharie County, according to a media release from Cooperative Extension. HWA already has been identified in Schoharie County. Identifying and entering GPS coordinates on the iMapInvasives website of invasive species in especially popular public areas are important early steps in preparing local natural resource management plans, the release stated. For those participants without GPS capability, GPS units will be provided for training purposes.   

The Early Detection of Invasive Species is a program of the Catskill Region Invasive Species Partnership Project, and is a collaboration of Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties’ Agro-Forestry Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, and the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. iMapInvasives is managed by the New York Natural Heritage Program through a contract with the state Department of Environmental Conservation using funds from the state Environmental Protection Fund. 

Accommodations for those with special needs may be requested by contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties before the program.