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Press Release 10-28-10
Catskill Center Receives New York State Funds to Combat Invasive Species in Catskill Region.
Thursday, October 28, 2010: The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development has been awarded a contract by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to administer a partnership for invasive species management in the Catskill Region. The contract provides a significant budget disbursed over the next four years to the Catskill Center to coordinate and fund projects as a host organization for the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP). CRISP, established in 2005, is a group of relevant organizations and agencies with a combination of expertise and resources that work cooperatively to face the challenges that invasive species pose in the Catskills.
Catskill Center Executive Director Alan White states: “The Catskills Region is the front line for invasive species in New York State and the northeastern region of the country. Focusing our resources on this area is the most effective way to study invasive species and, ideally, halt their encroachment on other areas. The CRISP partnership has been in place for over five years and has all the systems in place to engage EAB and all the invasive species affecting the Catskill Region.”
NYSDEC has released this funding as the Catskill Region confirms the first detections of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that has devastated entire populations of Ash trees in the Midwest. In July, the presence of EAB was confirmed in Ulster and Greene counties. EAB can kill the entire population of Ash trees in the Catskills within 10 years—Ash trees make up over 10% of Catskill forests.
EAB is one of many invasive species impacting the Catskill Region. The invasive algae, rock snot or didymo, has been found in a number of Catskill streams over the past few years, and swallow-wort is an herbaceous vine that was recently detected in the Catskills. CRISP implements an engagement policy that involves indentifying invasive species, educating the public about the species, preventing the further spread of the species, and eradicating the species when that action causes less harm that the invasive species itself. CRISP partners include: NYSDEC, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Transportation, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, The Nature Conservancy, Watershed Agricultural Council, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Catskill Forest Association, The National Park System, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.