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120 Mile Trek - Eyes on Invasives
Boy Scout Troup 163 has a long road ahead of them. Fifteen scouts and their leaders are hiking 120 miles from the Ashokan Reservoir to NYC and they are helping CRISP and the DEP by looking for invasive species along the way. Walking transects looking for plants is a common way to inventory but 120 mile transect is a pretty long one to say the least. They will be looking for our two priority forest pests: the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) and the emerald ash borer (EAB) as well as five terrestrial priority plants: Norway maple; giant hogweed; swallow-wort; mile-a-minute vine; and Asiatic bittersweet. The data they collect will be incorporated into the iMap Invasives online database and will be available to the public and professionals working on invasive species issues across the state.
The scouts were trained in the identification of these species on Saturday, August 20th, the second day of their trek as they camped out at the Ulster County Fair Grounds. Although the remainder of their trek will be outside the CRISP boundary, it is useful to have more information about the invasive species that are moving up the Hudson Valley. Frequently, species move along the river corridor and then spread westward into our region.
Learn more about the Trek, and read frequently updated blog entries from Troup 163 at: www.olivescouts.org.