National Forest Foundation

NFF Grant Supports PNW Invasive Plant Council Citizen Science Program

NFF Grant Partners and Projects


With funding from the NFF’s Matching Awards Program, the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council supported invasive species removal on Washington National Forests. Julie Combs and Lizbeth Seebacher share the results of the 2014 field season below.

We recruited and trained volunteers to conduct invasive plant surveys and eradicate infestations through our Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) program. We also educated the general public on problematic invasive species in Washington State.

Our volunteers focused on surveying and eradicating invasive plants on several National Forests over the 2014 field season. 160 trained Citizen Scientists surveyed over 550 acres in eleven counties! From these surveys, the volunteers documented infestations on 19 acres and treated (manually removed plant material) three acres of infested land.

Both positive (priority species found) and negative (no priority species found) survey reports that included GPS points and area surveyed were sent to land managers. Class A noxious weeds are the highest priority for removal and often times, land managers control the infestation immediately.

This season, one of our volunteers found a small but growing patch of a Class A noxious weed, Spartina anglica, in Skagit County and within the week, land managers where able to remove this infestation that was previously unknown to them.

Senecio jacobaea

A large portion of the surveys (67%) detected EDRR invasive species. In many cases, infestations were small enough that volunteers were able to manually remove them in situ before infestations had a chance to establish and spread. For example, volunteers removed and eradicated 2,530 individual invasive plants from forest service lands. Plant material was carefully bagged and deposited off-site in the city landfill so as not to promote spread.

We have shared the documented occurrences of invasive plants on local, regional and national scales. We reported invasive plant occurrences immediately to local land managers on the Olympic and Gifford Pinchot National Forest as well as to managers on other public lands where surveys were conducted. We also reported any occurrences to the county and state noxious weed control boards, and we documented occurrences of invaders on the national database EDDMapS, (Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System) to contribute to what is known about the nation-wide distribution of each species.

Cirsium vulgare

There have been numerous short and long-term benefits to participants of our EDRR Citizen Science Invasive Plant Survey and Control Program.

We have:

  1. increased public awareness of vital issues related to the impacts of invasive species;
  2. provided meaningful hands-on experiences for community members to be involved in conservation practice;
  3. increased communication and collaboration among private landowners, NGO’s, and state and federal agencies, and
  4. monitored hundreds of acres of forest land and other public land that has led to a measureable decrease in the number of newly established invaders.

Some key long-term benefits from our program include:

  1. cultivating lasting stewardship values related to local and national conservation issues;
  2. improvement of wildlife habitat; and
  3. protection of ecosystem and watershed health within the Olympic and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.

Learn more about the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council and the NFF’s Matching Awards Program.

Related Posts

ReWilding L.A.’s Backyard – 10 Ways the NFF has Supported the San Gabriel Mountains with REI

Since 2016 REI has generously supported the National Forest Foundation’s work on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument through the REI ReWilding initiative, which promotes access to our public lands for people in large urban and suburban areas like Los Angeles. Together with our local partners, here are 10 things that our partnership with REI has helped us to accomplish on the Monument.

Read more

NFF, REI and SCA Partner to Preserve History and Improve Recreation on the Iditarod National Historic Trail

2018 is not only the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Act, it is also the 40th Anniversary of the designation of the Iditarod Trail to National Historic Trail status. To help celebrate these occasions, this summer the NFF has partnered with Anchorage REI, the Student Conservation Association and the Chugach National Forest to help improve conditions for users along an all-season, multi-use section of the Iditarod National Historic Trail that is south of Anchorage, near Turnagain Pass.

Read more

Share this post on social media


Support on-the-ground conservation

Help ensure the NFF and our partners can continue doing important work like this on our National Forests.

Donate Now