Wildflower Center Recognized for Invasive Species Outreach & Education Efforts

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has been honored with an Outstanding Achievement in Invasive Species Outreach and Education award from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) for its outreach and educational initiatives to address non-native, invasive species.- Read Press Release.
The Wildflower Center sends out a special thanks to our agency partners, citizen scientist volunteers, TIPPC members, iWire e-newsletter recipients, and all others who take part in the effort to stay informed and educate others about invasive species. 

Legislative News:
Two New Texas Native Seed Bills 

In February, Texas House Member Mike Villareal (D-San Antonio) filed two native seed bills that focused on restoring Texas’ highways and exploration-construction areas for oil and gas. The first bill (HB 1135) includes the creation of a Native Seed Committee tasked with developing a ten-year plan to increase native seed production and utilization in restoration projects. The second bill (HB 1116) involves creation of a Texas Native Seed Competitive Grant Program to help fund restoration projects that utilize native plants.

Villareal said that state agencies, such as the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), are federally mandated by the Clean Water Act to revegetate roadsides after projects.  He states that while currently they have a program to use native seeds, supply gaps sometimes lead to planting invasive species. – Read More
Cultivating a Biofuel Solution: By Improving Noxious Weed Regulation

Biofuels are of growing economic and ecological importance;and currently,under the Renewable Fuel Standard mandate, the Environmental Protection Agency is weighing which biofuel stocks to incentivize. 

The federal government calling for production of 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022,which equates to about 11.3% of all liquid fuel consumption. With this new mandate, environmental groups have rallied to
 prohibit utilization of known invasive species, and to properly investigate the invasive potential of all future biofuels.  

A new study, "Navigating the 'Noxious' and 'Invasive' Regulatory Landscape: Suggestions for Improved Regulation," outlines a methodology to improve and streamline the regulatory process for evaluating the invasive potential of plants, and is meant to be particularly applicable to biofuel feedstock under consideration for large-scale cultivation.
 - Read More.
More News

Free Online Invasive Species Conference: April 15 -17, 2013
Ethology Investigates is hosting an online conference where researchers will present new theories and discuss recent findings on the behavior of invasive species and their impact on the host environment. - Register Here.  

Free Invasive Species Webinars
IPC Web Solutions, a collaborative effort between Invasive Plant Control and the University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, is offering a series of free webinars to assist in the management of invasive species. - Read More.

Commander Ben Also Receives NISC Award
Ben Shrader (AKA Commander Ben) was awarded the Outstanding Terrestrial Invasive Species Volunteer Award for leading efforts to engage students in invasive species issues through his Invasive Hunter Academy, using interactive methods to teach about invasive species and their effects on native ecosystems. - Read More.

Invasive Feral Hogs "Suppressed"
Texas has the largest documented population of feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in the nation, coming in at an estimated 2 million animals. To combat the problem, hunters and landowners are shifting into utilizing suppressors (AKA "silencers") on their firearms. Using this noise-dampening devices became legal September 1, 2012 under new Texas Parks & Wildlife Department regulations. - Read More.

Position Announcement: Integrated Pest Management Internship
Phipps Conservatory is seeking Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Intern to assist in developing and coordinating Phipps IPM program in the Conservatory, production houses and outdoor gardens, including the newly installed Center for Sustainable Landscapes, with the goal of minimizing pesticide use while maintaining the health and beauty of all plants throughout the Phipps campus. - Read More.

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to iwire@texasinvasives.org.



The Sentinel Pest Network Continued...

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is excited to announce that funding for "Continuation of a Sentinel Network to Detect and Report Invasive Species” was approved for FY2013. Funding comes from the USDA Farm Bill, which has supported the establishment and implementation of our program since FY2011.  

We will continue our outreach and education efforts regarding pests of regulatory concern through free workshops, online training modules, and 



Citizen Science Workshops

Invaders of Texas and Sentinel Pest Network Workshops
Invaders of Texas program workshops train volunteers to become "citizen scientists" to identify, detect and report invasive plant species.  Workshops can include sessions on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the probability of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.  Workshops can be tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on Texasinvasives.org designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.  

Workshop content may vary by location, so please visit the workshop page to get details on the scheduled workshop in your area.  

Workshop Schedule:

Saturday April 6th, 2013
Location: Jasper, Texas 
Host: Longleaf Ridge Master Naturalist
Contact: Lori Horne

Friday April 19th, 2013
Location: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge  (Fort Worth, TX)
Contact: Anne Hamman

Saturday April 20th, 2013 (1/2 day new topics and refesher)
Location: Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge  (Fort Worth, TX)
Contact: Anne Hamman

Saturday May 11th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX)  
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland 
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday May 18th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX) 
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday June 8th, 2013
Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX 
Host: City of Austin and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland
*Austin Invasive Species Management Plan: Volunteer Monitoring Training

Saturday June 22nd, 2013

Location: Acton Nature Center (Acton, TX)
Host: Rio Brazos Master Naturalist
Contact: Robert Theimer

Saturday June 29th, 2013
Location: Bryan/College Station, TX
Host: Brazos Valley Master Naturalist
Contact: Dr. Amanda Chau

Saturday July 20th, 2013
Location: Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (Athens, TX)
Host: Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
Contact: Jessica Strickland

For more information or to request a workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.


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