Green Mountain National Forest-Middlebury District Ranger Station
Infestation Acres: 1 acre
Site Name: Green Mountain National Forest-Middlebury District Ranger Station
Area Identification: Road embankment between the Ranger Station and Route 7A
Target Invasive Plant Species: Bush honeysuckle, common buckthorn, and autumn olive.
Total Acreage: 0.33 acres
Description and Level of Infestation (prior to treatment): Honeysuckle was heavy to moderate along the entire bank area, growing in amongst the rock ledge. Plants were mostly mature and fruiting. Common buckthorn plants were found mostly within the wooded area, extending away from the road into the wooded area behind the ranger station. Several tall (>10’) common buckthorn plants were producing fruit and several smaller saplings were also growing in the area. One mature autumn olive plant was growing close to the entrance trail and lawn edge.
Land Management Goals
Overarching Goals: The Green Mountain National Forest has recently completed an environmental assessment for controlling non-native invasive plants (NNIP) Forest-wide using an integrated pest management approach, and they have begun implementation at high priority sites. The goal for this location was to completely eradicate invasive plant species from the embankment and within 30’feet of the Route 7 corridor. Additional invasive plant treatment is expected to happen on the rest of the Ranger Station property in the years to come. The GMNF also wanted to execute treatment on this property because it is a high-visibility area and can serve as a great educational resource for the public. Controlling NNIP at this site also helps prevent their spread onto National Forest System land.
Site-led or weed-led: This effort was a site-led project; all invasive plants in the 0.33 acres were treated.
Special Features or Conservation Values: This site has educational value because people visit the Ranger Station to acquire information about the National Forest, and because it is so visible from a well-traveled state highway.
Type (manual, mechanical, chemical, other): All mature invasive plants were cut and an herbicide was applied to the cut surface (cut stump). Prior to the cut stump treatment, many branches of mature honeysuckles containing fruits were clipped and disposed of in plastic bags. A few smaller seedlings were hand-pulled where appropriate. All cut stems were chipped on site using a brush chipper.
Date of treatment: Treatment occurred on October 26th, 2011.
Tools: Invasive plants were cut using chainsaws. Herbicides were applied using a pressurized hand-held squirt bottle.
If chemical: type and concentration of herbicide: Accord XRT Herbicide (trademark) (active ingredient of glyphosate) was used in a 50% water based solution.
Who Completed the Work: Private, consulting, licensed pesticide applicators were hired as the contractors for this work.
Total costs: Approximately $1,100.00 was paid to the contractor to complete this work and $248 was paid for GMNF staff time with a total project cost of $1348.
Labor costs (treatment hours, and number employed): Approximately $900 of the total cost was for labor costs. Includes 17.5 hours for 2 professional contractors. Two GMNF employees assisted with the project for approximately 3 hours each, for a total cost of $248. Three volunteers (two high school students and their mother) spent two hours each (six hours total) clipping and removing fruits from some of the mature honeysuckles; the estimated total value of their labor is $120.
Material costs (herbicides, other tools): Approximately $200 was spent on material costs, $175 for a full day rental of chipper and approximately $15 for herbicide costs.
Funding sources: GMNF paid for the work out of the annual budget for non-native invasive plant control.
Success of Initial Treatment: The success of initial treatment has not been determined yet.
Follow-up Treatment Needed: Employees from the Green Mountain National Forest have committed to monitoring this site annually in the spring and hand pulling any invasive plants that emerge from seeds and/or developing an ongoing treatment plan.
This Ranger Station is open to the public. The treated invasive plant infestation site can be viewed easily from the road.