This is part one in a three-part series on how to create an invasive plant management plan.
Developing a management plan is a good way to start protecting the property you steward from invasive plants, whether you're a private landowner, a town official, or community volunteer.
Are you or your community considering or currently working on an invasive plant management plan? There are resources at VTinvasives.org that may help provide a starting point or make the process easier.
VTinvasives.org has a variety of resources for assessing infestations, forestry best management practices, and comparison of project strategies. Find more here.
A good starting point is reviewing a template for a management plan. The Nature Conservancy created both short and long form versions of this tool. Follow the link below to view a template, and feel free to modify it to suit the scale and goals of your project.
Your filled-out plan becomes the reference point for making decisions on where to focus resources. It also serves as a communication tool to decision makers, such as town managers and select board members, potential contractors, and future grant funders.
Time and money are often limiting factors to invasive plant management so once you’ve started to create your plan, you will want to set priorities for restoration. Landowners can use the data from online tools like the Natural Resources Atlas and Biofinder to identify natural communities and priority areas, or natural areas that are high priority sites needing more immediate attention to protect them from spreading invasive plant populations.(ex: Town Forests, hiking trails, large intact forest blocks, deer wintering areas, areas known to have rare, threatened or endangered species, etc.).
Future parts of this series:
Part 2- Outlining purpose, priorities, and resources
Part 3 (final)- Mapping Invasive Plants
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Article Credit: Elizabeth Spinney, VT FPR
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Spinney, VT FPR, "Resprouting honeysuckle, needing follow up treatment after initial cutting"