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Upper Midwesterners to Strategize About Invasive Species Management

"Invasive species affect our economy, leisure activities and even our health," said Carmen Chapin, the coordinator of the National Park Service Great Lakes Exotic Plant Management Team. "They've become everyone's problem, so that is how to tackle them. Together."

Chapin will be one of over 600 people attending the Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference (UMISC) in Duluth, Minn., on October 20-22, 2014. The biennial conference is a showcase for the ways people can help to control invasive species. It is also one of the largest venues in North America for exchanging science-based information to better manage a multi-billion-dollar-a-year problem.*

"This conference is one of the best ways to share our collective knowledge and resources," said Chapin.

The three-day conference will cover particular species such as common carp, emerald ash borer, and knotweed. Additionally, numerous presentations will focus on integrated pest management and innovations in control techniques, among other topics, during six concurrent sessions and on posters. Invited invasive species experts will speak about policy, risk assessment, and adaptive evolution in a rapidly changing climate.

Individual efforts to control the spread of invasive species range from the simple act of not dumping aquarium fish into lakes and streams to working within one's community in cooperative efforts to restore areas that have been overwhelmed by invasive plants. Some of the most reaching efforts are actually the easiest, like taking measures not to move invasive species.

The Midwest Invasive Plant Network, the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council, the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council are hosting UMISC with leadership from Minnesota Sea Grant and the University of Wisconsin Extension.

The goal of UMISC is to strengthen the region's ability to manage invasive species. Limited onsite registration will be available. Daily registration ranges from $95 to $190; a full 3-day pass costs $310. For further information, log onto www.umisc2014.org or call UMISC Conference Administration, in Milwaukee, Wisc, at 414-967-1350.

*Marbuah. G., Gren, I-M., and McKie, B., Economics of Harmful Invasive Species: A Review. 2014. Diversity 2014, 6(3), 500-523; doi:10.3390/d6030500

Posted on October 7, 2014

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