Friday, September 16, 2005

Early Morning IPANE - Day 1

Funny story about getting to the 2005 New England Invasive Plant Summit this morning. I had to enter the hotel through the back door, because I had parked so far away and it was raining, not a good thing when you are carrying a poster and mounting board. As I typically do in unfamiliar surroundings, I started following behind a few other people that looked like they knew where they were going. We passed a sign welcoming us to the IPANE Summit, and a few twists and turns later we ended up in front of a conference room with a table loaded with handouts. The sign on the door said "100 Worst Violations." I thought to myself, "Wow, that's a bold statement to make about invasives." Then I noticed something odd - the people around me were all wearing nice, conservative suits (sorry biologists, but you know we're all about the jeans and sandals). Then I realized I was on the wrong floor - at the wrong conference. I still have no idea what that other conference was about. :-) Here are some highlights from the start of the *actual* IPANE conference:

  • Les Mehrhoff opened the conference with a proclamation that he wouldn’t rest until invasive species are so well-known that there are placards about them down in the subway station.
  • Randall Stocker from the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (University of Florida) was next up with his talk titled “Invasive Plant Management Science or Art?” He brought up an interesting point about whether we want a combination of science and art in everything that we do, from early detection to restoration to control and management (yes! ). He was also the first person to point out that we definitely don’t have enough time or money to answer all of the questions we are asking about invasive plants.

  • Chris Dionigi finished out the session with an update on the activities of the National Invasive Species Council. Am I the only one who has trouble processing Powerpoint slides showing organizational charts? Maybe it's just confusing because, as Chris noted, - there are 35 federal agencies and 36 federal laws that impact invasive species. Or that 300 federal programs, 150 groups and 200 organizations play a role in invasive species issues.

    Interesting documents put out by the NISC include:

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