News

Apr 14, 2014

USDA announces $20M to target wild hogs

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a $20 million effort to reduce the increasingly expensive damage caused by wild hogs in rural areas. Under the new program, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will work directly with states to manage populations and test for diseases such as swine fever.

The invasive wild hogs, known as feral swine, are n ow found in 39 states, causing damage ranging from killed livestock to property destruction. In recent years, costs related to wild hogs have exceeded $1.5 billion a year.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the invasive species is especially prolific with females commonly producing two litters per year. Adults typically weigh 200 pounds but can exceed 400 pounds.Wild hogs are able to carry and transmit up to 30 diseases and 37 different parasites, the USDA states. "Feral swine are one of the most destructive invaders a state can have," Undersecretary for Regulatory and Marking Programs Ed Avalos said in the statement. "It's critical that we act now to begin appropriate management of this costly problem."

APHIS's Wildlife Services division will administer the new program. Of the total cost, $9.5 million will go toward state projects; initial funding will be based on the extent of feral swine damage in a state. Other funding will be divided between establishing procedures for disease monitoring and conducting research on control practices, among other activities. Congress provided the $20 million in funding for the program in fiscal 2014. The administration hopes to have the program fully operating within six months.

A pilot program in New Mexico in fiscal 2013 removed more than 640 hogs on 4.8 million acres throughout the state, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea testified at a House of Representatives hearing. APHIS estimates the program saved New Mexico residents $360,000 in property damage. Through the national program, APHIS hopes to eliminate feral swine in 10 states within seven years, Shea said in written testimony.





Apr 14, 2014

NY State Parks Invasive Insect Job Openings

NY State Parks has 4 available Forest Health Specialist summer positions. Two positions will be based at Watkins Glen State Park, and two in Allegany State Park, however some travel to other state parks will be necessary. These positions will primarily focus on survey for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Emerald Ash Borer and public education, see the attached position description for more information.

There is a fast turnaround time for these positions: All position specific cover letters and resumes must be received by Tuesday April 29th

E-mail or send by FAX a letter of interest and resume.  Include three work references with contact name, name of business/facility and phone number.
You can FAX your letter and resume to (845) 255 -3505.

Contact:

Robert O’Brien                                    
Invasive Species Control Field Director
OPRHP Environmental Management Bureau/ Minnewaska State Park Preserve
PO Box 893 New Paltz, NY 12561
(845) 256.0579 (o)
(518) 391.3953 (c)
robert.o’brien@parks.ny.gov




Mar 19, 2014

Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program Seeks Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator

Application deadline: April 11, 2014

The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Project Coordinator is a team member of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), one of New York’s eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM).  The APIPP facilitates the development, coordination and implementation of innovative programs in the Adirondack region for invasive species prevention, monitoring, mapping, management, education and restoration (more information online at www.adkinvasives.com).  The AIS Project Coordinator’s primary role is to lead APIPP’s early detection and education programs for AIS, collaborate with and coordinate partners in the region working on AIS and serve as an expert resource for partners and communities on AIS related issues.  This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated individual to work in a creative, team-oriented environment using diverse strategies to address an important and high profile conservation issue.

To apply, go to http://www.nature.org/careers, enter 42002 in the Keywords box under Basic Job Search, and click the Search button.

OFFICE LOCATION: Keene Valley, New York (NY)

POSITION SUMMARY
 
The AIS Project Coordinator’s primary role is to lead APIPP’s early detection and education programs for AIS, collaborate with and coordinate partners in the region working on AIS, and serve as an expert resource for partners and communities on AIS issues.  This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated individual to work in a creative, team-oriented environment using diverse strategies to address an important and high profile conservation issue.
 
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The AIS Project Coordinator participates in the development, coordination and implementation of AIS programs in the Adirondack region.  This includes the following functions:

  • Coordinate APIPP’s aquatic invasive species volunteer monitoring program, including organizing training sessions, coordinating volunteers, and lending support and assistance
  • Conduct aquatic invasive species surveys, including maintaining survey gear and equipment, and lend guidance to aquatic invasive species management efforts
  • Develop and deliver presentations to stakeholder groups at local, state and regional levels, participate in education and outreach events and maintain APIPP’s Blog
  • Perform database entry, GIS mapping and analysis
  • Develop work plans and project reports as necessary
  • Coordinate partners and activities of APIPP’s Aquatic Invasive Species Committee
  • Identify ways to enhance invasive species prevention, detection and management strategies
  • Coordinate regional AIS prevention, early detection and management with other PRISMs and regional partners

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field and 1 year related experience in custodial and ecological land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge of natural systems.
  • Experience in ecological land management principles.
  • Experience supervising staff.
  • Experience performing physical work.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • 2-3 years related experience in ecological management and volunteer coordination or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience working with or knowledge of aquatic systems and knowledge of ecological resource management principles
  • Familiarity with AIS and current trends and practices in their prevention and management, including ability to identify aquatic plants and animals and utilize identification keys
  • Experience using geographic information system (GIS) software such as ArcGIS and Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment
  • Strong organization skills with high attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written, and interpersonal skills, including ability to network and communicate effectively with diverse groups, including shore owners, volunteers, conservation partners, government officials, business/industry representatives and the general public
  • Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s), including managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results
  • Motivated self-starter who is flexible, including desire and willingness to learn new skills and approaches
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher)
  • Kayak/Canoe experience

The AIS Project Coordinator may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstancesThese conditions may require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain, present frequent possibility of injury and require long hours in isolated settings.

The position is a full-time position with renewal each year contingent upon availability of continuing state funds.  A start date of late April to early May is desired but flexible.

APIPP is a partnership program whose mission is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species.  Partners include the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, NYS Department of Transportation, more than 30 cooperating organizations and hundreds of volunteers.

The APIPP Team is based out of the offices of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy located in Keene Valley, NY.  The program is supported by funding through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.