NotMISpecies webinar series begins second year with balsam woolly adelgid, eDNA and park stewardship

Contact: Joanne Foreman 517-284-5814
Agency: Natural Resources

Oct. 19, 2021

Michigan's NotMISpecies webinar series, sharing current information about invasive species and what's being done to address them, returns Thursday, Oct. 21, with 10 new sessions focused on emerging threats, new research and technology, educational opportunities and "how-to" tips for managing invasives in your backyard.

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In its first year, the monthly Michigan Invasive Species Program's series was met with positive response from its more than 3,500 viewers, many of whom watched live to participate in question-and-answer sessions. Others took advantage of recorded sessions, available at Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents, and shared them with students, colleagues and friends.

"The webinars provide a way to reach new audiences and not only share information but interact directly with the public to understand their concerns and needs," said Joanne Foreman, Michigan Department of Natural Resources invasive species communications coordinator. "We're using audience feedback to develop sessions for the upcoming year."

The season kicks off at 9 a.m. Oct. 21 with "Just Do It!" - an invitation to learn about invasive species management by volunteering for a state park stewardship workday. DNR natural resource stewards Kelsey Dillon and Emily Leslie will share information about the program and its focus on special habitat areas in need of protection. Fall opportunities include woody invasive plant removal at state parks. Learn how you can get involved in preserving your favorite places for future generations.

"Woolly Bully" (9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10) focuses on balsam woolly adelgid - an invasive tree insect recently detected in Michigan - and the threat it poses to forests and Michigan's Christmas tree industry. Robert Miller of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will explain the state's strategy to eradicate the insect, which has killed countless fir trees in the Northeast, West and Southeast.

Sessions return after a December break with "Dive into the Gene Pool" (9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25), examining the emerging use of environmental DNA to detect invasive carp and other aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and connecting waters. Join Nick Frohnauer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Kim Scribner and John Robinson from Michigan State University as they share how it works, when and where this tool is most effective, and what's on the horizon for eDNA in Michigan's invasive species detection efforts.

"The AIS-Team" (9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16) explores conservation officers' role in preventing invasive species introductions through law enforcement. Join Corporal Nick Torsky of the Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division's Great Lakes Enforcement Unit to learn about enforcing boating and bait-related regulations, oversight of Michigan's organisms-in-trade, interagency cooperation across the Great Lakes Basin and some recent investigations that highlight the Department's enforcement efforts.

If you are new to the series, it's easy to catch up on topics including collaborative efforts in invasive carp management, early detection and response for aquatic invasive species, and the threat posed by spotted lanternfly. Recorded versions of all previous NotMISpecies webinars are available at Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents under "Featured Webinar Series."

Michigan's Invasive Species Program, a collaborative effort of the departments of Natural Resources; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Agriculture and Rural Development, coordinates and supports invasive species initiatives across the state and provides support through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.