News Release

US Forest Service recognizes key players in stopping invasive threats

March 3, 2011 -

Scientists, educators and volunteers from across the U.S. will meet in Washington today to receive awards for their efforts in battling bat-killing fungi, waging war on weeds and stamping out other invasive species.

The 2010 National Forest System Invasive Species Program Awards honor individuals and groups for their work in controlling invasive species that threaten the National Forest System – some 193 million acres of public forests and grasslands. The awards are being held in conjunction with the annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

“Through their outstanding service and leadership, these people are helping to stem the tide of invasive species,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “They are ensuring the protection of our forests, grasslands and watersheds for future generations.”

A species is considered invasive if it is nonnative to the ecosystem under consideration, and its introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Thousands of non-native plants, insects, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, pathogens, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have infested hundreds of millions of acres of land and water in the U.S. These invasions affect the health of not only the nation’s forests, watersheds and rangelands but also of wildlife, livestock, fish and humans.

For information on how to help prevent the spread of invasive species, click here.

The award categories and winners are:

Excellence in Invasive Species Partnership Development:

  • Eagle River, Florence Ranger District, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, for their efforts to formally establish cooperative weed-management areas spanning parts of Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit staffs, for their team approach to expand cooperation and partnerships with more than 50 external organizations and agencies to prevent and control aquatic invasive species.

Excellence in Invasive Species Prevention:

  • Pat Ormsbee, a bat specialist from the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region, for leadership in addressing the spread of White-nosed Syndrome and reducing its impact on North America’s bat populations.

Early Detection Rapid Response:

  • Betty Charnon, for her energetic work to rapidly detect and control populations of invasive species impacting the Chugach National Forest in cooperation with a variety of partners in Alaska.
  • Lindsey Chadderton (The Nature Conservancy), Cheryl Coon (Wayne National Forest), Teena Ligman (Hoosier National Forest), and Chris Evans (River to River CWMA), for their team efforts to establish and maintain an early detection and rapid response system to detect and control aquatic and terrestrial invasive species along the Ohio River System across Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

Innovative Control and Management:

  • Tracy M. Johnson, Pacific Southwest Research Station, for outstanding leadership in developing innovative biological control techniques for invasive plants.
  • Ian Shackleford, Ottawa National Forest, for leadership in developing innovative approaches to control and manage invasive species, including new approaches using biological controls, boat inspections and washing stations, and completing planning necessary for the use of pesticides.

Landscape Restoration and Rehabilitation Against Invasive Species:

  • Katie VinZant, forest botanist, Angeles National Forest, for her leadership to recruit a team of invasive weed eradicators use of a treatment strategy that effectively restored lands burned during the devastating Station Fire.
  • Angeles National Forest Station Fire Invasives Removal Team, for starting a program to restore and rehabilitate more than 161,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest that burned during the arson-caused Station Fire.

Education and Awareness on Invasive Species:

  • Wildlife Forever Inc., in recognition of their partnership with the Forest Service to educate the public and raise awareness of the invasive species threat to aquatic and terrestrial resources,. They contributed efforts to the Invasive Species Threat Campaign that generated more than $1.78 million for public education to stop invasive species threatening the National Forest System.

Outstanding Partner Against Invasive Species:

  • Elizabeth Brown, Colorado Division of Wildlife, for her partnership with the Forest Service to bring together agencies and the public on important aquatic invasive species issues affecting the National Forest System.
  • Larry B. Dalton, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, for his support to and partnership with the Forest Service to expand the collaboration between public and private stakeholders to prevent and control aquatic invasive species threatening the National Forest System.