Original Post by Alissa Young:
Question/Problem: Invasive Plant Species: Should landowners mitigate invasive species?
Target Client: Land Trusts Professionals
Working Professionals in Conservation. For example, Land Stewards, Property Managers, Restoration Ecologists, Consultants.
Located in Massachusetts.
any gender and race.
Common Communication Habits:
Research, Grants, Conferences: formal setting, clear, concise, and fact-based conclusions.
Potential to reach the public with valuable information about this topic via social media, newsletters, emails. A less formal but still professional setting, communicate to the everyday person,
Obtains a call to action
The solution to the problem may require financial resources that not all land trusts may have.
Must use multiple avenues of communication to reach the most professionals without contacting directly.
Interest in minimizing invasive species to increase biodiverse landscapes.
Invasive species are prevalent throughout the state. Landowners consider options for mitigation, treatment, and removal of these invasives as they are opportunists and generalists in the environment, which ultimately displace native species. Invasive species can impact wildlife, soil composition and degrade landscapes. The prevalence of invasive species results in less resilient landscapes in the face of climate change.
Awesome question/problem topic! I just spent some time as a forest restoration technician with a company called EcoForesters based in Asheville, North Carolina. I was the one in the forests using herbicide to get rid of the invasive trees and vines. So, you’re welcome to ask me anything about that if it becomes useful over the course of writing the report. I figure the argument is going to be persuading in favor of invasive species mitigation. I recommend narrowing the audience down to property managers because there is already quite a consensus amongst ecologists and land stewards that this type of restoration is much needed. However, many landowners are not aware of the need to manage invasive species just because outreach is lacking or they are not being reached by writers who take the characteristics of the audience into account. EcoForesters has a specific tab on the website called “For Landowners” (Links to an external site.) that may be useful to your project.
A major motivation is the Present Use Value Tax Program. I copy and pasted a paragraph from the EcoForesters website that describes it: North Carolina, like many other states, has a tax program that offers up to 90% property tax savings (valuation varies depending on your county) for private landowners who have an active forest management plan. With a plan from EcoForesters, you can rest easy knowing that our plan is designed from the ground up with the best intentions for your forest in mind. There is also Present Use Value documentation and sample forest stewardship plans listed on the website.
I can also provide you with the stewardship director and forestry director’s email contact information.
Wishing you well in this project!
Comment by Alissa Young:
Thank you so much for sharing these resources and offering your experience for any questions. As I get further into my research, I may take you up on that offer. I am currently a certified applicator assisting in planning and implementation invasive treatments at my work. While it is not the most glamorous job, it is required to support native plants have a chance in the future. Many are against the use of chemicals, so I want to research alternative methods to support all audiences, but I am afraid the research lacks in these areas to support a sound argument. I agree landowners must be considered, primarily since most land that needs to be managed most likely occurs within private boundaries. I felt that if I could give land trusts the resources they need, they could assist in the communication to local landowners as they may already have relationships with them and regularly engage them. I favor incentivizing the action I am proposing because this may foster greater acceptance and buy-in.
All the best,