Invasive species are a threat to Vermont’s environment

first_imgIn nature everything is connected, so when an ecosystem becomes unbalanced because of an invasive pest, plant or disease it has a domino effect that can create big problems for Vermont.  It not only changes the balance in an ecosystem, destroying habitat, but it is also costly for Vermonters.  The estimated damage from invasive species is in the millions of dollars.  As the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources I know that small steps can make a difference.  I also know that we cannot protect Vermont’s environment alone.  We need your help!  Find out how you can help prevent invasive species from harming Vermont’s environment by visiting is external). ·         Use only local firewood ‘not only in Vermont, but wherever you travel.·         Make sure the plants you transplant into your yard or garden are not invasives and replace invasive plants with non-invasive alternatives.·         Clean your boat and boating equipment thoroughly before transporting between bodies of water.·         Don’t move baitfish from one water body to another.·         Clean your boots and equipment before you hike or camp in a new area.·         Never release exotic animals or aquarium fish and plants into the wild.·         Volunteer your time with one of Vermont’s invasive eradication teams.·         Find out more by visiting the Vermont Invasives website is external). Source: ANR 8.6.2012 by Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Agency of Natural Resources Vermont received bad news last week when we learned that a new aquatic invasive species, the spiny water flea, was found in Lake George as well as in feeder canals to the Champlain Canal – both waters that flow into Lake Champlain.  Like many invasive species, the spiny water flea competes with native species for food, but because it has no natural predators or other population controls it can quickly dominate the ecosystem and make it hard for native species to survive. The tail spines of the spiny water flea also catch and foul up fishing lines causing a great inconvenience to anglers. This is just the latest of a growing number of threats to Vermont’s environment from non-native species. ·         The hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect from Asia that feeds on the sap of hemlock trees, has been detected, for the first time, in Bennington County.  If left unchecked it can decimate our hemlock trees which are important for both timber and wildlife.·         The emerald ash borer is an insect from Asia that was first discovered in Michigan in 2002.  Now, ten years later it has spread to 16 states and provinces, killing tens of millions of trees. In July it was detected in Connecticut, the first confirmed infestation in New England.·         Common Buckthorn is already established in some parts of Vermont. It is a native of Europe and was introduced into the United States as an ornamental shrub.  Once it gets established it can take over an area, destroying wildlife habitat and impeding productive forests by crowding out other understory plants and preventing the regeneration of slower growing hardwoods like Sugar Maple trees.·         VHS (Viral hemorrhagic septicemia) is a deadly fish virus that originated in Europe that wipes out populations of trout and salmon.  In 2005 this virus was identified in Lake Ontario and has since then spread across all five Great Lakes and into many inland lakes including the Finger Lakes in New York, killing tens of millions of fish in the process. Scientists at the Agency of Natural Resources, along with our state, federal and academic partners, are working hard to understand how best to prevent new invasives from coming to Vermont, and to eradicate (when possible) or contain the ones that are already here.  But they cannot do this alone.  In some cases we have rules in place to prevent the spread of a particular plant, pest or disease. Our state parks only permit firewood that comes from within 50 miles of the park, and we ask boat owners to wash boats and equipment before moving it to a new water body.  We regulate the use of baitfish and we ban the sale of some invasive plants; however in many cases we must rely on education to get homeowners and landscapers to be cautious about what they transplant into their yards and gardens.  Invasive pests do not generally move to a new area all by themselves.  People help.  The spiny water flea hitchhikes on boats or equipment that has passed through an infested area.  The emerald ash borer spreads from the movement of firewood or through the purchase of infested nursery stock.  Buckthorn got its start as an ornamental plant in yards and gardens.   Diseases like VHS can be introduced in a new area when baitfish are moved from one water body to another. This means that to prevent the spread of invasives everyone needs to do their part. Things you can do to help protect Vermont’s native plants and animalslast_img read more

‘The Walking Dead’ recap: “The Bridge”

first_imgJackson Lee Davis/AMC(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD) The second episode of season nine begins with Rick speaking to someone, looking at camera, detailing that as a unified community, they’re thriving. “We’re not letting this world define us anymore.”It’s been some time since the bridge has begun construction; Ezekiel embraces Carol and tells her he needs to go back to the Kingdom. “This is just goodbye for now, I’m not giving up on my fairy tale.”Rick and Eugene plot with Rosita about blasting for the construction, meanwhile, they talk about Saviors who have walked off.Back at Hilltop, Maggie tries to break a horse while Michonne comes to ask for more food, explaining the Sanctuary hasn’t provided the fuel they promised was on its way. Maggie won’t budge.At the bridge, Daryl gets into it with Justin, one of the former Saviors, who shoves young Henry for rationing water. Rick breaks up the scuffle and gets them back to work; he has faith the Saviors will fall in line.At Hilltop, it’s been a month since Earl tried to kill Maggie in a drunken stupor. He’s still locked up, but his wife isn’t happy about it. “I got no one else,” she says defiantly.Michonne tries to convince Jesus to talk to Maggie about it; she proposes the charter to him again. Later on, when Maggie is playing with baby Herschel, he brings it up again. “Negan, Gregory, Earl: you think I’m wrong about them.”“I think you’re a good person, and good people can disagree,” he says.It works; Earl is reunited with his wife through a jail cell.Near the bridge, Rosita and a former savior — one who sliced her face open months ago — get to blasting for the bridge. As expected, the noise from the explosion sends the walker herd in a different direction.Back at Hilltop, Earl is talking with Maggie about his past as an alcoholic, and how he was able to get sober for 20 years. He asks why Maggie hanged Gregory and not him.Elsewhere, Rick, Tara, and Gary attempt to distract the herd with a series of sirens, but one station doesn’t sound theirs, which means the herd shambles into the good guys’ lumber yard, forcing Daryl and everyone to scramble, taking down walkers; meanwhile, one of the Saviors drops his rope and sends a pile of logs rolling onto Aaron’s hand. Rick and all come to their rescue, and he shoots a rope, sending a pile of logs rolling down a hill, mowing down walkers.Aaron is evacuated, and back at the infirmary, Enid and Daryl are forced to amputate his arm.Back at Hilltop, Maggie agrees to common laws between the communities, but says she won’t sacrifice her power to do what she thinks needs to be done. Michonne agrees.Rick kicks out Justin, the Savior with whom Daryl tangled, and who failed to sound the other alarm.Rick bonds with Aaron, regretting he was injured. It was worth it, Aaron says, because he feels he’s part of Rick building a new world.Elsewhere, Father Gabriel and Anne continue to bond; they kiss amid the sound of frogs mating.Rick looks over the camp; everybody getting along.Carol asks Ezekiel if she could try “that old ring on.” She doesn’t want him to kneel, but accepts him putting it on with a warm embrace.“It was a hard day,” Rick continues to the confessional. “Thing is, though: bad as it was, when the day was done, they came together. Not all of them, but enough…chose to be together.”Then we see he’s been boasting to Negan, through the bars in his jail cell. Negan is unmoved. “When it all goes to s***, and it will, you be sure to tell me about that day, too,” his voice raspy confident as ever. “You’re not saving the world, Rick. You’re just getting it ready for me.”The episode closes with the excommunicated Savior Justin drunkenly walking away from the protection of the camp.We see Anne, and then the Savior gets distracted by something in the woods on the side of the road. He draws a machete, but then is calmed by a friendly face: “You nearly got yourself killed!” he yells — before he’s snatched into the darkness.The Walking Dead returns next Sunday, October 21 at 9 p.m. on AMC.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more