Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Heartland CISMA: what's been happening, save the dates for upcoming events, funding and job opportunities, and how gopher tortoises help with invasives treatment

Heartland CISMA catch-up:


1)      Heartland CISMA EDRR species committee review status- In late October, those interested met to decide how to reconcile the current EDRR list with the new one created by FWC. There was good overlap, but there are also several species on one list and not the other. We dealt with some on the spot and have an approach to deal with the others, with some research on those species being done so we can evaluate them early in the new year. If you're interested in learning more or being in on the decision-making, contact me. Species on the list are eligible for FWC EDRR Strike Team treatment, so there are stakes. If you would like a copy of Greg Jubinsky's powerpoint detailing each of the species on the FWC list, get it here


2)      Heartland CISMA GIS invasive prioritization update- After the EDRR committee meeting, Deb Stone asked for feedback for the next steps of applying her GIS model to prioritize invasive species in the Heartland CISMA based on EDDMapS data. Now she's back to applying those decisions and we'll keep you posted on the results.


3)      HalloWeed update- FNAI is analyzing reports to see the impact of HalloWeed in achieving the goal of getting more reports into EDDMapS. We'll keep you posted on the results.

4)      1st Heartland CISMA Aquatic Species Identification and Management Workshop update- The workshop last week was full, aquatic species were identified on the screen, in the field and in Mike Sowinski's famous pop-up "Garden of Evil" on the Circle B screened-in porch, and we all learned more about mapping technology and treatment options. Thanks to Shannon Carnevale for organizing our first aquatic workshop- it won't be the last!


5)      EDDMapS update- The review of candidate EDRR species and discussion about applying Deb Stone's model to Heartland CISMA data highlighted that the EDDMapS data are only as good as our data sharing is. We're all busy, but make sure you enter infestation data, especially about EDRR species or something new you want us all to know about. It's easy to enter a point through EDDMapS, and if you already share infestation data through FNAI, it should get there that way too.




6)      SAVE THE DATES and get creative! National Invasive Species Awareness Week is officially February 21-27, 2016. Plan your own event using the NISAW Toolkit at www.nisaw.org/ and let us know what you're doing or if you have ideas for the CISMA. We usually have our annual workshop that week, but it will be held the following week this year to extend the awareness (see next item).


7)      SAVE THE DATE! Heartland CISMA 6th annual Central Florida Invasive Species Workshop will be held Wednesday, March 2nd, Circle B Bar Reserve- We are happy to announce this workshop is coming up the week following NISAW. If you have topic or speaker suggestions, email or call. Better yet, let me know you'd like to help with the planning or with pulling it all together that day. We're working on getting another great day of speakers and hands-on activities, and will keep you posted when we've got the Eventbrite sign-up ready.


8)      SAVE THE tentative DATE! 2nd annual Air Potato MegaRaid, tentatively Saturday, January 23rd- Last year we joined the Osceola CISMA in jumping on the Central Florida CISMA's Air Potato MegaRaid bandwagon, with volunteer events at several locations that not only removed air potatoes, but also provided them to researchers to raise more biocontrol air potato beetles for 2015 release. We're looking to do this again in 2016, and welcome more locations. The date is tentative while we coordinate with other CISMAs, but put this on your mental calendar and get in touch if you'd like to participate. We will keep you posted when we've got the date set and the Eventbrite sign-up ready.


9)      SAVE THE tentative DATE! 2nd annual Exotic Pet Amnesty Day, tentatively Saturday, May 14th- Last year we joined the Osceola CISMA and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to get an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day in central Florida at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee and had so many exotic pets surrendered to be adopted out that day that we decided to do it again. We're currently working on nailing down the details and welcome your help in what is sure to be another fascinating day with lots of exotic animals and exhibitors. Put this tentative date on your calendar and get in touch if you'd like to help before or during this event. We will keep you posted when we've got the date set and the Eventbrite sign-up ready.




10)   Which rare native species are easy to confuse with invasive species? The Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), under contract with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, has been tasked with the opportunity to provide one-day rare plant trainings in two of the eight FWC regions for FWC Regional Biologists, contractors, and local CISMA members.  These trainings will be classroom-style events with multi-media sources with portions of open discussion.  The intent is to educate attendees on identifying rare plants and the habitats in which they occur so that they will not be affected by invasive plant treatments. FNAI is committed to providing the most comprehensive training as possible, and would greatly appreciate your assistance in this endeavor. You are receiving this message because of your experiences with native plants and the impacts invasive exotic species can have on them. We are in the process of compiling a listing of candidate species to  include in these presentations and would like to focus the audience's attention on rare native  species that resemble invasive plants species routinely targeted for control efforts. While we are aware of a several instances where native species have been mistaken for exotic species and inadvertently damaged or killed as a result, we (gjubinsky@fnai.fsu.edu) are interested to know of any species you might be aware of that fit this criteria so we can include these plants in our training sessions. It is our goal to conduct these training sessions during the upcoming winter months in an effort to maximize attendance at these sessions. Your timely  response will be most appreciated and will hopefully enhance the quality of invasive plant management efforts on our public conservation lands.



11)   Preserve Steward at Tiger Creek Preserve in Babson Park.  This position is full-time for The Nature Conservancy and can be found at www.nature.org/careers with an application deadline of December 7, 2015.





12)   The Kathy Craddock Burks Education Grant Request for Proposals for the 2015/16 grant cycle is now available. Please see http://www.fleppc.org/edgrants.html. The deadline for proposal submittals is December 18, 2015 by 5 pm. Could this be a Heartland CISMA activity? Get in touch with ideas!


13)   Request for Proposals for the FLEPPC Julia Morton Invasive Plant Research Grant. It is posted on the FLEPPC website. The maximum amount is $2,000 and the deadline is January 15, 2016Could this be a Heartland CISMA activity? Get in touch with ideas!


14)   The FLEPPC CISMA Grant Request for Proposals Up to $1,500 may be awarded and must be spent in one year.  Applications are due email by 5pm on February 12, 2016. Attached is the application and information about previous awards. Could this be a Heartland CISMA activity? Get in touch with ideas!


15)   Cogongrass cost-share available for private landowners! Just a quick update and reminder – we are now fully "live" and ready to accept cogongrass cost-share applications!  Although this is a long-running sign-up period (through February 29) for applicants to begin treatments in 2016, I urge you not to wait until the last minute to submit applications!  Submitting them early gives us time to catch and fix any errors and issues ahead of time.  Unlike some of our programs, the demand has tended not to overwhelm our supply of funding, so qualified applicants have a good chance of being approved. The Press Release has been approved: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/News-Events/Press-Releases/2015-Press-Releases/Cost-Share-Program-Now-Available-to-Help-Fight-Invasive-Destructive-Plant.  The website has been updated: www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program<http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program>.  Here you can download all of the forms and guidelines. As with all such programs, the landowners will have to register as vendors and submit their W-9 information at https://flvendor.myfloridacfo.com/.  Detailed instructions can be found on page 7 of the Guidelines.  If they have recently participated in or applied to one of our  programs, they may already be registered – but DFS occasionally dumps the information from inactive accounts, so they should still sign into the website to check!




16)   Check out this opportunity. The last pick up will be after the first of the year: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/cleansweep-pesticides/ Thanks for the tip, Cody!





17)   "Social media as a tool to advance conservation" webinar. The Nature Conservancy's Invasive Species Learning Network continues its webinar series on Tuesday, December 8th at 2pm Eastern, with an interactive Q&A on social media using three examples to illustrate the possibilities of behavior change, stakeholder involvement, and conservation on the ground (or water)- which can all be furthered with this suite of digital tools. Join here:https://nethope.webex.com/nethope/k2/j.php?MTID=t9f948d8601052c268541601baee28fd4


18)    SAVE THE DATE: FLEPPC 2016 Annual Conference will take place March 9th – 11th at the Crown Plaza Melbourne –Oceanfront. Book your room by February 8th for the conference rate. More info: http://bugwoodcloud.org/CDN/fleppc/save.the.date.pdf


19)   SAVE THE DATE, PART 2: Annual FLEPPC CISMA Session Planning Session! March 11, 2016 from 1-4 pm. It is a non concurrent session as requested.


20)   News Flash! Land stewards at Tiger Creek Preserve report that they have trained gopher tortoises to perform invasive species management! For proof, see the photo below of a tortoise hacking and chewing an invasive Madagascar periwinkle.

Managers hope to train them to remove Melaleuca and Brazilian pepper next!- Courtesy of Sticky Steve Morrison






Cheryl Millett

(863) 635-7506, ext. 205 (Office)

(863) 604-3352 (Cell) 
(863) 635-6456 (Fax)


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The Nature Conservancy
LWR Office

P. O. Box 630
Babson Park, FL 33827-0630




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