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Foreign invaders taking over | Notes from the North Woods

Japanese knot weed, pictured here, has already choked off several sections of The Branch near Elizabethtown, which have made it impossible to fish a once productive trout stream; and the weed has taken over the riverbanks along the Boquet River.

Japanese knot weed, pictured here, has already choked off several sections of The Branch near Elizabethtown, which have made it impossible to fish a once productive trout stream; and the weed has taken over the riverbanks along the Boquet River.

If foreign armies had advanced as deeply into the Adirondack Park as the current invasion of invasive plants has progressed, local citizens would be up in arms. We’d call out the militia to confront the terrorists.

However, these sneaky little weeds, benign bugs and pretty little flowers continue to gradually work their way into our local communities, waterways, fields and forests.

It is an unlikely invasion that is rapidly changing the character of the park, and it has the potential to severely ;limit the availability of many of our traditional recreational pursuits.

Japanese knot weed has already choked off several sections of The Branch near Elizabethtown, which have made it impossible to fish a once productive trout stream; and the weed has taken over the riverbanks along the Boquet River.

A major part of the problem is that nobody notices the damn invasives until it is too late, even though the weeds, the bugs and other foreign critters are often hiding in plain sight.

Nobody brings the foreigners into the region on purpose, they are not invited in. Rather they arrive on the wings of a bird, in the bilge of a boat or simply in the hubcap of a passing vehicle. They are sneaky and insidious.

But unlike tourists, once they get in, they never want to leave. They are resistant to the worse weather the Adirondacks have to offer. Blackflies, no-see-ums, and deer flies don’t seem to deter them a bit; nor do floods, frost heaves or slow moving log trucks.

As an old friend, whose back fields have been overrun by Japanese knot weed recently exclaimed, “Those damn invasives are like the APA, they just showed up one day and took over my land, and I jut can’t make them to leave!”

Essex County has it’s share of problems ranging from Japanese knot weed to garlic mustard and beyond.

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