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Old Forge, NY ,

Photo submitted - Elizabeth Mangle, Avery Menz, Terry DeArmas, Doug Johnson, Brendan Quirion, Ryan Burkum, lake steward Jaden Aronow, Paul Smiths lake steward Gregory Cerne, Evelyn Greene, and Ellen Collins met Aug. 5, to coordinate plans for this year’s knotweed control efforts.


Adirondacks winning the war on knotweed

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 - Updated: 3:16 AM

Efforts to control/eradicate Japanese knotweed in the Adirondacks are making great strides this year. In 2008, the Town of Inlet started the RIIPP (Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program). From 2008 to 2010, tens of thousands of knotweed canes were injected and tens of thousands of additional plants sprayed with herbicide (glyphosate) in over 100 sites in Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, Inlet, and Town of Webb.

This year, RIIPP will continue efforts in those towns and also identify and treat sites in Lake Placid, Long Lake, North Creek, North River, and Saranac Lake.  Other knotweed control efforts this summer include the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) on state property, and Hamilton County Water and Soil Conservation District (HCWSCD) around Speculator.

Japanese knotweed forms dense thickets of thick bamboo-like hollow stems, with mature heights over 10 feet and an extensive network of underground roots. The leaves are somewhat heart-shaped with white lacy flowery clusters that form in August. The group recommends not cutting knotweed after June 1, so there is enough growth to allow effective herbicide application. Digging the plant/roots is not recommended since tiny root fragments can start new plants. Treatment with herbicide (glyphosate) done properly is very effective. Treatment of sites near rivers and streams is important to prevent downstream spread.

The program has been very successful. Knotweed has been eradicated at many sites, and should be eradicated at many others in the next few years. The community has pitched in, with volunteers identifying sites and obtaining property owner permissions.  

Invasive plant coordinators include Ellen Collins (Blue Mountain Lake), Terry DeArmas  (Indian Lake), Patty Wittmeyer (Inlet, Eagle Bay), Larry Master (Lake Placid), Chuck Taylor (Long Lake), Judy Brown and Evelyn Greene (North Creek, North River), and Leslie Karasin (Saranac Lake).  Volunteers are needed for other communities including Cranberry Lake, Old Forge, and Tupper Lake. Hilary Smith and Brendan Quirion from APIPP are helping, as well as Elizabeth Mangle and Lenny Croote from HCWSD.  Certified applicators include Ryan Burkum, Jerry Charbonneau, Lenny Croote, Doug Johnson, Avery Menz, and Brendan Quirion.

Patty Wittmeyer, Inlet Town Clerk, and Doug Johnson, a summer resident of Seventh Lake, are coordinating efforts.

There is no cost to property owners for the herbicide applications.  Many have helped with donations, and this year RIIPP received a $10,000 grant from APIPP.  

Tax-deductable donations are essential for efforts to continue and should be made payable to : Town of Inlet, Invasive Plant Control Fund; and mailed to Town of Inlet, PO Box 179, Inlet NY 13360.

Check out which describes RIIPP, includes a slide show, and provides detailed information for property owners, volunteers, and how to treat knotweed.


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