Organizations partner to control invasive species in central Indiana


In partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management recently appointed Mary Hallinan as regional specialist of its Indiana Invasives Initiative. Hallinan’s role is to develop local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas throughout Indiana.

CIZ COM 0611 Invasive species

A CISMA is a partnership of federal, state and local government agencies, tribes, individuals and various interest groups that manage invasive species of plants in a specific area. Hallinan will focus on Monroe, Morgan, Hendricks, Boone, Hamilton, Madison and Hancock counties.

“Hopefully, within the next year we’ll have surveys for the public to gauge what’s most important in terms of invasive species management,” Hallinan said.

Hallinan will work closely with Claire Lane, urban conservationist for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District to identify invasive species in Hamilton County.

“The first step of working with Hamilton County is to get our foot in the door with the SWCD,” Hallinan said.

Lane is excited to have Hallinan as a resource.

“Our office has been working to address invasive species as part of our broader efforts for some time,” Lane said. “We provide assistance through site visits and education. There is a broad effort across the state to address invasive species collaboratively, and the Indiana Invasive Initiative has shown great leadership in this regard.”

Invasive plants can cause significant problems on a local level.

“They invade natural areas, which leads to the reduction in biodiversity of native species,” Hallinan said. “They have a myriad of negative influences on the quality of soil, water, air and climate. Some species have direct adverse effects on agriculture. We spend billions each year as a nation in controlling invasive species on both public and private lands.”

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