Contributed by SLELO Staff: Megan Pistolese

The St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario (SLLEO) region spans over 7 thousand square miles of land encompassing five counties that border the Adirondack Park and include the rich forests within the Tug Hill Plateau and multiple water bodies that attract visitors from across the country and around the world.

To protect these important resources SLELO PRISM has made early detection and rapid response a top priority in our strategic plan. However, we can’t do it alone so we call upon members of our Volunteer Surveillance Network (VSN) to help strengthen early detection efforts for priority invasive species. Currently, we have 148 volunteers who have been trained to recognize and report invasive species including, emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, spotted lanternfly, tench and fanwort.

Spring is here and it’s time again to gear up for another field season.   We encourage anyone who plans to spend time outdoors this season to help protect our beautiful region by joining our network.  Your participation makes a huge difference and it’s as easy as taking a hike or enjoying a paddle. Keep an eye out for invasive plants and animals on your favorite trails or waterways, or visit the suggested survey sites outlined in our VSN StoryMap.

Check out our e-newsletter for more invasive species related discussions.