Tom's Blog

Sunday, February 22, 2009

IPAW Conference and TPE Banquet

Yesterday (Feb. 21, 2009) the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (IPAW) held an all-day conference in Madison. This was held in conjunction with the Annual Banquet of the Prairie Enthusiasts.

Despite an overnight snow storm, the attendance was very good (over 300), and the meeting sessions were full to overflowing. The program for the meeting can be found at the IPAW web site. Further, the Power Point presentations will be archived on that web site and will be available to anyone.

I played a role in the establishment of IPAW back in 2001, and I am pleased to see that the organization is flourishing. (I did the initial incorporation of IPAW and was responsible for the successful application for its nonprofit status. I also served as IPAW's first treasurer.)

I was asked to give a talk on control of biennial weeds using nonherbicide methods. This is something I have a fair bit of experience in, because we have been dealing with sweet clover at Pleasant Valley Conservancy and Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie for the past ten years.

Sweet clover is a difficult plant to eradicate because its seeds persist for many years in the soil. Also, its seeds are stimulated to germinate by fire, so that the fires that are so beneficial to our prairies bring about unintended consequences! If we keep sweet clover from going to seed, we should eventually be able to exhaust the seed bank.

I have some details of sweet clover control on the Pleasant Valley Conservancy web site, at the following link.

In addition to hearing good science at the Madison meeting, it was nice to see colleagues and those who in past years have either volunteered or worked as interns or employees for the Savanna Oak Foundation, Inc. Kathie and I feel it is so important to get young people involved in restoration ecology, and there were lots of young people at the conference. Great!


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