ST. PAUL DISTRICT
March 3, 2017
John Barker: 651-290-5679, 651-802-4953, email@example.com
Patrick Moes: 651-290-5202, 651-366-7539, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Bauer: 651-290-5108, 612-840-9453, email@example.com
Nati National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 27-March 3):
Corps working with University of Wisconsin students to save local wetlands
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is partnering with the biology department at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, on a study to identify best management techniques to restore floodplain forest on Corps-owned lands invaded with reed canary grass.
“Reed canary grass is an invasive species in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, and is a major threat to natural wetlands, including the floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River,” said Randy Urich, St. Paul District environmental section chief. “It outcompetes most native species and significantly reduces the quality of habitat for wildlife.”
Corps natural resource managers from the environmental section in La Crescent are working with undergraduate researchers from the university to plant willow and cottonwood cuttings into established reed canary grass. The cuttings were collected during the fall or spring dormant, leaf-off seasons. Researchers will monitor growth and survival of the cuttings for several years and provide future management recommendations back to the St. Paul District.
“Partnering with the environmental section of the La Crescent office has been a great way for my students to get real world experience in invasive species research,” said Meredith Thomsen, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, environmental studies program director. “I really value that collaboration.”
The collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the St. Paul District is ongoing and expected to continue for the next few years.
The nearly 600 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the St. Paul District Fiscal Year 2016 $78 million budget, nearly 1,250 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $120 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
Forester Andy Meier, St. Paul District, places rodent protection around a giant willow cutting. Both small and giant native willow and cottonwood cuttings were collected during the fall or spring dormant, leaf-off seasons and planted directly into established reed canary grass.