With the continued success of the SLA’s aquatic invasive plant management controlling the variable milfoil that has infested the Squam Lakes, we have been able to expand our invasive species management to the plants found on land within the watershed. The SLA and our partners are working to raise awareness about and make an impact reducing the terrestrial invasive plants that are established in the Squam Lakes Watershed. To start off the season, the SLA will be hosting a watershed-wide terrestrial invasive plants removal event on May 19th.
For other SLA volunteer opportunities please look at our events calendar here and at our partners listed below.
What are terrestrial invasive plants?
Exotic invasive plants are generally species that have been introduced into our local landscapes, usually from outside of the US, and exhibit traits that allow them to grow and spread more aggressively than our native plants. These characteristics that give them a competitive advantage include producing many seeds with high rates of germination, resprouting or vegetative reproduction, deterring native herbivores, and tolerating harsh environmental conditions. These qualities allow invasive species to outcompete and displace their native counterparts, reducing biodiversity and threatening the natural communities that make Squam beautiful.
For more general information on invasive species in the state, check out NH Department of Agriculture FAQ as well as their other online resources.
Prevention and early detection.
Once a population of invasive plants becomes established, it can take years of dedication and removal efforts to control. Therefore, prevention is the most important and effective step in managing invasive species but is the part that relies most heavily on community support. In order to stop these species from spreading within watershed, or controlling them before they become fully established, we need to know where and what the invasive threats are. Some invasive plants may be fairly obvious, others blend in with the native flora or have become so well established you may not realize they are an invasive species. Start fighting back against these harmful plants by learning terrestrial invasive plant identifications and spreading awareness around your community!
The SLA's compact guide to seven of the most common terrestrial invasive plants found in the watershed. Print it out and use it as a basic field guide for your next excursion.
Locating and controlling new invasive plants that are not yet well established in the area is an important component to management. The NH Department of Agriculture has a more in-depth guide available online covering all of the invasive species found in the state.
Want to record your invasive species observations and help the SLA understand the presence of terrestrial invasive plants in our watershed? Become active in our citizen science initiatives and submit your findings to the “Squam Lakes Watershed Invasive Plants Assessment” project on the easy to use iNaturalist smartphone app. For more information on what the iNaturalist app is, and for a step-by-step guide to contributing to the SLA’s project, take a look at our iNaturalist information sheet.
Invasive Plant Management: Get Involved!
The SLA along with our partners at the Squam Lakes Conservation Society, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, will be working to remove invasive species around the region throughout the year. Get involved in volunteer removal days with your local conservation organizations or through your town conservation commissions, and help make a difference in this fight against terrestrial invasive plants!
Visit our web links page for more external information on aquatic invasive species and other conservation matters related to the lake.