Insect Pest Prevention and Management
Gypsy Moth — Not a single gypsy moth was trapped in Oregon in 2011, the first time that has happened since 1978. A total of 10,600 gypsy moth traps were deployed statewide, and all tested negative for gypsy moths. A low point in the cyclical population of gypsy moth in the East and fewer people moving from infested states to Oregon during the recession are likely contributing factors to this good news.
Ballast Water Management — The 2011 Legislature implemented recommendations from the state task force on shipping transport of aquatic invasive species to protect and enhance prevention efforts targeting commercial ships entering Oregon waters. Task force members, including multiple industry representatives, suggested establishing a per arrival fee for vessels already regulated by state ballast water management laws in order to reduce reliance on General Funds, while also producing additional funds needed to support increased vessel inspection and compliance verification activities. The new fee, effective January 2012, will result in a cost share partnership between General Fund and industry fees to support ballast water management program efforts at the Department of Environmental Quality.
Firewood — The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2122 in 2011 to prohibit the transportation of firewood into or within Oregon and selling of firewood in Oregon unless the firewood has been harvested in Oregon, Idaho, or Washington, or firewood meets certain standards (described by the Oregon Department of Agriculture) to kill any insects and diseases. Council members then met with industry, agency, and private business representatives to draft rule language. In addition, a Firewood Buddy smartphone application was developed to help the public buy local firewood in places throughout the United States.
Mandatory Boat Inspections — Staff at boat inspection stations in Oregon conducted 3,600 inspections in 2011, and stopped 6 boats with zebra/quagga mussels (decontaminated five of the boats and sent one to Washington; 3 were from Lake Michigan, one from Lake Mead, one from Lake Havasu, and a sailboat from the East Coast).
Iberian Thistle in Wheeler County — Gilliam County Weed Supervisor/Oregon Invasive Species Council member Don Farrar was driving by a field within 100 feet of the John Day River and spotted a plant that seemed out of place. Closer examination revealed one acre of Iberian thistle in a 9-acre field. That same day, Don was able to secure $3,000 in federal funding from the Bureau of Land Management, and the next morning, the site was sprayed with herbicide. This serves as an excellent example of early detection and rapid response.
Granulate Ambrosia Beetle in The Dalles and Asian Gypsy Moth in St. Helens — After 2 to 3 years of negative trapping data, the granulate ambrosia beetle infestation in The Dalles, and the Asian gypsy moth infestation in St. Helens were declared eradicated.
Crayfish and classrooms — Invasive crayfish from the east have been spotted in Oregon rivers and streams, where they rapidly spread and out-compete native animals. The source has been found to be elementary school biology classes, and well-meaning children or teachers who released the animals into the wild when the lessons were done. Oregon Sea Grant took the lead in working with Oregon teachers and biological supply companies, developing an Aquatic Invasive Species toolkit that includes science curricula, learning activities, and projects.
iMapInvasives — The OISC continued its work to support a statewide reporting and mapping system for invasive species, working collaboratively with Portland State University’s Oregon Biodiversity Information Center to maintain, upgrade, and provide the service for all Oregon entities.
Yellowtuft Alyssum — This plant was introduced to Oregon via a nickel mining company in the Rogue River Siskiyou areas of Oregon. This mustard plant was grown on serpentine soils, and an interagency group in Southern Oregon is working on eradicating this species. This site in Oregon is the only place in North America where this plant currently exists. The mining company that introduced it paid about $20,000 toward its eradication, but has since left the site. Control and survey activities for yellowtuft alyssum (Alyssum murale and Alyssum corsicum) continued in 2012 as the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the US Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, and volunteers addressed the invasion as all entities worked toward eradication.
Goat’s rue — The Oregon Department of Agriculture, APHIS, Metro regional government, Washington County, and the City of Portland continue their efforts to eradicate goat’s rue (Galega officinalis) in the Portland Metro region. The species is a federally designated noxious weed and an “A” ranked noxious weed in Oregon. All known populations in the state have now been mapped and treated with additional surveys ongoing.
Japanese Beetle — Thirty-six Japanese beetles were trapped in 2012 in Portland and Troutdale. This indicates several small breeding populations persist. Beetles hitching on cargo planes landing at PDX and trucks arriving at a distribution center in Troutdale are believed to be the vectors. Eradication treatments will continue next year. No Japanese beetles were caught in Cave Junction indicating our eradication treatments there were successful.
Floating Dock from Japan — On June 5, 2012, a 188-ton reinforced concrete floating dock torn loose from the fishing port of Misawa, Japan, by the March 11, 2011 Japanese tsunami, landed on the shores of Agate Beach, Oregon, USA, after drifting for nearly 15 months, over an estimated 5,000-mile journey. Although tsunamis and debris driven by the tsunamis have occurred over millennia, the dock provides the first documented evidence that a nearly intact and diverse community of live marine organisms from a nearshore/estuary environment could successfully transit the Northern Pacific. Attached on the dock was a community of over 102 living species of marine organisms estimated to weigh over 4 tons as it beached. About two-thirds of species found on the dock were non-indigenous to the Northern Pacific west coast, with significant potentials to invade North American ecosystems. At least five of the species are known to be invasive. The proximity of the dock to marine invasive species experts at the Hatfield Marine Science Center led to a rapid response that identified the presence of invasive species and the prompt decontamination of the vast majority of the dock within 2 days of its arrival.