OWENSVILLE – Be vigilant.
That was the main message of Jason Brownknight – CEO/Senior Landscape Ecologist at Brownknight EcoResource – during his April 18 presentation Pattison Lodge.
“It doesn’t matter the habitat, you’ve got an invasive species for that habitat,” Brownknight said. “If not 30 or 40 of them that will grow in that habitat.
“You have to have a plan. You have to stick to it. And you have to keep evaluating and updating your plan or else the invasives will completely take over. That gets to be an expensive and time-consuming problem if you let it go.”
The Clermont County Parks Alliance brought Brownknight to Pattison as part of its ongoing community outreach program. More than a dozen guests attended the free seminar, including representatives from both the Clermont and Hamilton county soil and water conservation districts, land managers, township, city and Park District employees.
“Having a speaker of Jason’s caliber talk to us is valuable for everybody,” said Jim Meyer of the CCPA. “Invasive species are a huge problem. Left unchecked, invasives can become a serious public hazard and an enormous financial and manpower challenge to remove.”
Brownknight described an ongoing six-step program to manage invasive species – inventory, assessment, planning, implementation, maintaining and evaluating. One steps leads to another in a never-ending loop.
“You can’t just identify the problem and make a plan,” he said. “You have to execute it and follow up, which is going to lead to a revised plan. That may mean routine maintenance after a major undertaking or it may mean looking at other species once you have one in check.
“It’s a constant, ongoing process. The invasive species earned their name because they never stop. Invasive alien species are decreasing resilience and ecosystem services by limiting establishment of native species.
“The introduction and establishment of invasive alien species – including plants and animals – is contributing to widespread disturbance on our modern landscapes. Ecosystem resilience is dependent upon biological diversity.”
Mark D. Motz is the Community Relations Manager for the Clermont County Park District. A native Cincinnatian, he has worked for more than 25 years as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. Away from work, he enjoys photography, theater and spending time with his nine godchildren.