Strategic, Cooperative, and Coordinated Management of Japanese Stiltgrass
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) represents a clear and present danger to our native flora and fauna and associated habitats throughout the eastern United States, particularly the southeast. This aggressive, highly prolific annual plant establishes easily in disturbed and undisturbed areas through various pathways. It is similar to many of the other invasive species threatening native ecosystem biodiversity, human health, and the economy. Globalization of trade, and other factors are fueling the rapid spread of these invaders around the world, and within the U.S. The key to a strategic and effective approach to managing Japanese stiltgrass, and other invasive species is public and private cooperation across the entire landscape. The Forest Service’s 2004 National Strategy and Implementation Plan for Invasive Species Management (National Strategy) guides the management of invasive species, with a focused goal: “To reduce, minimize, or eliminate the potential for introduction, establishment, spread, and impact of invasive species across all landscapes and ownerships”. The National Strategy is built around 4 Program Elements: Prevention, Early detection and rapid response, Control and management, Rehabilitation and restoration. Common Themes within these Program Elements include: Partnerships and collaboration, Science based, Communication and Education, and Organizing for success. At the local level, management of Japanese stiltgrass, like other invasive species, is typically most successful when individuals and organizations realize that they can make a difference by following 4 basic practices: Being Aware, Cooperation and Collaboration, Tenacity and Vigilance, and Long-Range Planning.