Listed below are recent developments pertinent to invasive species and vegetation management. If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the Share Info with AASHTO form.
Evaluation of vegetation management practices along state and interstate right-of-ways is addressed in a new report by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). The report discussed a study to investigate current practices and identify techniques to increase efficiency and improve roadside aesthetics. The study indicated that ODOT is currently using reactive maintenance practices with limited use of Roadside Integrated Vegetation Management (RIVM) methods and lacks the tools for effective management programs. The report recommends that ODOT implement routine educational and training programs; take inventory of roadside vegetation; incorporate RIVM plans for each district; and use cultural practices to prevent invasive species. For more information, link to the report. (4-21-17)
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has released a report examining the experiences of other state departments of transportation and agencies in maintaining pollinator landscapes on highway rights-of-way through partnerships with individuals, groups and local agencies. The report examines how these programs are developed, managed and funded and how these efforts relate to existing roadside maintenance programs. The report also provides next steps for MnDOT to consider, including expanding the selection of native seed mixes available on its online PlantSelector tool and developing partnerships with corn and soybean growers and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. For more information, link to the report. (7-15-16)
The federal Pollinator Health Task Force has released a Pollinator Partnership Action Plan to support President Obama’s memorandum focused on honey bee mortality rates, monarch butterfly declines and other pollinator species that are leaning toward extinction. The plan provides examples of successful collaborations between the federal government and other institutions, including transportation agencies, and highlights areas that are ripe for future collaboration. For more information, link to the action plan. (6-23-16)
The Federal Highway Administration published a memo highlighting available agency resources to help expand and improve pollinator habitats on transportation assets. The agency has created a website focused on providing resources to transportation agencies and roadside managers regarding policy and guidance, agency pollinator publications, pollinator-friendly practices, agency funding eligibilities and other funding sources and state DOT pollinator-friendly practices and information. The agency has also published the Pollinators and Roadsides: Best Management Practices for Managers and Decision Makers. For more information, link to the memo, website, and publication. (3-25-16)
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