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Chapter 9
Roadside Vegetation Management
9.8. Staffing, Training, & Partnerships

Increasingly, DOTs are hiring a central staff person to coordinate roadside vegetation management and invasive species control efforts among functional areas within the agency and to coordinate contracting and partnerships with others.


9.8.1 Central IRVM Staff Person
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Seventy-three percent of responding DOTs have central staff for their Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program (29 states - 73% of respondents). [N] Several states listed this as their most effective action in controlling invasive species. Montana said that "hiring an individual to be the focal point for noxious weeds has enabled the DOT to focus on management techniques, cost effectiveness and inventory." [N] Iowa DOT said that, though this program has been discontinued in most of the state, designating selected field personnel responsibility for vegetation management and providing them with training, networking opportunities, and dedicated equipment was the most successful thing the agency has done for noxious weed control, to date.


9.8.2 Coordinate with Other DOTs to Pool Experience in Tackling Priority Invasive Species
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In 2005, DOTs identified 68 different invasive species, nationwide, in their lists of "top five" invasive species in each state. Some top priorities are widespread; one third of the respondents placed Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and 30 percent placed Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) on their lists of top invasive. Twenty-five per cent are fighting Kudzu (Pueraria montana), which has been moving westward, and 20 and 18 percent are targeting Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatem), and Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), respectively. Responding states and their top priority species are listed in the the Appendix documents in Chapter 11. The list of states and priority species may serve as a resource for DOTs in sharing best practice information regarding control and in coordination of efforts across state lines. DOT invasive species control contacts are also provided.


9.8.3 Partnerships Extend DOT Capacity
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Nearly 85 percent of responding DOTs (34 states) are working with others outside the agency to identify existing or emerging populations of invasives. [N] Just 10 percent said they were not. [N] State DOTs are working with Weed Management Areas, regional associations and councils, other federal and state land management agencies, and entities that may be able to provide technical support or concrete assistance like agriculture departments, USGS, and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Partnerships with Other Agencies

Twenty-five percent of responding DOTs work with another agency to have them review and treat the ROW. [N] For example, Hawaii DOT has the State Department of Agriculture and Invasive Species Council handle high risk invasives. Wyoming DOT and Nevada DOT administer noxious weed control program on rights of way through their state Department of Agriculture and perform work through local weed and pest districts. MDSHA, NHDOT, and Oregon DOT also work with their state Department of Agriculture to have them review and treat the ROW. Caltrans does the same with County Agricultural Commissioners, as does Alaska DOT&PF with their state DNR Plant Materials Center. Eight DOTs (20% of respondents) participate in Prevention, Early Detection, and Rapid Response and Inventory Programs with other agencies or organizations. [N]

In addition to its statewide focus on four priority invasive species, NYSDOT is a key partner in the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP). Five partners are cooperating agencies: NYSDOT, the Invasive Plant Council of New York State, the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, the New York State Adirondack Park Agency, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The agencies share a Memorandum of Understanding for advancing regional, coordinated invasive plant species initiatives under the umbrella of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. Private landowners, local communities, and volunteers also participate and keep tabs on and take action to control invasive aquatic and terrestrial plants. With few access routes, the Adirondacks are one place in New York where preventative measures to control invasive species can be taken before widespread infestations are established. Priority aquatic species for the partners include Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, and curlyleaf pondweed. Purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, common reed grass, and garlic mustard are on its terrestrial list. These species have been found to affect native plant and wildlife populations; impair recreational access to and use of land and waterways; reduce property values; negatively impact tourism, fishing, and boating opportunities; are easily spread by human activities; and are extremely difficult and costly to remove. [N]

NYSDOT's role in the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program is outlined in the interagency MOU and includes the following: [N]

  • Conduct control activities within Interstate and state highway rights of way (ROW).
  • With the appropriate releases, conduct control activities on private lands adjacent to the Department's ROW.
  • Collect requested data regarding location, species and control methods.
  • Develop guidance, specifications, training materials and best management practices (BMPs) that reduce or eliminate the introduction and spread of invasive species within the ROW.
  • Utilize species location information for BMPs when designing, constructing, and maintaining Interstate and state highway systems within the Park.
  • Seek continued Federal funding for research on invasive plant management issues.
  • Develop a written annual work schedule committing to invasive plant species management within the ROW in the Park at the annual late Winter partners' meeting.
  • Provide status reports regarding "g." above at the annual Summer and early Winter partners' meetings.
  • Provide invasive plant species awareness and management training to appropriate State Department of Transportation staff.
  • Identify invasive plant biomass disposal and transfer areas at local residencies and other Department controlled facilities.
  • Coordinate with local municipal maintenance and transportation departments on highway BMPs that would be implemented on non-State highways and roads.
  • Assist maintenance of Terrestrial Invasive Plant Project database: document new infestations, document management controls implemented on existing infestations; and produce maps for APIPP website and participants.

Some DOTs indicated that their partnerships are currently limited, but that they anticipate more active exchange with other agencies, the Forest Service, and Tribal lands in the future. Coordination actions form components of the State DOT's IVM plan, in Montana. Links to State organizations with an interest in the prevention, control, or eradication of invasive species are available on-line.

Partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations and Quasi-Governmental Organizations

About a quarter of DOTs turn to NGOs or conservation organizations, when they need assistance. Links to Professional & Non-profit Organizations with an interest in invasive species control are available on-line. State Natural Heritage Programs are available through NatureServe's website.

DOTs indicated they are working with the following NGOs and quasi-governmental organizations:

  • Weed management areas.
  • Statewide committee for noxious weed management.
  • State Natural Heritage Program.
  • Universities and extension service.
  • The Nature Conservancy.
  • Native plant and wildflower societies.
  • Crop Improvement Association, to provide the DOT quality assurance for yellow tag native seed and certified weed free mulch.
  • Local working groups and restoration enthusiasts.

A number of innovative partnerships have been developed. Some of the most well-known are those with The Nature Conservancy, in particular, NYSDOT's Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Prevention Program. In the environmentally sensitive Adirondack Park, NYSDOT regional maintenance staff, the Adirondack Park Agency and the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy have jointly initiated a demonstration knotweed control program. The pilot demonstration project involves hand cutting individual knotweed plants, disposal, and using NYSDOT-certified herbicide applicators to swab the residual cut knotweed stems with herbicide. This project incorporates a training component by inviting local Department of Public Works (DPW) maintenance workers and resource agency staff to observe and participate.

Partnerships with Weed Management Areas or Districts

Some states, such as Arizona DOT, rely extensively on weed management districts or areas and cite work with these entities as one of their most effective strategies for controlling invasive species. One reason supplied, has been the DOT's "lack of funding, resources, and commitment." Caltrans, for example, relies on local weed management areas to identify areas of focus so that limited resources can be combined. Nevada DOT uses established weed districts' labor and materials on a reimbursable basis for spraying NDOT rights of way. NDOT provides Weed Management Associations with a contact at the agency. NYSDOT relies heavily on WMAs and calls them "the best example of a Landscape-Level approach to invasive plant management" in the state. Oregon DOT is involved with the Jordan Valley Partnership, a combination of county, state and federal agencies that pooled resources to control vegetation that has been very successful and in place for several years. Wyoming DOT relies heavily on their Department of Agriculture and County Weed and Pest districts for invasives identification, inventory, and treatment, in addition to participating with some local weed management areas through WYDOT district staff. Iowa DOT maintains communication with county and state weed commissioners, the extension service, and the DNR when finding new invasive weeds. WSDOT is involved with state and local weed boards. Other DOTs cooperate more occasionally with WMAs or partner with them little or not at all. A number of DOTs are aware of only one or none in their state.

Benefits of Partnerships with Weed Management Areas and Districts

DOTs identified a large number of benefits with partnerships with Weed Management Areas and Districts:

  • Outreach/education.
  • Maximal use of resources (funding, personnel, and equipment) and coordination of efforts for the highest priorities in the area.
  • Control of infestations that cross property lines.
  • Knowledge, expertise, networking, common goals, synergy, relationship building.
  • Risk taking.

Nevada noted that most of the counties in the State do not have staff available to provide control measures, so the WMAs help fill in the gap.

Sample DOT Cooperative Efforts with Weed Management Districts and Areas

State DOTs can cite a variety of cooperative efforts with weed management districts and areas.

Caltrans Partnerships with Weed Management Districts

Caltrans partnerships with weed management districts are sometimes formalized in agreements, which oblige Caltrans to perform actions such as the following:

  • Educate Caltrans employees about noxious weeds, their identification, methods of control and prevention.
  • When available, provide data on noxious weed infestations on Caltrans rights-of way property to the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office.
  • Identify high-risk pathways of noxious weed introduction onto Caltrans maintained roads and highways.
  • Promote and implement elements of integrated weed management to prevent the establishment and spread of noxious weeds in the County or District.
  • Cooperate with agencies and landowners in joint programs and projects to prevent, control, and eradicate noxious weeds.
  • Provide assistance with grant proposals to fund noxious weed control programs.

Wyoming DOT MOU with Agriculture Department and County Weed and Pest Districts

By 2001, Wyoming DOT had inspected 95 percent of all State and federal centerlane miles for invasive species, the result of an effort begun in 1985 as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State Agriculture Department and County Weed and Pest Districts to control invasives in public rights-of-way. The inspection and tracking effort resulted in the spraying of 4,600 rights-of-way acres and the use of native, competitive plants for revegetation since 1991. WYDOT has required certified mulches on construction projects since 1986, a proactive approach which has saved significant state dollars. [N]

Coordinated Weed Management Areas in New Mexico

In 2001, New Mexico Highway and Transportation Department (NMHTD) and 32 other groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) drawing together all levels of land managers to participate and support Coordinated Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) covering the state. The signatories of the agreement jointly inventory, manage, prevent, and eradicate whenever possible, plants designated as noxious pursuant to the New Mexico Noxious Weed Management Act of 1978, using the New Mexico Strategic Plan for Managing Invasive species, as a basis for coordination. New Mexico built on the experience of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. NMHTD implements Noxious Weed Management Plans for individual projects and is reviewing maintenance strategies to further improve its weed reduction efforts.

Partnerships with Private Landowners

State DOTs have a number of mechanisms for partnering with private landowners, but an informal "good neighbor" policy with adjacent landowners is the most common. Often, the DOT will advise a landowner when they are treating an invasive so they may take action at the same time (MS). Some landowners request no spray zones which the DOT honors as long as the landowners fulfill their agreement to control the prohibited invasive species in these areas (MN).

Cooperative Efforts Across State Lines

Approximately one-third of DOTs (15 states) said they were involved in cooperative efforts across state lines. Some of these efforts include the following:

  • Mississippi is spearheading a regional invasive species alliance in which ALDOT will be participating ( AL).
  • Research funding of biological control for various invasive species (CA).
  • Multi-state, multi agency coordination effort for prioritizing and mapping Sahara mustard (CA).
  • Sharing news regarding new invasives, priority invasives, and treatment (AL, AR, CT, CO, LA, MO, MS, NH, TN, TX, UT).
  • Participation in cross-border councils and/or annual conferences (NM, PA, UT, WA, WI).
  • Working on reciprocal agreement on the use of certified weed free mulch in order to expand the market and make it more attractive for producers (WI, IL, MN, IA).
  • Partnering International Organizations may be located on-line.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Commission and Delaware Basin are examples of other widely-known multi-state efforts.

Partnerships with Utilities

NCDOT worked cooperatively with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Division and utility companies to eradicate a site of Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) found on a utility easement that crossed the DOT ROW. This initiative is still on-going as annual walking tours are conducted to control any newly germinated seed.

Utility companies have also pioneered no-spray agreements with landowners, which have been models for DOTs. In the summer of 1998, utility companies in North Carolina reached a private agreement with landowners regarding management of their 75,000 miles of rights-of-way. The agreement, which does not have the force of regulation, was sparked by complaints to the state pesticide board regarding North Carolina utility companies decision to begin broadcast spraying of their ROWs. Organic farmers and chemically sensitive people demanded the state pesticide board require the utilities to ask permission from landowners to spray herbicides on adjacent ROWs. The state pesticide board asked the utilities and complainants to sit down together and come up with an agreement amongst themselves. The final agreement accepted by all parties, with petitioners represented by the Agricultural Resources Center (ARC), requires utilities to include inserts about their herbicide use in customer bills. The inserts include the names and descriptions of the chemicals, how they are applied and sources for additional information about the applications. The inserts do not disclose spray schedules. The agreement also gives state residents the right to refuse herbicide use on their property and people can post their property with no spraying signs provided by the utilities. For those opting for no-spray agreements, the utilities will still maintain the ROW by mechanical means without extra charge to the individual landowner. Carolina Power & Light voluntarily sent notices to its customers in South Carolina regarding ROW herbicide applications. [N]

BLM, FS, FWS, & NPS are currently working with the Edison Electric Institute to develop an MOU for vegetation treatments along utility corridors.

Dealing with Private Property Issues

In 2005, when asked how their agency deals with private property issues and invasives or noxious weed control, nearly three-quarters of the responding DOTs (29 states) said they do not treat private property; however, 25 percent of responding state DOTs will make landowner aware of problem and let them know about other resources/programs to assist them. [N] Six DOTs (15%) have obtained landowner permission to control on properties adjacent to the ROW, on occasion. [N]

NCDOT is one of those that noted the agency will work cooperatively with private landowners, upon request. Some DOTs noted that they rely on WMAs and volunteer groups to coordinate with property owners. Other do their best to cooperate with adjacent landowners; one said, "[i]f our ‘good neighbors' are trying to control invasive - we try to help them out on our side of the fence." WYDOT noted that their agency will treat private lands where the agency has easements for snow fence, materials or borrow areas. On occasion, NYSDOT has obtained written landowner releases to control invasive plant populations that have spread beyond the DOT ROW. Not having up-to-date statewide invasive species inventory information limits the prioritization of management activities by NYSDOT because coordination with control efforts by others adjacent or nearby to ROW is hampered. When the DOT cannot treat private property and no noxious weed law compels private landowners to control invasives on their property, some DOTs noted that it does little good to control the invasives on the ROW. WisDOT has resolved the problem by only controlling weeds where the landowner is controlling them on his/her side of the fence, in order to concentrate resources where they will do the most good. This has worked because WisDOT's control efforts are currently directed at weeds that are primarily agricultural.


9.8.4 DOTs "Lessons Learned" Regarding Internal Communication and Ownership
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DOTs use internal meetings, internal training, attendance at conferences, communication and networking within and outside the agency, e-mail, phone calls, interdisciplinary working groups, and partnerships with others to share lessons learned within and beyond the DOT, regarding invasive species control. Other mechanisms include:

  • Annual Vegetation Management Classes/Conference conducted by the DOT, often the Maintenance Bureau (AL, LA, MD, MN, SC, TX).
  • Individual shop Vegetation Management Update Training Session, Sprayer Inspection and Calibration, Pre-Season meetings (MD, MN).
  • DOT Environmental School/Academy (MN) reaches Design and Construction.
  • Periodic Vegetation Management Newsletters sent out from the Maintenance Bureau (AL).
  • Articles in general/environmental newsletters distributed by the DOT (AK, TX).
  • Changes in specifications (CA).
  • Networking between District and Central Office, and with other entities and peers (CO, IA, IL, IN, MO, NV, TX).
  • Pilot efforts/research (FL).
  • Information posted on web board/pages (CA, NY).

Mn/DOT developed the following best practices for promoting an IRVM philosophy internally. [N]

Legislative Considerations

  • Communicate to the legislature that IRVM is a worthwhile investment that will result in lower maintenance life cycle costs. To do so, initial costs must be presented clearly in relation to long-term savings with innovative technologies.
  • Maintenance funding must be dedicated at a reasonable base level for accomplishment of all critical maintenance and some preventive maintenance activities.

Upper Management

  • Communicate the role that IRVM can play as a problem-solving tool for roadsides.
  • Provide the necessary links with design and construction personnel when constructing the roadway.

Maintenance Supervisors

  • Recognize that these people are the primary resources for motivation, coordination, guidance, training, and follow-through on an IRVM program.
  • Develop a management system that includes necessary record-keeping and cost-tracking components for measurement and evaluation.
  • Require these staff members to develop and implement relevant technology and computer applications for the implementation and practice of the IRVM program.

Maintenance Staff

  • Hire, train, and dedicate crews for roadside maintenance.
  • Inspire crew members and motivate them to learn and continuously improve the quality of roadsides in their care.
  • Recognize those individuals and crews that succeed in improving their roadside environment.


9.8.5 Training Approaches
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Some DOTs conduct annual vegetation management classes (AL, AZ, CA, NC, OR, PN, SC, TX, UT, WA) or revegetation training for construction inspectors (TX). As of 2005, fourteen DOTs (35% of respondents) provided training for all maintenance forces on invasive species identification, control, and expectations in addition to regular vegetation management (e.g. mowing, herbicide) training. [N] DOAs and DNRs specialists have also helped conduct training at DOTs and with county roadside maintenance staff. In some states, DOT environmental services sections, landscape architects, and agronomists have conducted invasive species identification and control practices, to successfully raise awareness. In some states, resource agencies or the state Natural Heritage Program has conducted such training. DOT agronomists, landscape architects, and Maintenance Supervisors have also conducted briefings on DOT invasive species eradication trials and results. Training sessions may utilize handouts, live plants, site visits, PowerPoint presentations, and discussion. Laminated sheets or booklets for field identification of invasive species have also been helpful. Washington DOT conducts annual training for all state vegetation management personnel; area meetings are held twice annually to review and refine IVM plans. Attendance at external training workshops and conferences is also an important source of training for DOTs. FDOT sends notifications of external training to all maintenance yards. Herbicide representatives also provide training.

Some of the most effective training is provided on an ongoing basis, taking advantage of as many occasions and forms as possible. In addition to special classes by environmental specialists or LAs, District shop meetings and annual construction and maintenance meetings provide training opportunities. North Carolina DOT conducts on-site tours and presentations during various conferences, in addition to presenting identification materials to Division personnel on a regular basis.

DOTs shared ideas and recommendations on what is working best for their agencies that could be utilized elsewhere: [N]

  • Advocate for forming formal partnerships (AK).
  • Include project development, design, construction, maintenance, management, and/or planning in invasive species control training courses (AZ). Get designers involved and aware of their role (TX).
  • Conduct field trips and a weed training school (CO). Identification works best when conducted in field so that personnel can feel and examine the plants (MS). On-site tours are best as first hand experience is critical to successful control (MO, NC, PA, RI, UT, WA).
  • Become involved with the organizations that put on the annual training like your state Vegetation Management Association and work with them to model the training to best meet the needs of your state and the Department (FL).
  • Conduct field training at university research sites (IN). Share research with university (NC).
  • Promote interest in plants through inclusion of information relevant to home and farm (livestock toxicity, human health concerns, ethnobotany, etc.); For identification, use live plant samples as well as images, including similar looking species in self-corrected quizzes about identification and status; i.e., noxious weed, invasive weed, other weed, wildflower (IA).
  • Identify targeted weed species and include input from representatives of the chemical industry (LA).
  • Conduct annual training sessions at each maintenance shop (MD).
  • Conduct informal field training sessions entailing "learning by doing." The next best is pulling together small informal groups of 20-25 maintenance staff (supervisors and front-line workers) for interactive sessions - as is done each spring for "Pesticide Applicator Pre-season Meetings. An agenda can be followed in order to ensure consistent messages for key items, but leave lots of time for informal, constructive and facilitated dialogue regarding issues and concerns of the local area (MN). Crew level meetings seem to work the best (OR).
  • Take the time to work on plant identification. Roadside Alerts and/or newsletters help (MO, PA).
  • Provide DOT examples of successful and unsuccessful management techniques (NY).
  • Work with your Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) (OH).
  • Other recommendations included:
    • Educate people in the wide variety of seed transport methods. For example, weed seed may stick to their clothing when walking through weed infested areas.
    • Educate people in weed identification, biology, impacts, and effective prevention measures.
    • Train road maintenance staff and utility truck operators to recognize weeds and report locations to the local weed specialist. Inventory weed infestations and schedule them for treatment.
    • Develop weed-awareness programs for local residents, fishing and hunting license holders, the visiting public, and staff members of the different county, state, and federal agencies.
    • Develop incentive programs encouraging weed awareness, detection, reporting, and identifying new invaders.

Photos and control tips for various species are widely available on the web. Furthermore, many resources developed by your state extension service or partner entities may be utilized in DOT training efforts.

Short training courses relevant to Invasive Species Management include the USFWS' Integrated Approach to Invasive Species Management (4 days) at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. Courses particularly focused on plants include the following:


9.8.6 Public Outreach
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Educating range managers, landowners, workers on the land, and the general public about their role in monitoring and controlling the problem increases the success of a vegetation management program. A successful plan to address invasive species issues depends on the public's understanding and acceptance of the actions needed to protect our valuable resources. To that end, a wide variety of education, outreach, and training programs are needed to help motivate people to take action and raise awareness of the causes of establishment and consequences of invasive species. E.O. 13112 directs Federal agencies to promote public education and awareness on invasive species, as well as actions to minimize their impacts.

Because many people are unaware that their actions can result in the introduction and spread of invasive species, education and outreach programs constitute an important line of defense for prevention and control. New Hampshire DOT, for example, considers awareness building, literature publication and distribution, and public outreach in general to be their most effective mechanism(s) for combating invasive species. In the long run, informing people of the actions they can take to reduce the threats posed by invasive species and to avoid contributing to the problem maybe more effective than passing laws or enforcing regulations. Once aware of invasive species and the options for their management, gardeners, boaters, fisherman, pet owners, etc. can take simple steps to reduce the likelihood that they will inadvertently spread invasive species. This may be accomplished through workshops, the enlistment of local partners and community groups, and distribution of public fact sheets.

Mn/DOT developed the following best practices for promoting an IRVM philosophy and associated public involvement: [N]

  • Educate the public on why and how roadsides are managed. This education should include the reasons for roadside vegetation management in relation to functional roadway objectives, surrounding land use, the overall ecosystem, natural processes, and applied technologies.
  • Communicate an appreciation for the beauty of self-sustaining, low-maintenance roadsides.
  • Communicate the cost-savings realized through lower life cycle maintenance costs, less negative environmental impact, and efficient use of tax dollars.

Bounty programs in Montana successfully involved the community in a cost-effective monitoring and early treatment program for newly invading spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii). [N] The bounty program encouraged monitoring with a $5 reward for every unmapped infestation and $50 if the "bounty hunter" could persuade the landowner to control knapweed infestations. During its first year, Stillwater County reported a $4,500 savings in the county weed budget. These bounty programs were successful in finding and treating newly invading weeds, but for widespread weeds the program was modified by educating local high school students to help with weed control efforts. For example, $300 was given to a local wrestling club for digging out large areas of knapweed.

In Columbus, Montana, high school students have been involved in weed control efforts since 1990. Students map weed infestations using aerial photographs, study and monitor bio-control insects and pathogens, and work on DNA testing and biotechnology. Not only are students contributing to monitoring and weed control efforts, but they also gain valuable skills in preparation for the job market or careers in research. This investment in the education of young people results in greater public awareness that contributes to a concerted effort against weeds. [N]

With regard to external communication and information exchange, DOTs recommended the following as part of this survey effort:

  • Information exchange with various volunteer weed management groups (AZ).
  • Regional and national meetings, such as Roadside Vegetation Managers Association and regional invasive species control meetings (CA, CT, NM, NC, SC, TX).
  • Systems to share species location and control methods with counties, others (IA).
  • Local Technical Assistance Program (OH).


9.8.7 Educational Resources, Information Sources, and Databases
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Educational Resources are available on-line at

Bibliographies by state or other geographic region are available as well as a wide range of Invasive Species Databases, including:

FHWA and others have compiled on-line resources for control of invasive species: [N]

Resources from The Nature Conservancy

  • Element Stewardship Abstracts, published by the national office of The Nature Conservancy, are excellent. Summarizing the existing literature on a given plant, they provide detailed information on life history, control methods and research needs.
  • TNC's Wildland Invasive Species Program also has an on-line publication, the Weed Control Methods Handbook. This handbook is what every natural areas manager should know about weed control methods. Consisting of seven chapters and six appendices, it reviews manual, grazing, fire, biocontrol, and herbicide techniques. There are in-depth discussions of eleven different herbicides, plus a great deal of supporting information on herbicide use. Nearly 200 pages. It is available, free for the download at their web site.
  • TNC also has an e-mail listserv with regular notices about invasive plant issues nation-wide. Write Barry Meyers-Rice at
  • TNC's Wildland Invasive Species Program offers decision-makers years of land management experience form The Nature Conservancy (TNC) regarding problem plants, control methods, a power point presentation you can use, a press release template, and ways to utilize volunteers.
  • The Nature Conservancy's Invasives on the Web includes an interactive map showing invasive plants specific to different regions, a large library of information on controlling invasive plants in your garden, and an extensive photo gallery of invasive species.
  • ConserveOn-line is a "one-stop" on-line, public library, created and maintained by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with other conservation organizations. The library makes conservation tools, techniques, and experience available to a broad community of conservation practitioners. Extensive information resource, including discussion group on invasive species.

Regional Councils and Information Sites

  • The Aquatic Plant Information System-APIS@ includes the identification and management of over 60 species of native and introduced aquatic and wetland plants. Not all of the plants included are problems in New England.
  • Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants is a site that contains images and information for 383 native and non-native species found in Florida plus.
  • The Prairie Region website targets invasives. It includes the Heibert ranking assessment.
  • INVADERS Database System is the website from the University of Montana. It contains the INVADERS Database System provided by the Agricultural research Service (ARS), USDA. The site includes the U.S. and Canadian noxious weed lists.
  • The New England Wild Flower Society addresses invasive plants in New England.
  • Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse serves the southwest. This site is filled with practical information for this region.
  • Center for Invasive Plant Management is home to an in-depth western weed clearinghouse of information. The information comes to us from Bozeman, Montana. It is made up of seed science professionals in the western U.S. and Canada.
  • Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources invasive species pages - includes information on Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), other invasive species, and their Harmful exotic species program.
  • Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group(formerly NPCI) Weeds Gone Wild website. This website is a public education project of the APWG focused on invasive plants and their harmful impacts to natural ecosystems in the U.S. It is a government-hosted site including a national list of invasive plants infesting natural areas throughout the United States, with plant facts and photos. Also, go to for info on native plants for restoration.
  • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Database, provides extensive database of plant information, also provides numerous links to other useful sites.
  • The Roadside Research Project, a cooperative project by PennDOT and Penn State University: includes research reports, discussion forum, publications, and useful links.
  • Penn State University Weed Management research and education projects information.
  • Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) (DRIPP partner)
  • California EPPC
  • Florida EPPC
  • Southeast EPPC (formerly the TN EPPC)
  • Invasive Plants Atlas of New England (IPANE): searchable database of invasive plants of New England, providing images, information, and distribution across New England.
  • New England Plant Society offers a comprehensive list of books and links for the Northeast gardener
  • VA Native Plant Society (fact sheets on invasives plants)
  • Sea Grant Non-Indigenous Species: Deals with aquatic nuisance species and has a number of abstracts of journal articles and gray literature available.
  • Chesapeake Bay Program invasives information, fact sheets, and updates on working group.
  • List of noxious weeds by state, with descriptions, from USDA Agricultural Research Service and University of Montana.
  • The Bugwood Work Group, managed by the University of Georgia, provides resources and tools to enhance and complement information exchange and educational activities primarily in the fields of entomology, forestry, forest health and natural resources.
  • University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: plant information and images and bibliographic database on plants.
  • Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
  • Delaware River Basin Commission (DRIPP partner) -- information on the Delaware River watershed.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DRIPP partner) information about the PA DEP watersheds protection program and volunteer monitors network.
  • Archive of photos of invasives, a joint project of The Bugwood Network, USDA Forest Service and USDA APHIS PPQ, and The University of Georgia.
  • St. Louis Invasive Plant Species Workshop on Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasions -- news on groups working together to prevent new invasions.
  • Native Plants Network and Native Plants Journal : information on the propagation of native plants for restoration.
  • University of Montana, INVADERS Database: exotic plant names and weed distribution records for five states in the northwestern United States. The INVADERS web site contains actual examples of how land management and weed regulatory agencies are using these data to improve their weed management programs. Noxious weed listings are provided for all US states and six southern tier Canadian provinces.
  • The New England Invasive Plant Group (NIPGro), headquartered at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, is a new organization that networks agencies, organizations and individuals involved in invasive plant issues in the region. NIPGro promotes the sharing of information among network members, research into plant biology and management techniques, alternatives to invasive species still in use, and provides a clearinghouse and referral system for information. An electronic newsletter gives updates about new invaders, projects being undertaken by members, upcoming events, new research, and more. All interested parties are welcome to sign up for the network, free of charge. An Invasive Plant Summit will be held September 19-20, 2003 in Framingham, MA. All are encouraged to become involved in the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE), described below. NIPGro and IPANE are funded through a grant from the USDA through 2005. The first issue of the NIPGro newsletter can be found on the website: under "announcements" or "what's new?" To be included in the network, contact coordinator Cynthia Boettner at 413-863-0209 ext. 6, or
  • The Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE). The Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, based at the University of Connecticut, is a web-based atlas of up to 100 species known or suspected to be invasive in the New England area. The atlas will support an early detection and alert system for new invaders. The IPANE website will include images and descriptive data, and a database documenting the existence and spread of those species in New England. Maps will be included in the future. IPANE is intended to provide public access to an on-line interactive resource of regionally invasive vascular plants, including both historic and current data. Current field data is collected and submitted by volunteers trained by the New England Wild Flower Society (see below) and trained professionals. IPANE will provide an effective tool for students and researchers, land managers, conservationists, scientists, government agencies, the nursery industry, and the interested public.
  • The New England Wildflower Society (NEWFS) is the oldest plant conservation organization in the United States, promoting the conservation of temperate North American plants through programs in conservation, education, research and horticulture. NEWFS has been very active in controlling invasive species and educating people about the issue. An informative special edition of their magazine is devoted to the subject of invasive plants in New England. Copies of "Invaders" are available by calling Linda Jackson at 508-877-7630 ext. 3601 ($4.50 includes shipping and handling). Staff provide training sessions on the identification of invasive plants for those wishing to contribute data to the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE). New volunteers are being recruited for 2003 and 2004. NEWFS also leads many volunteer events to control new populations of invasive plants and those threatening rare species. For IPANE training sessions, contact Bryan Connelly at, 860-423-8305. For learning more about volunteer control events contact Chris Mattrick at 508-877-7630 ext. 3203, Further information about invasive plants can also be found on their website.
  • The Invasive Plant Control Initiative Strategic Plan for the Connecticut River Watershed/Long Island Sound Region. March 1999. Written by the Initiative Steering Committee led by the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. The plan highlights agencies and organizations already working on the issue in the watershed and New England, what needs exist, and what actions would best serve the region within five years. Some priority actions are already being undertaken by the New England Invasive Plant Group based at the Conte Refuge headquarters. 51 pp., plus several appendices. Text and some appendices available on the website under "what's new?" or "announcements."
  • The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group maintains a website on invasive plants and their control, as well as announcements of conferences and other events.
  • Invasive Plant Council of New York has a website with information on invasive plant species, their control, and their alternatives, as well as a database of resource people experienced with managing them. Paying members receive a mailed informational newsletter by calling 518-271-0346.
  • A Guide to Invasive Non-native Aquatic Plants in Massachusetts C. Barre Hellquist and Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Management, Lakes and Ponds Program, Boston. 14 page booklet with line drawings, color photos and brief descriptions. For a free copy, contact Michelle Robinson, 617-626-1382. Also available on-line.
  • Wisconsin Manual of Control Recommendations for Ecologically Invasive Plants edited by Hoffman and Kearns, and published by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
  • Native Alternatives for Invasive Ornamental Plant Species edited by Timothy Abbey of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group. Highlights alternatives to four species considered widespread and invasive in Connecticut (autumn olive, Elaeagnus umbellate, Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii , purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, burning bush, Kochia scoparia) and one potentially invasive species in Connecticut (Norway maple, Acer platanoides).

Bibliographies: By Geographical Location


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Table of Contents
Chapter 9
Roadside Vegetation Management
9.0 Introduction
9.1 Inventory of and Management for Rare Species and Sensitive Resources in the ROW
9.2 Growing Threats Drive Expansion of DOT Invasive Species Practice
9.3 Practices for Prevention of Roadside Infestations
9.4 Statewide Inventory of Invasive or Noxious Species in the ROW and Update of Databases
9.5 Planning for Invasives Control
9.6 Roadside Vegetation Control Methods and Resources
9.7 Management of Visual Quality of the Roadside
9.8 Staffing, Training, & Partnerships
Lists: Examples | Tables | Figures
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