Mission and Approach

Adirondack Waterway. Photo by Meghan Johnstone

The mission of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species.

Invasive species are one of the top threats to the quality and vitality of Adirondack lands and waters and the livelihoods they support. Invasive species can be plants, animals, fungi and even pathogens. They affect both terrestrial and aquatic habitats and their management burdens residents, communities, governments, and non-governmental groups alike. Some invasive species, like Eurasian watermilfoil and Japanese knotweed, have been in the region for decades, while others, like Asian clam, spiny waterflea, and Eurasian boar, have arrived more recently.

APIPP’s role is to serve as a clearinghouse of information, a coordinator of action, and a communicator of needs for invasive species issues affecting the Adirondack region. The program is only as strong as its partners and is open to any and all who are interested in participating. APIPP is hosted by the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in Keene Valley and works throughout the Adirondack Park as well as in the northern portions of Franklin and Clinton Counties. Originally funded by state and federal grants, as well as through contributions made by its founding partners (Adirondack Chapter Nature Conservancy, NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Adirondack Park Agency), APIPP is currently supported through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund administered by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

APIPP has three full time staff (a Program Coordinator, Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinator, and Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator) and a seasonal educator. The staff team holds regular meetings, develops and offers trainings, events and educational materials and coordinates invasive species prevention, surveillance, early detection and rapid response, management, monitoring and data analysis efforts for the region. The program also maintains invasive species distribution databases (aquatic and terrestrial), a website, email listserv, and seasonal blog.

The APIPP partnership finalized its 5-year strategic plan in the spring of 2013. The plan describes the vision for addressing invasive species in the Adirondack region and charts a path forward with clear goals and actions to stay on track. Many of the actions are already underway, but some key initiatives will need local ingenuity, state leadership, and sustained funding to maintain progress. The following key invasive species initiatives are priorities in the region:

  • Coordinating stakeholders and collaborating on invasive species solutions
  • Preventing new infestations by implementing innovative prevention programs, such as boat launch steward and boat decontamination programs, and by leveraging new policies, such as the Invasive Species Prevention Act and the Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law
  • Enhancing a region-wide early detection network that utilizes staff and volunteers of partner organizations and communities to detect and report new infestations
  • Formalizing Response Teams, including an Aquatic Response Team and a Terrestrial Response Team, composed of seasonal crews with the training and capacity to implement swift and effective controls on infestations
  • Launching an invasive species education, marketing, and advertising campaign that informs all New Yorkers and visitors to New York about how to stop the spread of invasive species
  • Leveraging resources to the region to implement the full suite of actions required to stop the spread of invasive species

Get involved, share your ideas, and help shape the future of invasive species programming and policies in the Adirondacks by contacting the APIPP Team.