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Water Management Associations
Proposal to Manage Phragmites With Herbicides is Stirring Debate
A proposal to treat a stand of invasive plants in a nearly inaccessible portion of the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area is stirring debate over the use of herbicides to eradicate non-native plants.

Most involved agree that something should be done to get rid of a plant called phragmites, also known as common reed, before its dense root system and tall stalks choke out native habitat and make it tough for animals to survive. They differ, however, on whether to apply a form of herbicide called Rodeo on the plants or to instead use a chemical-free alternative.

The herbicide Rodeo has proven to be one of the more effective methods for eliminating Phragmites. The herbicide will kill leaves, stems and most importantly, the underground roots. However it does pose a risk of impacting non targeted plants in the area.

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How to Mend the Conservation Divide - Conservation used to seem pretty straightforward: set aside tracts of nature and they will take care of themselves. It is not so simple anymore. Nature left unmanaged is changing in surprising ways because of the great and accelerating human influences of what is being called the Anthropocene — the new epoch of climate change, species movements and global-scale land-use change. Today, keeping nature functioning the way it did before the Industrial Revolution requires increasingly hard and expensive work.

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