Army joins national and state control efforts
March 11, 2014
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (March 7, 2014) -- The Army's local "green" team is sounding off on invasive species, as it joins state and national efforts to raise awareness during Invasive Species Awareness Week.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Natural Resources Program hosted an information booth at the State Capitol, Monday, as Hawaii kicked off Invasive Species Awareness Week, March 3-9. The program is also hosting several educational and volunteer events throughout the month.
Invasive species management is a little-known Army mission; however, it is a big part of the Army's conservation and training requirements.
Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to the native plants and animals that the Army manages on its Hawaii installations. On Oahu alone, USAG-HI's Natural Resources Program has dedicated a team solely to the prevention, monitoring and control of invasive species.
The staff proactively teaches Soldiers about natural resources prior to training, and also implements training requirements, such as vehicle and gear cleaning, to stop the spread of invasive species. Other efforts include habitat surveys, invasive species removal and, most recently, a commander policy to use native plants in landscaping on Army installations, here.
"Combating invasive species takes our collective efforts," said Michelle Mansker, the Army's Natural Resources Program manager on Oahu. "We've had early successes like working with the State Department of Agriculture and the Oahu Invasive Species Committee to eradicate coqui frogs near Schofield. The key is continuing to gain momentum on these joint, innovative efforts."
The Army has award-winning natural resource programs on Oahu and on Hawaii Island. Together, these programs support military training needs through conservation and natural resource protection, caring for more than 100 of Hawaii's threatened and endangered species.
The Army routinely partners with more than 30 local, state and federal agencies, and enlists the help of the community. Each month, the Army hosts volunteer service trips for individuals to join the front lines in the fight against invasive species. Individuals can call 808-656-7741 to help remove invasive weeds and plant native seeds.