Invasive Species Task Force To Meet At RTPI Wednesday

The public is invited to the meeting of the Invasive Species Task Force on Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, 311 Curtis St., Jamestown.

The meeting is for anyone interested in learning more about these species and providing input.

In 2014, concerned professionals, scientists, resource managers, local officials and private citizens came together to establish what started as the Chautauqua County Emerald Ash Borer Task Force. Since its induction, the task force has broadened its focus to include all forest pests that threaten natural areas, backyard woodlots and street trees throughout the county.

Not all species are perceived with equal value, particularly when it comes to invasive species. Invasive species are non-native plants or animals that forcibly take up residence after accidental or purposeful introduction within natural areas, community parks and beyond. In such areas, the invasive species drive out native species causing loss of biodiversity, habitat resilience and, in some cases, environmental services. As they spread, invasive species also can harm human health and be costly financially. Within Chautauqua County, more than 100 invasive species co-habitate with native species, posing both environmental and economic threats. While the numbers may seem overwhelming, various groups have formed within the county to work together to come up with management solutions for specific species or general groups of species.

For more information about the task force, email Elyse Henshaw at or call 665-2473, ext. 231.