Quality management of natural lands in the Midwest requires a multifaceted strategy of controlling invasive species, restoring hydrology, controlling highly impactful species (deer) and returning the natural processes of fire to name a few of the big-ticket items. These four items are the basis of our stewardship work. Watching natural systems behave over the years, we have learned that NICHES’ lands are not remote isolated islands, but part of a greater connected landscape. A landscape in which some of those adjacent lands have significant issues with invasive species (not to say, that our lands are free of invasives), which are contributing to the degradation of NICHES when left unchecked.
In select locations, NICHES has worked with neighbors to curb invasive species on their lands, and pushed the boundary outward of the natural core. But, to really address the issue of invasive species at a meaningful scale, we need to think and act bigger than simply pushing the boundary from the edge of our preserves.
NICHES joined with concerned members of the public and surrounding organizations to join forces in 2019, forming a new organization known as Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT). TICT is an organization singularly focused on the issue of invasive species in Tippecanoe County, with the goal of raising the exposure of existing work and finding new audiences.
TICT will be working a multiprong strategy with a long-term goal of increasing public knowledge of invasive species, the amount of invasive species reporting, the control of invasive species and implementing a county ban on the sale of invasive species.
The work of TICT will be supported by members of the public and organizations that care about the state of our natural lands. The more involvement and support we get, the more work can be done to reduce the local impact of invasive species. There is a lot of work to do, but one always feels better when working on a worthy, well supported cause.
If interested in joining the effort, please put January 21 from 10 AM to noon at the Purdue Extension office (3150 Sagamore Parkway S, Lafayette IN 47909) on your calendar. TICT steering committee will be hosting a presentation of our strategic plan to begin to turn the tide against invasive species and towards protecting native species in Tippecanoe County.
For more information, contact Angie Miller, Rural Conservationist of Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District, at 765-474-9992, ext 4006 or Gus Nyberg, Executive Director of NICHES Land Trust, at 765-423-1605.