Volunteers learn to fight invasive species in the Adirondacks

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) Invasive species can be detrimental to a region. In the Adirondacks, they take early detection seriously, teaching volunteers what to look for while out on the water."

Class is back in session this week in the Adirondacks, the topic is invasive species popping up in the region.

"An animal or a plant or other organism that has been brought from another region either on accident or purpose," explained Erin Vennie-Vollrath of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.

These nonnative species can cause harm to the ecology like reproducing and changing the habitat for the native wildlife.

"To be an invasive species it has to have negative impacts," Vennie-Vollrath said.

Outdoor enthusiast gathered Thursday at the Adirondack Loj for a hands-on lesson for what to look for while out backcountry paddling.

"I have a really strong love of the Adirondacks and I want to protect them from invasive species as much as possible," volunteer Karen Terbush said.

The class is learning about aquatic invasive and native species, then hoping the volunteers will put their lesson to use after the class and be another set of eyes on the water and report any invasive species they see.

"The longer the plant has opportunity to grow and reproduce, the harder and harder and more expensive it is to try and control it," said Cathy Pedler of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

So how do these species get to different locations? Well, that would be a human error.

"It all depends on where we go. If we're not careful in cleaning our gear and clean, drain and dry our watercraft," Pedler said.

After a morning of lessons, the class took to the paddles, got onto Heart Lake and started to survey the water just like they would on their own.

"I do a lot of canoeing, a lot of kayaking in the Adirondacks and I definitely want to look for them and point them out to the authorities as soon as I find them," Terbush said.

Click here to learn more about the specific invasive species found in the Adirondacks.

Click here to report an infested area.

Click here for more on the Adirondack Mountain Club.