Invasive species are an increasingly common issue in New Hampshire forests, and a growing number of municipalities and private landowners are struggling with control efforts. Many landowners have tried controlling invasive plants manually, by pulling or cutting individual plants. While these efforts can be effective in the right scenarios, they are often prohibitively time consuming and only effective for small infestations. Herbicides are another useful tool in managing invasive plants, and can be much more efficient in terms of controlling larger populations of invasive plants.
Many conservation commissions have expressed an interest in using herbicides as a part of their overall invasive species management strategy. Many are already working with Licensed Pesticide Applicators to control invasive plants on town-owned land. One relatively new option is for conservation commissioners themselves to acquire the necessary license and apply herbicides on municipal lands. Commissioners interested in pursuing this option need to acquire a Commercial Applicator, Not For Hire license. This license requires an individual to pass a written exam covering numerous aspects of pest control, maintain detailed records of applications made, and attend continuing education classes to ensure they are up-to-date on safe and effective use of chemicals. More details on the Commercial Applicator, Not For Hire license are available here.
Though not required, Forest Pest Control trainings offered by the UNH Pesticide Safety Education Program are an excellent introduction to the safe and effective use of pesticides. It may be of particular interest to conservation commissioners interested in learning more about controlling invasive plants. These trainings cover pesticide rules and regulations, vegetation control methods, water quality protection, application equipment, and identification and management of invasive plants, insects and diseases.
For questions about the management of invasive plants or how this training and license might be useful, please contact Ethan Belair at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 641-6060.