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Michigan's Invasive Species Community

Prioritization tools

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ISN re-did our prioritization in 2019, and I wanted to share the tools we used with you all.  Attached is:  

  • Our list of species (far from complete, but certainly enough there to keep you busy) in the worksheet we used to record our scores
  • The original (rc'd from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, though apparently they adapted it from elsewhere) priority ranking system & rationale
  • The priority ranking edited for ISN's outlook
Our method was, after checking in with the Steering Committee for approval, to get ISN's staff together and go through the species with the ranking system.  Any data point we knew offhand (e.g. garlic mustard IS allelopathic) we'd fill in, otherwise someone would be assigned to dig through the internet for data right then.  It was great to have 4 of us, because it let us rotate through without our brains melting.  It still took two half-days (and we ended up not fully evaluating a few species, particularly prairie weeds and aquatics), and was a bit mind-numbing.  If you don't have staff, it could be really nice for the Steering Committee or some gung-ho volunteers to pitch in so you don't die.  It could easily be done via Zoom, assuming participants have two screens so they can look at the list & questions AND do searches at the same time.  If you're physically together, project the questions/worksheet for all to see, and have folks search on their personal computers (or phones? though that sounds horrible).
Once we had all the ratings, we used them to inform our new prioritization, which was tweaked and approved by the Steering Committee and Partners.  Folks have been especially appreciative of the Awareness Species, and how they're listed by habitat.
Let me know if you have questions!  And if you did something different, please share!  There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's.

SLBE Priority Ranking .docx SLBE Priority Ranking_ISN edit.docx SLBE ranking rationale.docx species brainstorming 2019.xlsx

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