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ErinFuller

"Certified" contractors list

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Hi,

I'm working with a community that is very excited to work on Japanese Knotweed problems; they're sending letters out to landowners advising them of problems with the plant and a list of contractors they can contact to treat it. They want my help developing that list, and want to make sure the contractors on the list know what they're doing (they're suspicious, as am I, that your average lawn chemical company won't be knowledgeable about the right timing, chemicals, etc.). I know the Stewardship Network has a list that's a good starting place (https://www.stewardshipnetwork.org/resources/southern-michigan-restoration-contractors), but we've had some discussion about sending out a questionnaire to potential contractors to gauge their familiarity with this species, or trying to come up with a way to "certify" contractors that we trust for treating JK. Has anyone else done this? Or anything similar? 

Thanks! Erin

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Hi Erin!

As the Outreach Coordinator at the West Michigan CISMA I've been working on getting in touch with landscape professionals to train them on invasive species. Here is some information on my experience that might help you!

I've noticed that it is particularly difficult to get a response on surveys during the busy season. If you want a good response I would try a more involved survey method than just sending something electronic. I put together a survey that I've sent out to individual companies, Associations, and will soon be handing out at a field day. 

As for 'certifying' contractors, a good place to start is to look at MDARD's list of businesses with a Pesticide Application License (http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-1569_2459-11993--,00.html). It has companies based on county and you can see what categories they have so you can easily narrow all the businesses in your area down to just those with the legal ability to treat. You can then survey those companies on their knowledge of Japanese Knotweed.

I'm also currently working on a "Stamp of Recognition" program that our CISMA will give out to companies committed to using less, or no, invasive species in their landscape designs. You could do something like a seal of approval of contractors that you find that ARE capable of treating JK well.

I hope that something in the above paragraph will at least get you started!

Good Luck, Aubri

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Erin, ISN has a list (attached) that we share with landowners; it's focused on NW lower MI, and far from complete, but you're welcome to use it as you go.  It doesn't specify folks familiar with knotweed, but generally speaking the folks with asterisks have completed a training with us and know about the plant, if not hands-on experience.

 

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On 7/18/2016 at 11:09 AM, A.Spenski said:

I'm also currently working on a "Stamp of Recognition" program that our CISMA will give out to companies committed to using less, or no, invasive species in their landscape designs. You could do something like a seal of approval of contractors that you find that ARE capable of treating JK well.

This is something that I think ALL of the CISMAs need to be working on for Japanese knotweed (and others, but JKW is my baby), and one that works across all of Michigan. City of Kalamazoo hired a contractor from Ann Arbor to do some roadwork that went right up next to a big patch of knotweed and fortunately COK had my info in time to warn them. But there would be nothing lost to getting a "stamp of recognition" program functioning before the coming panic hits. These companies need training, and the public needs to know who they can turn to to protect them from knotweed contamination.

I also just found this knotweed Code of Practice from the Environmental Agency of the UK. It's a download document, and the first couple pages are 2013 changes. Word in the newspaper articles I'm reading is that the UK is tightening the belt and starting to REQUIRE the "knotweed removal companies" to adhere to the codes because so many make a quick buck and make the problem worse. So more changes may be coming.

http://www.nonnativespecies.org/downloadDocument.cfm?id=109

More info here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-japanese-knotweed-from-spreading

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