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Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park

Research Park Notes
Issue 25, November 13, 2001

Welcome to Research Park Notes! Look for tidbits of information on National Environmental Research Park activities, observations, and users every couple of weeks. To provide newsletter input, request additional information, make comments, or add/delete mailing list names, contact the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Area Manager, Pat Parr.

PARK RESEARCH AND USERS

Aquatic Recovery - Mike Ryon, Environmental Sciences Division, ORNL

The streams on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) were adversely impacted by operations of the U.S. Department of Energy Facilities for more than 50 years, but abatement activities since the mid-1980s have begun to offset these impacts. During this period, the streams on the ORR have been monitored by the Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program (BMAP) which uses a multi-disciplinary approach to identify specific causes of ecological impact and document recovery following implementation of controls. BMAP data indicate recovery of aquatic communities in several streams associated with the Y-12 Complex and the ETTP. Further details are provided in a two-page information sheet on aquatic recovery, “Aquatic Recovery on the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park,” compiled by Mike Ryon.

NATURAL RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT

Fire Ants -- Warren Webb, ORNL Wildlife Coordinator

Imported fire ants have been found in a Y-12 landfill area on the Oak Ridge Reservation . A single mound was discovered and treated for eradication by David Hartzler (Knox) and Hans Chaudhary (Anderson) from the State Department of Agriculture, the Pesticide/Plant Certification Field Office for East Tennessee. A fact sheet for reservation users is being prepared. Imported fire ants have been spreading northward in recent years, and this discovery, although not a welcome one, is not a particular surprise. These ants frequently outcompete native species, with detrimental ecological effects. They also can inflict painful bites and stings to domestic animals and to people. If you see an ant mound on the Research Park that appears unusual, please report it to Warren Webb at webbjw@ornl.gov.

Native Grasses

The third joint meeting of individuals and agencies interested in native grass use and restoration on the Oak Ridge Reservation was held Wednesday, November 14, at the Oak Ridge Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) office. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) had arranged for Judy Rogers of Sharp Brothers Seed Company in Missouri to make a presentation. She spoke in detail about establishment and management of native warm season grasses. Chris Frye, who was to have discussed genetics, was unable to attend due to travel restrictions in his agency. Thirty-two individuals from numerous agencies/interests were able to attend, including TDEC, TWRA, ORNL, DOE, TVA, Bechtel Jacobs, BWXT/Y-12, Native Gardens, Quail Unlimited, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), National Park Service (NPS), Sharp Brothers, and consultants. It was agreed that additional meetings would be worthwhile and topics of interest for future meetings included field trips to potential restoration sites on the Oak Ridge Reservation, field trips to other agency native grass restoration sites, and discussion of specific projects. ORNL is maintaining an electronic mailing list of participants and others interested in knowing about future meetings. Send Pat Parr (parrpd@ornl.gov) your email address if you would like to be added.

Fuel Reduction Efforts

Areas of dead pine on the Oak Ridge Reservation that were not suitable for salvage are in the process of being treated by ORNL Forestry Group. The trees will be pushed down, piled, and burned, when permitable. Some of these activities will be visible along the road around the East Tennessee Technology Park.

OF INTEREST

One of our SAMAB partners, Larry Hartman (Division Chief, Great Smoky Mountains National Park), sent the following that may be of interest.

Information about a new type of map that has just come out was sent to me this week by Terry Seyden of the Forest Service, and it was so intriguing that I thought many of you would like to see it. It is the result of an 8-year effort by the World Wildlife Fund, by Eric Dinerstein and David M. Olson, and 1,000 or so other scientists. It's reported about in the current issue of BioScience. Rather than describe it further, just go look at the thing. It's remarkable! (You can get to maps of this area through their Web site, too.) The web sites is http://www.wwfus.org/ecoregions/index.htm.

Also, the Southern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service (another SAMAB partner) has a new catalog (pdf) which gives their recent publications, covering a very broad range of natural resource research. The catalog can be found at http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/2001-11_publications.htm.

PUBLICATIONS

The “Oak Ridge Reservation Annual Site Environmental Report for 2000” has been published. The report includes results from on-site and off-site environmental monitoring activities, describes actions to comply with environmental regulations, and discusses the overall environmental impacts of DOE activities on the surrounding areas. A separate summary document conveying key environmental monitoring information was prepared, again this year, by students of Karns High School (great work!). The document and summary can be accessed on the internet at http://www.ornl.gov/aser.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

November 26-28, 2001 – Southern Forest Science Conference, Contributions of Forest Research to Sustainable Forestry, Atlanta, Georgia. More info: http://www.southernforestscience.net or call (828) 257-4302.

November 29-December 1, 2001 – ATBI-DLIA Annual Conference, Glenstone Lodge, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For more details, contact jeanie@discoverlife.org.

December 6-7, 2001 – 2nd National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment: “Sustainable Communities: Science and Solutions by The National Council for Science and the Environment ,” Washington, D.C., Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History & Renaissance Washington. For more information, see http://www.cnie.org/updates/108.htm.

December 12-13, 2001 – Native Plants: Propagation and Restoration Strategies, Eugene, Oregon, sponsored by Western Forestry and Conservation Association (WFCA). For more information, contact Richard Zabel, WFCA, 4033 SW Canyon Road, Portland, Oregon 97221, phone 503-226-4562, or email richard@westernforestry.org.

March 15-17, 2002 – Appalachian Studies Association 25th Annual Conference, Unicoi State Park, Georgia. Proposals due September 28 by snail mail only. Patricia Beaver, beaverp@appstate.edu, http://www.appalachianstudies.org.

March 20-24, 2002 – Partners in Flight Conservation Plans. A Workshop on Implementation and Integration in the Americas, Monterey, California. For more information, contact Terry Rich (terry_rich@fws.gov) or visit http://www.PartnersInFlight.org or http://www.prbo.org/PIF/NPIF2002.htm.

April 3-5, 2002 – Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Annual Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, see http://www.se-eppc.org/doc.cfm?id=736.

April 3-7, 2002 – North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Dallas, Texas. For more information, contact James Woehr or Richard McCabe at 202-371-1808 or visit http://www.wildlifemgt.org/wmi/pages/toc2002.html.

April 10-13, 2002 – Association of Southeastern Biologists Annual Meeting, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. For more information, see http://www.asb.appstate.edu/.

April 23-27, 2002 – International Association for Landscape Ecology, United States Regional Association, Lincoln, Nebraska. Theme is “Landscapes in Transition: Cultural Drivers and Natural Constraints.” For more information, see http://www.calmit.unl.edu/usiale2002/.

August 4-8, 2002 – Annual Meetings of the Society for Ecological Restoration and the Ecological Society of America, Tucson, Arizona. For more information, see http://www.ser.org.

The Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park was designated by the Department of Energy in 1980 and is one of a network of seven National Environmental Research Parks. It is an Oak Ridge National Laboratory User Facility. The Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1989. It is also a unit member of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve and part of the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) Cooperative. More information on the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park can be found on the website at:  http://www.esd.ornl.gov/facilities/nerp/.


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