Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG)
About the group
The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory
Group [MIPAG] is a voluntary collaborative
representing organizations and professionals
concerned with the conservation of the Massachusetts
landscape. The group began in early 1995 as an outgrowth of an ad-hoc group,
the Massachusetts Native Plant Advisory Committee (now known as the Massachusetts Native Plant
Committee). MIPAG was charged by the Massachusetts
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
to provide recommendations to the Commonwealth
regarding which plants are invasive and what
steps should be taken to manage these species.
MIPAG members represent research institutions,
non-profit organizations, the green industry, and state and federal agencies.
Because of this diversity of support, the
findings and recommendations of the group will
encourage a cooperative effort among every
organization, agency, and citizen concerned
with the threat to the Commonwealth of invasive
The group's work
MIPAG defines invasive plants as "non-native species that have spread into native or minimally managed plant systems in Massachusetts, causing economic or environmental harm by developing self-sustaining populations and becoming dominant and/or disruptive to those systems." MIPAG adopted this definition and a set of biologically-based criteria upon which to objectively evaluate plants suspected to be invasive in the state. Existing field and historical data about these species was gathered to assess which are currently invasive in Massachusetts and which have the potential to become problematic. All important decisions by MIPAG concerning invasiveness have been passed by a two-thirds vote of its members. The result of this work is published in The Evaluation of Non-Native Plant Species for Invasiveness in Massachusetts.
MIPAG has also published its strategic recommendations
to prevent, control and, where possible, eradicate
invasive plant species in the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts. These recommendations complement
efforts at both the regional and national
levels to establish an early detection and
rapid response system for invasive plants.
They acknowledge that to meaningfully address
the environmental, cultural and economic impacts
of invasive plant species in Massachusetts
will require the commitment and collaboration
of diverse groups, working in partnership
at appropriate scales, to confront this problem
that affects us all. The recommendations are
published in Strategic Recommendations for
Managing Invasive Plants in Massachusetts.
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Research undertaken by the group was funded
by the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape
Association, the Horticultural Research Institute,
The Nature Conservancy, the Massachusetts
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs,
and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and
Game's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Coordination for the group is provided by
the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife
Refuge with financial assistance from the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service.
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