With only 49 known infestations, cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv., is an emerging invasive species in Georgia. To facilitate cooperation in all areas of management, both of cogongrass and other invasive species, state and federal agencies, university personnel, and Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council members have combined to form the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force. The task force has adopted a four-fold approach to managing cogongrass in Georgia: (1) management of known infestations, (2) discovery of any existing but unknown infestations, (3) reduction of pathways of spread, and (4) preparation for new infestations. United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Plant Protection and Quarantine, or Georgia Forestry Commission personnel are currently administering control efforts on known infestations. University of Georgia faculty and staff are maintaining a database of known infestations and have created an online mapping program of their locations. Plans are underway to implement on-the-ground and remote sensing surveys to aid in discovering new infestations. Workshops, educational materials, and press releases are all being used to inform and educate the public on this new threat. To prepare for the inevitable increase in new infestations, the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force is developing protocols for handling new finds, initiating a land-owner assistance program, and training agency and Extension agents on identification, management, and control of cogongrass.
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