The Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species recognized Gene Roark of Madison today for his work to stop the spread of invasive species during a ceremony at the State Capitol. Roark, along with four other individuals and one organization, were honored as 2008 Invader Crusaders.
The Invader Crusader Award honors Wisconsin citizens and organizations for their significant contributions to the prevention or eradication of invasive species that harm Wisconsin’s land and waters. The award recognizes both volunteer and professional efforts.
Mr. Roark has been volunteering his time for the last 50 years towards conservation efforts. He has played significant roles in multiple conservation organizations, including The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, Invasive Plants of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. Most recently, he has served on the regulatory committee of the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species and its efforts to create an Invasive Species Classification Rule.
As a landowner, Mr. Roark practices what he preaches by implementing best practices and experiments to identify new practices to control the spread of invasive species. He brings his personal experience as a landowner to the various committees he serves on to ensure that policies are realistic and applicable to private lands.
Amy Staffen, a Restoration Ecologist with The Prairie Enthusiast, nominated Gene Roark for the Invader Crusader Award. Staffen won an Invader Crusader Award in 2006.
The Invader Crusader Awards ceremony kicked off Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) — a statewide educational campaign aimed at not only educating and raising awareness of invasive species, but also aimed at giving people the knowledge they need to prevent and manage invasive species incursions throughout the state.
During ISAM, numerous field trips, workshops, presentations and work parties will be held throughout the state to teach citizens about invasive species and what they can do to stop the spread. To learn more, visit http://invasivespecies.wi.gov/awareness/.
In addition to Roark, others who received 2008 Invader Crusader Awards are: Ryan Everson of Rhinelander, Jerry Doll of Waunakee, Greg Long of New Berlin, Ron Martin of Lodi and the NorthWoods Cooperative Weed Management Area in Ashland.
For more information on the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species or the Invader Crusader Award, call Kelly Kearns at (608) 267-5066.
This news release is sponsored by the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species. The Wisconsin State Legislature created the Council, to which Governor Doyle appointed 13 members. The Council’s mission is to prevent and reduce the harmful impacts of invasive species on Wisconsin's environment and economy, as well as human well-being.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Wisconsin Media Contact
(612) 845-2744 (cell)