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In 1997 The Ecological Area-wide Management (TEAM) Leafy Spurge program be-came a reality. The program was funded as part of the USDA-ARS Area-wide Program and conducted cooperatively with the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The original concept of the program was to conduct demonstrations of inte-grated leafy spurge management strategies for state, federal and private land managers.
The TEAM Leafy Spurge (TLS) program has evolved substantially since its incep-tion. Nineteen ninety seven saw the departure of the USDA-ARS Co-Principal Investi-gator, Dr. Paul Quimby Jr. and the subsequent assignment of Dr. Gerald L. Anderson as the ARS Co-Principal Investigator along with Dr. Lloyd Wendel of USDA-APHIS. The scope of the program was broadened to include research needed to complement the ex-isting body of work, public relations and education became a major priority, and due to the abundance of biological control agents - the program distributed more than 40 million insects within the four state study region, as well as, three additional states (enough for more than 13,000 releases). TLS will distribute an additional 20 million insects within the original study area plus Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho and two Canadian Provinces if all goes as planned in 2001.
The papers presented in these proceedings represent the culmination of three to four years of research and demonstration, conducted in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyo-ming and Montana. TLS will officially end 30 September 2001, however, a great deal of work remains. ARS will continue to provide administrative support for the next one to two years to ensure research and demonstration results are synthesized, published and provided to users in a usable format.
How will TLS be remembered? Hopefully we will be remembered for conducting a fair, comprehensive and coordinated approach to leafy spurge management. The intent of the program managers and the ad-hoc advisory committee continues to be heightening awareness of the problem leafy spurge poses and the various integrated pest management tools needed to effectively manage the weed. Program development was also designed to establish of a new level of understanding and increase the participation of individuals in all sectors of society.
Two parting thoughts from the Principal Investigators:
TLS has contributed to our understanding of the weed and how to control it. How-ever, the success achieved during the program was only possible because of the contribu-tions of countless individuals who have been fighting invasive weeds most of their careers, and in some cases their all their lives. Thank you for your efforts and thanks to all the partners that participated in the program. TLS is your program and we hope that TLS under girded your efforts and promoted new management approaches that will be useful for years to come. The legacy of TLS is yet to be determined, but we hope it will be this - TLS made a difference - in controlling leafy spurge and in providing an effective example for future invasive weed programs.
Dr. Gerald L. Anderson
Dr. Lloyd Wendel
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