About the Blue Ridge PRISM

Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management

 

How We Began

The PRISM began in 2014 as a gleam in the eyes of Rod Walker, a landowner in Albemarle County, and Jake Hughes, Exotic Plant Management Biological Science Technician for the Shenandoah National Park. Rod was first alerted to the problem of invasive plants in the Blue Ridge by the Oriental bittersweet vines that had grown up seemingly overnight and were smothering and strangling 15 acres of his family’s timber forest. Concerned about the economic damage posed by this invasive vine, and by the many other nonnative invasive plants that abound in this region, Rod contacted Jake for information and advice. One conversation led to another and to another. More people joined the conversation, and before long, the Blue Ridge PRISM was born. Now, more than 30 people sit on its advisory board, making up a broad-based coalition of private landowners, nonprofit organizations, for-profit business owners, university faculty, and local, state and federal agencies. They have formed nine working groups, which have made great strides in moving this organization forward.

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

 

Membership and Partners

Members and partners will be published once our formal organization documents are signed later this year. The thirty plus people working on setting up this CWMA represent several federal agencies, several departments from the State of Virginia, national and statewide conservation organizations, multiple foundations and trusts, various private landowners, forestry vendors, one university and volunteers.

View from the Skyline Drive of Virginia

The Blue Ridge PRISM covers ten counties on both sides of Shenandoah National Park.

The PRISM’s stakeholders include:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Ivy Creek Foundation
Piedmont Environmental Council
Private landowners
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park Trust
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
The 500 Year Forest Foundation
The Nature Conservancy
University of Virginia
Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation
Virginia Department of Forestry
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia Master Gardeners
Virginia Master Naturalists
Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service
Virginia Native Plant Society