miconia  Considerations and Protocol For Miconia Field Crew

It is extremely important that field crews deployed in Miconia infested areas do not transport Miconia seeds to new locations in mud or soil stuck to their field gear, vehicles or other equipment. Certain precautions and a fairly strict protocol must be adhered to in order to prevent any such inadvertent spread of Miconia from occurring. The following guidelines are suggested for the cleaning and storage of personal field gear, equipment and vehicles used in sites of high Miconia density.

Personal Field Gear Maintenance and Storage

1. First and foremost, all equipment and gear used in the Miconia removal project should NEVER be taken into areas where Miconia has not previously been found or is suspected to occur.

2. Field gear and equipment should be marked (paint or permanent marker) with a label or warning, such as "Warning! For Miconia Removal Only". A piece of brightly colored flagging tape affixed to certain tools or equipment, also labeled with the warning, could be used to further stress the importance of following these restrictions.

3. At the end of a day of Miconia removal, workers should attempt to rinse as much mud as possible from their boots and tools, and scrub them with a brush before they leave the work area. Before entering the work vehicle, boots should be removed, and all equipment and rain gear which could have been contaminated with Miconia seeds stored in garbage bags or some other container, such as a large plastic storage box, labeled with a warning such as "Warning: Miconia Field Gear, For Miconia Removal Only".

4. Miconia field gear and equipment should be cleaned with soap and water (using a high pressure hose) as often as possible, preferably in a location where the mud and seeds rinsed off do not contaminate other equipment. If possible, this cleaning site should be in an area where the risk of Miconia establishment is minimal, where the drainage will not carry seeds very far, and where any seedling establishment that might occur can be observed and caught at an early stage.

5. If possible, there should be some location to store and dry only equipment and field gear used in the Miconia sites. This location, such as a storage shed, should be securely locked and only accessible by the Miconia field coordinator. There should also be a sign on the storage facility, indicating its contents and purpose.

6. Any work vehicles should only be driven to and from the Miconia site and should NEVER be driven to areas where Miconia does not occur or is not suspected of occurring. If possible, some sign or notice should be attached to the vehicle indicating that it be used for Miconia removal only.

7. As soon as a vehicle exits the Miconia work site and is returned to its baseyard, it should be thoroughly rinsed with a high pressure hose, or even better, steam cleaned at an appropriate facility, such as the county baseyard. Considerations for cleaning field gear (see 4 above) also apply to vehicle cleaning.

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This page was last updated on 23 March 2000 by PT