Current Events

Our Target Weeds

  • Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
  • Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
  • Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
  • Goatsrue (Galega officinalis)
  • Mile a minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata)
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.)

Early detection species absent or of very limited presence have been identified as:

  • Goatsrue (Galega officinalis)
  • Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  • Phragmites (Phragmites australis)

Other Problem weeds in the watershed:

  • Exotic bush honeysuckle species (Lonicera maackii, L. morrowii, L. tatarica)
  • Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum)
  • Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)


SIPMA Projects

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is prevalent throughout the watershed. Land managers have been controlling knotweed along creeks and small isolated patches on their lands in Cameron, Potter and McKean Counties. Starting in 2009, the Bucktail Watershed Association, a non-profit watershed group and SIPMA partner, initiated a watershed-based eradication and habitat restoration program, starting in the headwaters of the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek and working downstream. The BWA has received many small grants to hire a contractor to treat knotweed, and BWA volunteers have replanted some areas that were once heavily infested with knotweed. Funding has come from the USDA Forest Service, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Sinnemahoning Stakeholders Committee, which disburses funds from Norfolk Southern Chemical Spill settlement. Since 2009, BWA contractors have treated over 43 gross miles of infested stream banks. They also treated 26 upland sites totaling about 4 acres. Over 175 landowners participate in the program.


Glossy buckthorn is an invasive small tree that has become established in the Allegheny National Forest region of Pennsylvania and has begun to spread into the western reaches of the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed near the city of St. Mary's. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is planning on using federal Pittman-Robertson funds to control 234 acres of buckthorn on State Game Lands 14. Additionally, SIPMA received funding from the Sinnemahoning Stakeholders Committee to control buckthorn populations on adjacent properties to the state game lands. Since 2011, 9.2 acres of sensitive wetland and riparian land and over 400 acres of forest land were treated for buckthorn. Property owners in the area north and west of SGL 14 are closely monitoring their property and controlling buckthorn.

Japanese barberry

In the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed, Japanese barberry has escaped from ornamental and wildlife habitat plantings to form dense stands in old fields and in the understory of mature forests on both private and public forestland. Starting in 2010, the Elk State Forest District hired a contractor to treat 83.2 acres of Japanese barberry using a grant received from the Sinnemahoning Stakeholders Committee. In 2014, SIPMA treated about 5 acres on state and private land near Emporium.

Mile a minute

In 2008 the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture began assisting private landowners in Potter and Cameron Counties with the mechanical and chemical control of mile a minute vine on their properties. The PDA has identified mile a minute vine populations on the properties of 73 private landowners. 19% of these landowners are residents, while 81% of the properties are owned by nonresidents as forestland investments or recreational properties. Sixty-five of these landowners have signed permission forms to allow the Department of Agriculture to assist them in the control of mile a minute vine. Since 2009, the Cameron County Conservation District and the Bucktail Watershed Association received funding from the Sinnemahoning Stakeholders Committee to work on an infestation of 192 (gross) acres above the town of Emporium and another three acres near Sterling Run.

Goatsrue and Giant hogweed

Since 2009, the PA Department of Agriculture has assisted landowners with these two federally listed noxious weeds. There are two small, established populations of goatsrue and no hogweed in the SIPMA. DCNR staff and the SIPMA are treating the two goatsrue populations.

Oriental bittersweet

This perennial vine infests about five miles of the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek, from below Stevenson Dam to the junction of State Highways 872 and 120. In 2012, the SIPMA did a demonstration treatment along Hwy 872.

Tree of Heaven

Although this tree is a not yet a big problem in north central PA, we do have several small populations of it here. Starting in 2012, SIPMA sprayed some of these stands with a basal bark treatment, and will continue this work until this species is eradicated from the watershed.


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