The Calusa Land Trust has obtained two Extractigators. These are sturdy, Canadian made tools for removing invasive shrubs and saplings. A grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program made the purchase possible. This pair came with the "big foot" attachment that makes them usable in mucky or soft sand situations.
Pine Island has a number of problematic invasives: Melaleuca, which was introduced on Little Pine Island to remove water from marshy areas, Brazilian Peppers and Carrotwood, spread by birds. Earleaf Acacia, a tree with no pests to keep it in check. The grandfather of invasives: the Australian Pine, a tree easily toppled by hurricanes. All of them displace native species need by wildlife.
The Calusa Land Trust is dedicated to protecting the natural diversity and beauty of the Pine Island region by acquiring, managing and preserving environmentally sensitive lands and historical important sites from the past. These lands become the heritage for future Pine Islanders.
For more information go to www.calusaland-trust.org/ and click on "Our Preserves." CHNEP, the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program is a partnership that protects the natural environment from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. Their website is www.CHNEP.org/
Pine Islanders wishing to use an Extractigator on their own invasives are welcome to borrow them for a short period.
For folks on the Bokeelia end, call Ed Chapin at 239-218-7531. Those living in the St. James zip code call Pat Rooney at 239-282-5811