Lee Krueger: Terrestrial Invasive Species Expert
Lee Krueger is a local expert who works for local Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Districts and volunteers with the Cedar Lake Conservation Foundation trying to eliminate the non-native terrestrial invasives.
Here is an excerpt from an interview during fall 2016 where Lee explains his invasive control technique:
"I spray them and don’t pull them. I use what’s called the Basal bark treatment technique. Don’t spray everything. Just base of plant. It kills the plant only not all the plants around. How do you get to base? Identify, grab the individual plant, and spray the base."
"A common invasive by the lakes is the Buckthorn plant. This grows to 10 feet and gets berries. I try to kill the seed producer and get them while they are young. Very hard to control."
"Autumn Olive and Bush Honeysuckle are a couple others. A sprayer would spray the nanny berries. So much to find. So much to do. Need to spray on days where it’s not too wet. Early October is the best time to see invasives. The native plants drop their leaves then."
Lee explained that he is a different sprayer than some people hire. Some sprayers spray everything, but Lee won't spray native plants that were here when settlers got to this area. He alerts people about his philosophy so they can make a choice to use him or not.
"A Basal Bark Technique Sprayer has to have two good skills: 1) Identification skills 2) Dexterity to use the sprayer correctly to get the individual plant"
Lee said that while he respects the Aquative Invasive work being done that he'd rather be a looking for terrestrial invasives. "It is hard to get rid of the lake mussels once they get in. I’d rather get rid of terrestrial invasives. I can see that I’m helping."
Lee has also helped Norb Yogerst and his 4H kids and Brad Steckart (Washington County AIS worker) raise beetles to be used to control invasives like Purple Loosestrife. As a former school teacher, Lee was a valuable communicator about terrestrial invasive identiication and his work when Slinger High School students visited Big Cedar Lake to learn about workers who helped sustain the lake areas in October 2016.
Native Plant Shoreline along Hwy NN by Little Cedar Lake. The UW-Extension Shoreland Stewardship Program recommends native plant shoreland buffers.
Lee Krueger (right) helps County Invasives worker Brad Steckart (middle) discuss invasive species work at Big Cedar Lake.