Everyone who takes care of land from square foot gardeners to those of us trying to manage multiple acres has their most wanted list of invasives plants.
The lists are getting longer. According to James Reinartz of the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium , the cost to
the U.S. economy to monitor, contain, and control non-native invasive
species is approaching $200 billion per year – an annual cost
greater than that for all natural disasters combined.
We are not just fighting to keep a few pretty native flowers blooming. Invasive plants and animals are destroying our forests and our farmlands.
Sometimes it helps me keep motivated in my own skirmishes against invasive species to know that people are working on this all over the country and around the world.
Here are three efforts that help me keep hopeful.
1. The Wisconsin DNR is offering a handy poster you can download with easy to identify images of 16 of the baddies. And for more detailed info, you candownload A Field Guide to Terrestrial Invasive Plants in Wisconsin
2, Research published in the
journal, Invasive Plant Science and Management recently discusses how if an exotic plant species does enter a new country, our best bet is early detection and eradication. (It’s kind of like what the what the Daleks on Dr. Who – “Locate and annialate!) But even the Daleks would have a hard time keeping up with the level of alien plants getting footholds in new regions throughout the country.
So a new system is being used to concentrate efforts where they can be most useful.
Using a GIS (geographic information system) by predicting where a new plant will be likely to gain a foothold and try to stomp its toes right then and there. This will mean county watch lists can be prepared for the areas most likely to be hit.
I like this plan.
3. I also just discovered another resource that is battling invaisives on a national scale. The National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species http://www.necis.net/
They have a nice web page called What You Can Do. Check it out.
One thing they mention is: avoid buying and planting mixtures of seeds, especially ones labeled “wildflowers.” Evidently they may well contain invasives. Yikes.
Winter is a good time to inform ourselves about what new invasives we need to be looking for when the plants begin to grow again next spring. It’s not as fun as looking through seed catalogs but it’s just as necessary.
I’ll be posting about some specific additions in the coming months that we need to put on our watch lists.
Who is at the top in your Rogue’s Gallery? Let us know what you are on the look out for.