National Invasive Species Awareness Week (February 27 -March 3, 2017) kicks off today! Events highlighting efforts to prevent or slow the spread of invasive species will take place across the country. Invasive weeds and pests are more than a gardener’s dilemma, they pose a threat to natural areas, human health, and our local economy.
Why Worry About Invasive Species?
A recent study found an estimated annual loss of almost $83.5 million in personal income to Oregon’s economy from just 25 selected weed species. These costs are estimated to balloon to $1.8 billion if invasive weeds are left untreated. We all pay the bill for invasion of weeds species through increased food costs, higher taxes, and decreased property values. These impacts clearly show the economic benefits associated with controlling invasive weeds
Oregon’s beautiful landscape is also threatened by invasive species that invade our forests and natural areas, replacing native beauty with a weedy and degraded landscape. Fish and wildlife suffer with lost habitat. No one wins with invasive species.
Ten Ways You Can Help
- Learn about invasive weed species, especially those found in your region. The WeedWise Program is a local and trusted resource.
- Learn more about invasive pests that threaten our crops and trees at HungryPests.com.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org.
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org.
- Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org.
- Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free.”
- Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
- Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to the Oregon Invasive Species Hotline. Early detection is the key to success!
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas. Your local watershed council provides many volunteer opportunities!
- Talk to your political representatives at the state, local and national level about your concerns related to invasive species control efforts.
Take a look at The Terrible Twelve in this brochure below!
Looking for alternative to invasive plants? This Gardensmart guide has answers for you!