Invasive weeds are non-native invasive plants that can harm the social, economic, and ecological resources of our community. Read our WeedWise Program brochure (PDF, 1.8 Mb).
How do weeds affect us?
Invasive weeds may:
- Displace native vegetation
- Reduce crop yields
- Harm fish and wildlife
- Adversely affect human health
- Damage property and infrastructure
- Reduce forage for livestock and wildlife
- Decrease property values
- Increase erosion
- Decrease water quality and quantity
- Limit land use
- Disrupt ecological processes
Invasive weeds are a form of biological pollution that alter landscapes.
They not only degrade the quality of our land but convert that land into new sources of biological pollution. Controlling these invasives eliminates the current infestation and prevents the establishment of additional infestations. As a result, controlling our invasive weeds is imperative to preserving the integrity of our public and private lands.
Weeds have a total impact of billions of dollars.
It has been estimated that weeds have a total direct and indirect impact of 143 billion dollars per year within the United States. Within the state of Oregon the cost associated with just the twenty-one noxious weed species costs the residents of Oregon $125 million dollars1 a year in lost agricultural production, fire damage, and control expenses. These expenses are absorbed by all of us through increased food costs, higher taxes, and decreased property values. These economic impacts clearly demonstrate the potential economic benefits associated with controlling invasive weeds.
Weeds can have a profound impact on our native ecosystem.
This occurs when weeds displace diverse native plant communities and replace them with weedy monocultures. This expansion of weed populations alters ecological processes and disrupts complex food webs which adversely affect fish and wildlife. The result is a loss in biodiversity that leaves behind a landscape that is much less productive and less resilient to changing environmental conditions. Weeds result in land that is homogenous and less like what we love about Oregon.