STOP INVASIVE SPECIES IN YOUR TRACKS

There are many things you can do to help slow the spread of invasive species. One of the most effective ways to manage invasive species is to Take Action and Get Involved. Here are some easy action steps you can take:

 

Campers

Whether you use a tent, RV, or nothing but the clear blue sky, it's important to not accidently move invasive species from place to place, particularly in firewood. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean. Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Use only local or certified firewood. Before camping, check for any firewood restrictions at your intended campsite. Shop ahead of time to locate a source of firewood near your campsite. Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host.
  3. Use weed-free or certified hay. Use weed-free hay when horseback riding or using hay for other purposes. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  4. Stay on designated trails. Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  5. Leave clean. Before leaving your campsite, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you or your belongings. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Trailusers

Whether walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV, it's important to make sure you don't accidentally move invasive species from place to place. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean. Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Use weed-free or certified hay. When horseback riding, use weed-free or certified hay. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  3. Stay on designated trails. Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  4. Leave clean. Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Homeowners

Not all nonnative plants are bad. But some really attractive plants can escape into natural areas and become harmful invaders. By following these few steps you can help manage your garden and help preserve neighboring wildlands.

  1. Be informed. Learn about the invasive species that are a problem in your area. If you see them for sale at your local nursery, let them know about your concerns. Learn about and use native plants that grow well in your area.
  2. Use plants known to be good neighbors. Avoid nonnative plants that sel--seed because they may move outside your garden.
  3. Know your plant source. Inquire about the source of the plants you buy. Plants grown in your region are likely to fare better. Make sure they are labeled properly. Young woody plants may be difficult to identify until they begin to flower. And make sure the potted plants you buy are free of any weeds.
  4. Use certified or "weed-free" material. Inquire about the source of any material you bring into your yard, including soil, mulch, gravel, or decorative rock. Where available, buy certified weed-free material.

Field Workers

By following these simple steps, you can help protect your business investments, enhance work relationships, and protect the environment.

  1. Come Clean. Before leaving the shop, take a little time to inspect your gear and remove dirt, plants, and seeds from clothing, boots, gear, and vehicles.

  2. Use weed-free materials. When bringing soil, gravel, or other material onto a work site, check your sources to make sure they are weed free. Where the only available sources are known to be infested with invasive plants, scrape off the top 6 inches of material and set aside. Then use the newly exposed material for the project at hand.
  3. Burn or utilize wood waste. Pallets, packing material, and containers made from untreated wood can harbor plant pests. Plan ahead to either burn or utilize wood waste. One option is chipping the wood and selling it as biofuel.
  4. Stay in designated areas. Check with the project manager to identify designated areas for parking and areas for storing supplies and equipment. Then stay within those designated areas.
  5. Start at the cleanest site. When mowing, grading, or doing other work that involves moving from site to site, plan your work so that you start at the least infested site and finish at the most infested site. Between sites, use a brush or hand tool to remove accumulations of mud and plant debris.
  6. Leave clean. Before heading back to the shop, inspect your vehicle and gear. When available, use a power washer or air compressor to remove any dirt, plants, seeds, or bugs. When these are not available, use a brush or other hand tool to knock off dirt clods and plant debris.