As winter comes to a close you may be looking forward to gardening, hoping a weedless lawn will thank you for your efforts. But inevitably, when the snow finally melts, seedlings of your least favorite weeds will begin to pop up in areas that you have treated, pulled, and dead-headed until you were sure they were all gone.
In much of North America, winter is a time where we don’t think a lot about plants apart from Christmas trees, especially where there’s snow on the ground. However, it’s a key time for seeds spread and even the beginnings of sprouting. A Play Clean Go pledge is just as important in January as it is in June!
Established invasive species populations take time and money to control and are an eyesore that can alter migration routes, increase fine fuels for fires, and choke out native vegetation. It would make sense to assume that the most established infestation of invasive species would be public enemy number one, but it’s not. For widespread infestations, suppression and education are key to inch towards control. New invasive species should be at the top of every invasive species manager’s priority list.
You have this person in your life. You may classify this person in a few ways: unconventional, outdoorsy, adventurous. And this person may seem hard to shop for. They have everything they need, and don’t really like extra “stuff” lying around. So, what do you do?
Here are some gifts for the outdoor enthusiast in your life that you'll love to give — and they'll love to get.
Trudging through the crunchy snow searching for the perfect Christmas tree is a great memory for many of us, one we look forward to repeating every year.
But for wildlife, newly cut Christmas trees, firewood and greenery can be a source of deadly diseases, pests, and other invasive species.
Fortunately, it’s easy to make sure your Christmas tree traditions and holiday greenery are not contributing to the spread of invasive species.
A month ago, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced it may narrow the scope of the Endangered Species Act. While PlayCleanGo’s message promotes preventing the spread of invasive species, our members know their work is a means to an end: to protect the lands and waters that we love.
By some estimates, “400 of the 958 species listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act are at risk primarily because of competition with and predation by non-indigenous species.” As recreationists, we all have opportunities to make big differences in the places we visit.
When you're trying to spread the word about invasive species, it can be hard to know you're making a difference. For agency leaders, people working on the ground, and recreationists involved in outreach efforts, evidence of impact can be hard to come by.
Using communications goals and technology, marketing methodology, and consistent messages can help, both by providing measures of success that you can celebrate, and by guiding you toward activities that are more likely to reach people and change their behaviors.
Whether you paddle board, mountain bike, hike, or fish, you have experienced visitor management tools.
Water access, trail, and parking design all are visitor management. Signs, interpretive talks, trifold pamphlets, and campground hosts also are visitor management. We look at issues like wildfires, littering, wildlife harassment, and crowding through the lens of the visitor so why not invasive species?
You’ve played, you’ve cleaned, and you’ve gone. And still your favorite outdoor ecosystem has fallen prey to invasive species. Is the battle over, or are there more ways to do your part?
While prevention is the most vital step in invasive species management, sometimes an infestation can’t be helped. Once a noxious weed infestation has been established on your property, you've got to figure out what to do with it. That can be a discouraging prospect.
For example, let's say you discover a musk thistle infestation. After doing some research and consulting local experts, you learn this plant's seeds survive in the soil for 50 years, and controlling them can be daunting task.
But total eradication isn't always a realistic or desirable goal when responding to an invasive species infestation. In fact, once you know an infestation exists, there are three different major control goals to consider: eradication, containment, and suppression.