Invasive Species

Six invasive species images: zebra mussels, researchers and tamarisk, kudzu growing in a pine forest, aquatic weeds, gypsy moth, and man cleaning an ATV after use to wash off potential invasive plants seeds.

Invasive species have been characterized as a “catastrophic wildfire in slow motion.” A species is considered invasive if it is non-native to an ecosystem, and its introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

A wide array of non-native invasive plants, pathogens, algae, vertebrates, and invertebrates negatively affect the condition, functionality, and productivity of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems on our national forests and grasslands. These exotic invaders threaten not only the environment, but also human health and the economy.

It is critical to pro-actively manage all areas of the National Forest System to increase the ability of those areas to be self-sustaining and resistant (resilience) to the establishment of invasive species. In some cases, implementing restoration, rehabilitation, and/or re-vegetation activities following invasive species treatments helps to prevent or reduce the likelihood of the reoccurrence or spread of aquatic or terrestrial invasive species.

Please visit the Invasive Species Program website for more information.