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What is the Forest Service Doing to Help?

The Forest Service has developed a National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management, released in 2013, to help guide its efforts in addressing the invasive species problem in the U.S. The Forest Service will focus on four key elements for invasive species research and management:

Prevention. Keep invasive species out of the Nation’s forests and grasslands and identify potential introduction pathways for known threats. The most effective strategy to protect forests, waterways, and grasslands from invasive species is to prevent invasive species introduction and establishment. The Forest Service actively works to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species that adversely affect the health and sustainability of U.S. forests, watersheds, and grasslands. The Forest Service coordinates and cooperates with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and other State and Federal agencies, as necessary, and helps inform the public about invasive species threats and their management. The Forest Service supports this element through research, resource stewardship, active collaborative efforts, education and outreach activities, and the development of new technology.

Detection. Survey to detect new invasive species and monitor existing priority species. Detection and monitoring provide the basis for control and management efforts and are critical to success. Using risk assessments and pathway analysis, detection efforts for priority species can be directed towards high-risk areas. When early detection is combined with other tools, such as rapid response, it leads to a more effective invasive species management approach. The Forest Service is developing and implementing more efficient survey and monitoring tools and technologies. This will facilitate earlier detection of invasive species and allow for the rapid assessment of their potential impact on forest and grassland health.

Control and Management. Directly eradicate (if possible), control, or manage priority invasive species on priority acres to minimize their spread and adverse effects. Based on integrated pest management principles, such as using risk assessments, identifying thresholds for actions, and identifying expected outcomes, management activities can aim to eradicate an infestation, to contain its spread, or to mitigate its impacts. The Forest Service will directly intervene, when cost-effective, to manage populations of invasive species that threaten forest and grassland health and sustainability. If eradication is not feasible, the Forest Service will implement integrated pest management and adaptive management techniques to help maintain ecosystem function.

Restoration and Rehabilitation. Minimize or reverse adverse ecosystem effects caused by invasive species. Restoring landscapes that have been impacted by invasive species or associated management activities is necessary for improving ecosystem integrity and function and might reduce vulnerability to invasive species establishment in the future. Restoring and maintaining the health, functions, and productivity of areas affected by invasive species is consistent with management guidance on restoring national forests and the effective use of native species.

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