Humans adores trees. But humans also migrate and trade, habits that led to the accidental introduction of insects and diseases that harm trees and alter the landscape. Examples are easy to find and may be outside your front door: American elms that once dotted streets across America succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Now all colors of ash species – black, green, white, pumpkin, and blue – are threatened by emerald ash borer. The already uncommon butternut tree, also known as white walnut, faces the possibility of extinction from a mysterious attacker. Many invasive insects and fungi come from regions where native trees have evolved to resist their attacks. When these species enter the United States, they find trees that lack this resistance. There's no immediate end to this dismal pipeline, but there is hope on the horizon.
What You Can Do
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; Wildlife Forever; USDA. Forest Service.
Wild Spotter is a nationwide effort to complete a comprehensive map and survey of prioritized invasive through on-the-ground activities accomplished by citizen science volunteers.
You can help fight back against invasive species in America's wild places by downloading the free Wild Spotter Mobile App on your smartphone or other mobile devices. You'll learn how to identify, map, and prevent the spread of these invaders in order to protect our rivers, mountains, forests, and all wild places for future generations. Learn more by watching the Wild Spotter Introduction Video. To become a volunteer, register either online or download the Wild Spotter Mobile App. Once registered, reach out to your nearest National Forest or Grassland to discover how you can volunteer to help support and protect these beautiful places from invasive species. Then, just get outside and enjoy America's wild places while keeping an eye out for those harmful invaders!
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for What You Can Do
Council or Task Force
Invasive Species Council of British Columbia.
Every one in British Columbia can play our part to stop the spread of invasive species and protect our province. By following these simple steps, we can each help protect British Columbia's biodiversity and economy. Familiarize yourself with the following best practices and tell your friends. Together, we can all play our part.
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers is an ANS Task Force public awareness campaign intended to educate the public on aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and stop or reduce unintended spread of ANS to new habitat by recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, waterfowl hunting, SCUBA diving or snorkeling, windsurfing, seaplane operations, personal watercraft use, and recreational bait harvesting. This campaign is supported by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.
United States Department of Agriculture; DHS. Customs and Border Protection; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Don't Pack a Pest's goal is to educate travelers about the risks associated with carrying certain types of food, plants, or other agricultural items in passenger baggage and encouraging travelers to declare agricultural items and Don’t Pack a Pest. This inter-governmental program is working to safeguard food and agriculture in the U.S. and beyond.
Upper Columbia Conservation Commission; Montana Invasive Species Council.
To prevent and stop invasive species we need your help. You can take simple actions to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and invasive species.
Portland State University (Oregon).
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; USDA. Forest Service.
Interagency partners in Minnesota have launched PlayCleanGo, an education and outreach campaign for outdoor recreationalists. The goal is to encourage outdoor recreation while protecting valuable natural resources. The objective is to slow or stop the spread of terrestrial invasive species (those that occur on land) through changes in public behavior. See how you can take action and stop invasive species in your tracks.
The third annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is June 5-12, 2021 across North America. The goal of the campaign is to show outdoor enthusiasts how they can stop invasive plants and pests from spreading — while enjoying the great outdoors.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
This site can help you determine what items can be brought into the U.S. Bringing food and other items back from your travels could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. For example, travelers cannot bring in most fresh fruits and vegetables because they can carry plant pests or diseases. Just one pest could devastate multiple agricultural industries.
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).
The departments of agriculture and primary industries across Australia have proudly partnered with Costa Georgiadis of Gardening Australia to develop a suite of interactive and digital resources which showcase the importance of biosecurity across Australia. Join us on Mission: Biosecurity. As you Watch, Play & Listen, you’ll discover what Biosecurity is, how it can impact our way of life and how we can all help protect our environment, community and economy from biosecurity baddies. Biosecurity – Be a part of it!
State and Local Government
Idaho State Department of Agriculture.
It is important to stop new outbreaks before they start. You can protect Idaho from invasive species by taking action. By the time an invader is readily noticeable and begins to cause damage, it is often too late, resulting in an expensive removal of the established invader. If we detect new outbreaks early and act quickly to control them, we can avoid many of the environmental and economic losses caused by invasive species.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Do you hike, ride, bird, camp, fish, or otherwise recreate in state parks, forests or wildlands? Lend YOUR eyes to help Maryland's biodiversity! The Maryland Natural Heritage Program designed Statewide Eyes to allow volunteers and researchers alike to collect more information about invasive plants on state lands quickly. Volunteers (like you!) use a free mobile application called the Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network (MAEDN) to identify, photograph and map the location of invasive plants, focusing on ecologically significant sites.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
See also: Georgia Invasive Species Task Force Publications for more resources