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National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 22-26, 2021

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread.

  1. WATCH FOR NOXIOUS WEEDS. If you spot some, notify your county weed coordinator https://www.mtweed.org/weeds/weed-districts/ or report to EDDMapS West. eddmaps.org/west/
  2. USE CERTIFIED WEED FREE. Make sure to use weed-free forage, hay and mulch. mt.gov/Noxious-Weed-Seed-Free-Forage
  3. PLANT ONLY NON-INVASIVE PLANTS. Keep your garden free of known invasive plants. Many invasive species introductions come from the ornamental trade. mtnativeplants.org/
  4. CLEAN YOUR GEAR. Always wash and dry your boots, bikes, waders, boats, trailers, and off-road vehicles between uses. playcleango.org/
  5. CLEAN.DRAIN.DRY. Aquatic invasive species are often inadvertently spread by boats. Clean. Drain. Dry. every time you use your boat. http://cleandraindry.mt.gov/
  6. DON’T LET IT LOOSE. Dispose of unwanted pets, aquarium plants and water, and live bait the proper way, and not into waterways. Be a responsible pet owner. dontletitloose.com/state/montana/
  7. DON’T MOVE FIREWOOD. Buy it where you burn it or gather it on-site. Firewood can harbor pests and disease, and Montana depends on its healthy forests. dontmovefirewood.org
  8. SQUEAL ON PIGS. If you see a feral swine, or signs of their damage such as excessive rooting or digging, report it immediately by calling 406-444-2976. https://invasivespecies.mt.gov/montana-invasive-species/squeal-on-pigs

 “Invasive species are a global problem that starts at home,” said Belle Bergner, director of the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). “Everyone can do something to prevent invasive species from taking over agricultural and natural environments, and we encourage organizations and individuals to take leadership teaching their community about how to solve invasive species issues locally,” said Bergner. Invasive species cost the United States $137 billion annually in damages to crops, forests, fish, and other wildlife. In Montana, if invasive mussels alone were to become established, our state economy could see more than $230 million in annual mitigation costs and lost revenue.

“Montana’s natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities are what makes living in Montana so extraordinary, and they contribute significantly to our state’s economy,” said Bryce Christiaens, Chair of the Montana Invasive Species Council. “Invasive species threaten our livelihood, land, and water. We all must do everything we can to prevent and stop invasive species to protect the state we love,” said Christiaens.

Click here to watch a video sharing the importance of protecting Montana's Agricultural lands and natural resources from invasive species such as noxious weeds, feral swine, pests like the emerald ash borer, and more.