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Residents can take action to eliminate invasive species

Feather Publishing
8/5/2014
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has designated the week of Aug. 2 – 10 as California Invasive Species Action Week.
To assist in the fight against invasive species, the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, Feather River Resource Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Feather River Land Trust will offer a walking workshop Wednesday, Aug. 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Learning Landscapes Leonhardt property (meet at the tennis courts by the Quincy High School).

Participants will learn about invasive species, as well as how to identify, manage and report them once introduced.

The term invasive species might conjure images of a pesky weed in your backyard or fanciful thoughts of aliens invading from outer space. In reality, invasive species pose an increasingly serious threat to communities and ecosystems around the world — including Plumas and Sierra counties.

What is an invasive species? An invasive species is a non-native organism that has a negative impact on the environment, economy or human health. When a species enters a new environment, it often lacks the predators or controls that normally limit growth, allowing aggressive species that tolerate a broad range of habitats and compete strongly for resources to proliferate and take over new ecosystems.

Invasive species are considered a major threat to the environment because of their ability to change habitats and alter the way an ecosystem functions. The spread of invasive species is the second greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide, after habitat destruction. In addition, damaging effects may influence human activities, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and health. In the U.S. alone the estimated economic impact of invasive species totals $120 billion a year.

The most effective and cost-efficient way to fight the spread of invasive species is prevention, which includes good sanitation practices, sources of weed-free landscape materials and selection of non-invasive alternatives for the garden. Once invasives are introduced, early detection and removal are key to successful eradication.

The University of California Master Gardener Program provides the public with UC research-based information about home horticulture, sustainable landscape and pest management practices. It is administered by local University of California Cooperative Extension county offices, which are the principal outreach and public service arms of the university’s division of agriculture and natural resources.


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