While public involvement in monitoring for non-native species is a vital element of any effective invasive species program, it is more important in Alaska given our extensive coastlines and expansive uplands.
To increase the efficiency of citizen volunteers, a system must be in place that allows both ease in the submission of reports and timely responses to requests for information. A rudimentary structure is now in place to facilitate these two goals. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game invasive species program has established a toll-free number that can be called to report potential invasive species. This number is 1-877-INVASIV.
Easy to remember, and placed on ADF&G invasive species related handouts, it has been used many times both by Alaska residents and visitors. All calls go directly to the ADF&G Program Coordinator's telephone who answers the report or request personally or, when expertise is lacking, passes it on to another expert.
While it is not uncommon for a report to turn out to be a misidentification, this must not deter you public from calling in. When you see a strange plant, fish or other critter and can't figure it out yourself, call and you just might be helping to keep Alaska pristine.