1. Be on the lookout for invasive species
Learn to identify invasive species, and report them when they are new to an area or expanding into natural areas. Land managers do not always have the resources to thoroughly inventory every invasive species on public lands making your contribution extremely valuable. If you come across a suspected invasive species take pictures that will aid in identification and good locations notes. You can submit pictures and locations of invasive species many ways. UAF hosts a mobile application Alaska Weeds ID, and an online pest reporter. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game also has an online invasive species reporting page, and they host a number 1-877-invasiv. You can also take your pictures, specimens, and location information to a local Cooperative Extension Service office. Avoid collecting species that may be dangerous or could spread to new areas as you take them to an appropriate place to report it. Pictures are often the safer route to go. you do not know and don’t grow them.
2. Landscape with non-invasive plants, and don't release unwanted pets
Gardeners may be tempted to use beautiful plants that are terrible pests once they escape into the wild. The Cooperative Extension Service has a listing of native plants that grow in your area. Contact your local office for more information.
Likewise a pet such as goldfish or turtles that get too big, or can't be moved with you when relocating to a new community should never be released to the wild. Even when the species released may not be a invasive you don't know what diseases and parasites it may have. Not to mention release of fish or animals to the wild is illegal in Alaska.
If you see invasive species sold in your local greenhouse, nursery or pet store, inform the owner that the species is invasive and suggest they not sell the species.
3. Spread the word, not the invasive species
Seeds, spores, and diseases can hitchhike on muddy hiking boots, running shoes, backpacks, farm and garden equipment, boats and aircraft. Clean your infested items to avoid spreading invasive plants to new areas.
Buy certified weed-free forage and mulch. Dog mushing and guided horseback hunts have the potential to spread invasive plant seed into remote areas via bedding and feed.
Volunteer to assist land managers in removing invasive species and restoring native ecosystems. Participate in local community weed pulls, pike derbies, and other removal activities. For information on participating in or organizing a community weed pull, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service, your local Soil and Water Conservation District, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, or look up other local invasive species management organizations.
5. Call your legislators
Express your concerns about the need to manage and control invasive species to your elected representatives and urge them to ensure that the State's quarantine and response programs are up to date and implemented. Spread the word. Share this information with a friend!
For additional resources, visit:
US Department of Interior National Invasive Species Council and read their factsheet (.doc) on taking action.
For further information, contact:
Alaska Invasive Species Partnership (AKISP)
UAF Cooperative Extension Service
3600 Denali St
Anchorage, AK 99503
Attn: Invasive Species Program