Management of Invasive Plants and Noxious Weeds

Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR)
photo of man next to sign stating citizen weed warriors at work

Alaska is in the unique position to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species and avoid the detrimental impacts experienced in the other parts of the world. The most cost effective option, both economically and ecologically, for controlling invasive species involves early detection of establishing invasive species and a rapid response to their presence.

The overall goal of the EDRR invasive species is to minimize the establishment and spread of new species through a coordinated framework of public and private partners and processes.

Five elements of EDRR: 

  • Detection and Reporting 
  • Identification and Vouchering 
  • Rapid Assessment 
  • Planning 
  • Rapid Response 

In Alaska, EDRR systems include many federal, state, and private agencies such as USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Division of Agriculture, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, University of Alaska, and local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas.

Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs)

CISMAs are a model for organizing effective weed management programs at the local level.  CISMAs in Alaska often are within Soil and Water or Tribal Conservation District (SWCD) boundaries.  This system provides a structure for: funding, coordination of education, research, inventorying, monitoring, and on-the ground management of invasive species. 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM technician examining an insect while child stands by

IPM is a commonsense approach to achieving long-term management of pest problems with minimal impact on human health, the environment and non-target organisms. This approach focuses on the biology of pests and their relationship to the environment. The first step in an IPM program is to identify any organism in question, and to completely investigate the situation. IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls. Strategies for IPM may include the application of physical, cultural, mechanical, biological or chemical controls. Resources: