Michigan releases plan to manage land-based invasive species

The Department of Natural Resources today announced the availability of Michigan’s Terrestrial Invasive Species State Management Plan, a comprehensive strategy to prevent and control land-based invasive plants, animals, insects and tree diseases and to reduce their environmental and economic effects. The plan also provides a roadmap for coordinating those efforts at the federal, state and local level.

The plan was developed by the state’s Terrestrial Invasive Species Core Team, which includes representatives from the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Transportation.

From the emerald ash borer, which devastated forests and urban landscapes throughout most of the state, to feral swine and Japanese stiltgrass – an invasive grass discovered just last summer in three southeast Michigan locations – terrestrial invasive species are taking their toll on Michigan.

“Our experiences with these and other invasive species have shown us the need to work together with federal, state and local partners, and often other states to determine the best management strategies and to have the boots on the ground needed to locate and manage infestations,” said John Bedford, Pest Response Program specialist with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The plan’s first three goals – prevention, early detection and response, and control and restoration – mirror the three stages of invasive species management. The fourth goal, collaboration, is necessary for future success.

“Preventing new invaders from entering Michigan is the most crucial step we can take,” said DNR invasive species coordinator Greg Norwood. “That prevention protects our natural resources and is far more cost-effective than responding to and managing an invasive species once it has arrived.”

The plan also stresses the need for advances in detection and treatment technologies to assist with the management of existing terrestrial invasive species like hemlock woolly adelgid and oak wilt.

The Terrestrial Invasive Species State Management Plan and responses to public comments on the document are available in the Control and Management section of the invasive species website.

For more information about invasive species and ways to prevent their entry or spread, visit www.michigan.gov/invasives.