Deciding how to manage an invasive species infestation can be intimidating. Thankfully, there is help available. A resource provided by the University of Minnesota Extension that explains a simple process for planning invasive species management on your land. To prepare yourself for planning, consider the list of questions adapted from that process below, then move on to the more detailed resource.
What invasive species do you have on your land?
Before starting your management, you need to know which invasives are on on your land. You might have only noticed one species previously, but further inspection might reveal more invasives. Consult a professional, if necessary, to determine all invasive species present on your land.
How much of each species do you have?
The distribution and density of infestations will influence which species and which areas you address first. For example, a small patch of knapweed will have a different priority than an infestation that covers many acres.
What is your goal for managing these invasive species?
Contemplate exactly what you want to accomplish with your management. Do you want to increase native flora on your land? Eradicate unpleasant shrubs along trails? Knowing what you want to achieve will inform the order and extent of your management work.
Which species should you address first?
When managing an invasive species infestation, prioritization is vital. Some species may spread faster or cause greater harm in your area. Other species may be more relevant to your management goal. Because you may not be able to eradicate all invasive species on your property, choosing which species to focus on will help you do the most good.
Now that you’ve spent some time thinking about these questions, you are well-prepared to move on to the more detailed resource, which is available on the Minnesota Master Naturalist website. There you will learn how to create a map of infestations, prioritize by species, and consider other factors that affect management.
With a little help, and a little thought, you can make big difference. Good luck!
Community Outreach AmeriCorps member, UMN Extension Regional Office Cloquet, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Andrea Lorek Strauss, UMN Extension