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Mini-Blog: Invasive Species

Mini-Blog: Invasive Species

It seems as if the year 2020 can’t seem to get worse, but every time I turn around, there it is, even worse. For small islands like that of Hawaii, 2020 has been particularly difficult to navigate. In addition to the threat of COVID-19 and the ravaging effects it could have on a small disconnected island such as itself, climate change has made the year even more challenging. 

Invasive species are increasingly detrimental on small island communities like Hawaii, who have delicate ecosystems that are deeply connected through each organism and their participating contributions to the islands. 

Due to the rapid increase of climate change, these invasive species are being given more advantageous opportunities to thrive and exist in these spaces.

In June of 2020, National Geographic Magazine published an article highlighting the different variables that have led to the blooming invasive population of the coqui. The brown tree frog is native to the island of Puerto Rico, where it is cherished and celebrated.

But on the island of Hawaii, this frog is responsible for the decimation of entire species of insects, birds, and plants. Hawaii has developed in such an isolated and delicate manner with unique properties that are a result of the distance between themselves and the mainlands. 

As a result, when invasive species infiltrate quiet and isolated environments the impacts on the native species are devastating and tremendous. 

But, Hawaii isn’t the only state whose National Forests have been struggling as a result of invasive species. Nearly every National Forest in the United States has been facing a challenging reality of depleted and changed ecosystems as a direct result of invasive species. 

It is estimated that more than 6,500 foreign species exist within the United States. To resolve this issue, the United States Department of Agriculture spends around $2.5 Billion dollars annually to combat invasive species.  

Despite the enormous bill that the U.S. Department of Agriculture foots annually to fight against invasive species, it isn’t enough. National Park workers need more than money to combat these species. They need your help! 

When you’re out in nature and see an invasive species be sure to report it, and if you know the local capturing and eradication procedures, do your part to help eliminate the problem. 

To report an invasive species visit: https://www.eddmaps.org/

But, that isn’t all you can do. Using and suggesting compliance programs, such as Plant Sentry™, can help growers protect their customers and environments from numerous invasive species.

Do your part and suggest Plant Sentry™ and report invasive species!



Citations:

[1] Photograph courtesy Dr. Steve A. Johnson, & Linkel, P. (2020, June 29). National parks are being overrun by invasive species. Retrieved September 21, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/united-states/national-parks/invasive-species-threaten-native-plants-and-animals-visitors-can-help/

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Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

Invasive species, whether they are plants, pests, or diseases wreak major havoc throughout the United States. Bill Jones of Carolina Native Plant Nursery recently published an informative article in Nursery Management Magazine regarding the amount of money spent trying to eradicate these species from each state. 

Costs to Fight Invasive Species Are Staggering

States are spending an estimated $50,000,000,000 to $120,000,000,000 to fight invasive plant species, pests and diseases. With costs as shocking as these, you may be wondering who really pays for it all—and you’ve most likely guessed it. The U.S. taxpayer is paying these astronomical costs. 

In Jones’s article, he questions who is liable for these problems in the first place. One can point the finger in many different directions, but most often the Green Industry is to blame. 

To date, the Green Industry has not hit the liability front for these expensive, vast cleanups. However, as grant funding starts to fall short and less money becomes available, someone is sure to pay. 

We’d all love to believe that controlling invasive species is easy when money is accessible, but it truly isn’t. Anyone having to deal with the eradication of a plant, pest, or disease understands the painful headache accompanying it. 

Small teams of volunteers and grant-funded staff battle invasive plants, pests, and diseases year-round. Some of these species may be too far gone to ever get under control. 

Further, the invasive front often involves organisms that drift into the United States from outside of the country. In order to prevent new plant problems on top of this, there are many educational tools, including Plant Risk Evaluator Tool™ (PRE) from Plant Right® that can be utilized. 

This may be one more thing that lawmakers can use when deciding whether or not to ban a plant. Most states already have invasive species laws and established processes for assessing plants, but any additional strategy has merit.

Regulate to Slow Pests and Diseases

As far as pests and diseases are concerned, such organisms must be regulated to slow the spread. In some cases, regulation offers the opportunity for eliminating them altogether. Several successful programs are currently in use to control the Asian Longhorned Beetle and eradicate the Plum Pox Virus from New York. Though costly, these programs do work, and the end result is extremely rewarding. 

However, it is important to understand that the threat of the spread of pests, diseases, and other invasive species can happen rapidly, especially today. With trade, eCommerce, garden clubs, benefit auctions, countless avenues of transportation, and more, regulation is more critical than ever before. 

Plant Sentry™ Was Developed To Fight Invasive Plants, Pests and Diseases

Plant Sentry™ was developed to help ease the navigation of verifying plant shipments. This can be done any time during the process up until ship point. With proven auditable results, this tool can help stop the spread of pests, diseases, and invasive species. 

Even more, in the case of an emergency, Plant Sentry™ helps mobilize individuals quickly to extinguish the fire. 

Minimizing future liability by buying a product today isn’t only smart—it’s vital. Plant Sentry™ is indubitably a valuable option; it is efficient and direct when used to a grower’s advantage. 

Winning battles against invasive species requires vigilance, and Plant Sentry™ employs this to its core. 

In today’s world, we must all do our part. And so, we urge you to take action. 

Employ these proven tactics. Commit to a healthier, headache-free environment. And better yet, do it today, because tomorrow may be too late. Contact us to start the conversation. Our team is here to help get your questions answered.