Exotic Invasive Plants: Be Part of the Solution
HERE AT POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE
Volunteer! Once or twice a month, volunteers gather at Point Reyes to help vegetation management staff to remove invasive weeds and help restore the health of natural habitats. To get involve, call the park's restoration biologist at (415) 464-5196 or visit our Volunteer: Habitat Restoration page.
Volunteers may also assist with related activities beneficial to habitat restoration, such as rare plant or stream and tidepool monitoring, native seed collection plant propagation, and stream stabilization. For more information, contact the park's volunteer coordinator at (415) 663-8522 ext. 5145.
Become a Weed Watcher. Weed Watchers patrol park trails in spring and summer, detecting and mapping weeds as they first invade. If you enjoy leisurely hikes through the parks but also want to help protect the unique natural resources, then this may be the perfect opportunity for you. Weed Watchers is appropriate for adults and teens.
Visit the San Francisco Bay Area Network's Target Invasive Plants page to view images of some of these high-priority species and to download a set of plant-out-of-place cards that were designed to help with the identification of new invaders of Point Reyes National Seashore while in the exploring the park. If you see any of these plants in the park, take a photo of it or provide a detailed description and note precisely where you found the plant, and then LET US KNOW! Contact Ellen Hamingson at (415) 464-5196 or by email.
If you see these plants-or any other unusual plants-growing in the open space lands of the Bay Area, contact the landowner, your county agriculture department, or a cooperative extension agent. Or report confirmed infestations directly to the Bay Area Early Detection Network.
You can also help after you leave the Seashore. Know and appreciate the distinction between garden plants and plants in natural ecosystems in your area. Understand where they belong, and keep them separate if you have the power to do so. Don't spread any seeds while hiking; don't pick fruits or parts of plants and carry them with you to other places. Checking your clothes and cleaning your boots between outings is good prevention.
At home, consider removing invasive plants from your property and planting native ones (or non-invasive exotics) instead. Gardening and landscaping with native flora usually requires less work, since indigenous plants have evolved to survive in the local environment. They also can make your home a colorful, lively place, by attracting native songbirds and butterflies. Here are some links to get you started:
Our forests across the country are threatened by nonnative insects and diseases that can kill large numbers of trees. Sudden Oak Death, Gold spotted oak borer, pitch canker, Emerald ash borer, and Asian long horned beetle can be transported long distances in firewood. Once transported into new areas, these insects and diseases can become established and kill local trees. Learn how you can help reduce the risk of spreading nonnative insects and diseases.
Preventing the spread of exotic pest plants depends on the awareness, support, and especially participation of everyone, so remember to do your part! Each person's actions matter; don't doubt your personal power to help preserve our world as evolution and Mother Nature have created it.
Working together we can protect the unique natural resources of our area.
View Nonnative Plants of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (22 KB PDF).
Continue reading: References