Invasive Plant Awareness

The term "Noxious Weed" refers to any non-native, invasive plant. The presence of these plants, whether indirect or direct, is detrimental to the local environment, agricultural crops and/or other desirable plants, livestock, or public and/or private property. Additionally, these plants may pose potential threats to the public health such as is the case with Giant Hogweed. While invasive plant species may appear aesthetically pleasing, caution must be taken because they can pose serious environmental threats.

What is an Invasive Plant Species

An "invasive species" as defined by Executive Order 13112, is:
  • Any species (including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating) that is Non-native to an ecosystem and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

  • See Executive Order 13112 for more information. The Executive Order was published February 3rd, 1999 and "called upon executive departments and agencies to take steps to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species, and to support efforts to eradicate and control invasive species that are established."

How Do Invasive Plants Impact Us?

Invasive Species can effect negatively effect ecosystems in a multitude of ways. Effects can include:

  • Displacing native species.
  • Reducing native wildlife habitat.
  • Degrading recreational areas.
  • Reducing forest health and productivity.
  • Altering ecosystem processes.

What Can You Do To Help?

  • Learn to identify! Learning to identify invasive plants is the first step in protecting our native ecosystems. Learn more about invasive species in Vermont.

  • Routinely clean your boots, gear, boats, tires, and any other equipment exposed to both aquatic and terrestrial elements to remove potential insect and/or plants that may go on to spread invasives to new areas. Avoid or limit activity and recreation in regions with invasive species infestations.
  • Plant native plants and remove any exotic ornamental plants in the garden. Never purchase or plant invasive species; there are many good native alternatives to choose from. Be aware of invasive species that have been historically used for wildlife habit projects.
  • Buy firewood that is within 30 miles of your campground when camping instead of bringing your own from home or out of state. Invertebrates and plants can readily be transported on firewood hauled to and from a campsite. This can cause an invasive to be inadvertently brought to a new area.