June is Invasive Species Awareness Month in Wisconsin

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Many events provide opportunities to learn about, help control invasive species

Emerald ash borer - WDNR Photo by Renee PinskiMADISON – June has been declared Invasive Species Awareness Month in Wisconsin, with dozens of events scheduled across the state to help Wisconsin residents and visitors gain a better understanding of the impact of invasive species on the state’s waters, wild lands and agricultural lands.

Invasive Species Awareness Month is a great way to reach out to the community and provide information about some of the invasive species issues that face Wisconsin today,” said plant conservation manager Kelly Kearns, of the Bureau of Endangered Resources. “These events allow us to share information on how invasives are affecting our environment, and share ways to prevent the spread of invasives in our communities and prevent the introduction of new invasive species.”

In 2008, the focus is on aquatic invasives, but educational and hands-on events planned throughout the month will touch on all the invasive species issues Wisconsin faces. Included will be field trips, lectures, boat trips, hikes and work parties. Most events are open to all ages and experience levels, and happen on different days throughout the month of June.

Some examples include: work parties at various locations around the state to remove invasive species, such as garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a Eurasian biennial that rapidly spreads in forests and, although found primarily in the southern and eastern counties, is moving into the rest of the state; an invasive species identification bike ride through Ozaukee County; and workshops hosted by Clean Boats, Clean Waters on how to avoid spreading aquatic invasives.

Aquatic invasive species are a critical issue, given that Wisconsin is bordered by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and has a network of 15,000 lakes and countless streams within its borders. Invasive Species Awareness Month provides an opportunity to help citizens become part of the solution by stopping the introduction, transport and spread of invasive species.

Invasive Species Awareness Month is a project of the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species. More information and a list of Invasive Species Awareness Month events (exit DNR) are available on the council’s Invasive Species Awareness Month Web site [invasivespecies.wi.gov] (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Kearns – (608) 266-5066