I’m an avid camper. There’s nothing better than spending a week in the woods enjoying the calm and quiet beauty of nature. Food tastes best to me when it’s cooked over a campfire. And I want to make sure that I’ll always be able to go camping when I want to relax.
But there are threats to my favorite pastime. Invasive species are threatening our forests. They can hitch a ride from location to location in many ways, including firewood, on gear and even on people or animals.
So what can all of us outdoor enthusiasts do to help keep invasive species in check? There are some simple steps to follow to make sure our outdoors remains healthy and available for us all to enjoy.
• Don’t move firewood. Buy or collect your firewood where you are going to burn it so you don’t move pests to new areas.
• Learn to recognize invasive plants. That way you can avoid passing through them and unintentionally spreading their seed and making the infestation worse.
• Report any invasive pest sightings to the local land manager or a local APHIS office. You can click on the “Report a Pest or Disease” link at www.aphis.usda.gov.
• Use weed-free hay and feed for your animals.
• Always remember to clean your equipment, boots, clothing, animals and gear between trips. And don’t forget to remove all seeds and plant parts. It’s best to clean your gear before leaving an infested area.
If you follow these simple suggestions, you’ll be protecting both our forests and your favorite outdoor activity. So join the fight against invasive species today!
For more information on invasive pests, visit www.HungryPests.com.