What Management Looks Like

Given the range of landscapes, human activities and invasive plant responses, management can and will differ across the CWMA.  In general, partner organizations follow some variant of Integrated Pest Management, or IPM.  IPM is a philosophy of management that seeks to maximize effectiveness of treatment while minimizing unwanted side-effects.  Practically speaking, this means avoiding one-size-fits-all approaches and paying more attention to a site’s specific requirements.  Easier said than done, but here are some of the tools commonly used in pursuit of invasive control:

 

Prevention

It almost goes without saying, but here we are.  Preventing the arrival of an invasive species is by far the most cost-effective approach.  It’s much easier to manage plants that aren’t there!

Early detection/rapid response (ED/RR)

A stitch in time saves nine.  Early detection means small patches, small crews, less or no herbicide, little soil damage, and no replacement plants.  Given how fast some species move across the landscape, catching them early makes sense.  

Hand-pulling

Overwhelmingly recommended for most species in urban settings, hand-pulling is impractical in many rural, agricultural, or forest settings.  Hand-pulling may not be safe on slopes, and can damage soils when done across large areas.  Hand-pulling can also create favorable conditions for regrowth of the target weed or other invasive plants.  These waves of emerging plants may or may not be what you want.

Biocontrols

Biocontrols are another useful tool, assuming the insects used are given sufficient background testing.  However, biocontrols are assumed to miss a percent of a target species out in the world.  For this reason, biocontrols are not a ‘silver bullet.’  They’re a last resort aimed at tolerating, not eradicating, a target species.