Homework Helpers

Invasive Species

Nonnative invasive plants – or weeds – are spreading at an alarming rate, estimated at about 4,600 acres per day on federal lands alone in the Western United States. In fact, invasive plants have more than quadrupled their range in the Western United States in 10 years – from 1985-1995 – to an estimated 17 million acres.

These invasive plants destroy wildlife habitat, threaten endangered species and native plants, increase soil erosion and groundwater loss, and block recreational opportunities.

But there is good news. Recent inventories indicate that less then 10 percent of public lands have serious invasive plant problems. The challenge is to prevent the spread of invasive plants to non infested areas. Students and others can make a big difference by getting involved, learning to identify invasive plants, taking care not to spread them, reporting them when found, and enlisting the help of others in the community. 


Resources

Silent Invaders
Developed by Florida State University's Science Education Department in cooperation with the BLM to engage middle school students in learning about invasive plants and animals. Includes a colorful and informative field guide to the top 20 most troublesome plant and animal species, an invasive plant control game, videos offering basic background information, and an educator's guide.

BLM Invasive Plants Website
Serves both as a gateway (with links to other BLM and non-BLM invasive plant sites) and provides general information (Such as the BLM National Strategy, "Weeds Wanted" posters, Frequently Asked Questions, and more). 
 

Silent Invaders (Walk on the Wild Side/Support Your Public Lands)
"Where's Weedo" (Walk on the Wild Side/Support Your Public Lands)
These two pages are from the BLM activity book, Walk on the Wild Side, written for an elementary school audience. The first link provides a brief introduction to the invasive plant problem and the second contains an exercise where students identify invasive and native plants.


State and Field Office Pages

Alaska - Noxious and Invasive Weed Program
Photos of common invasive plants and other information about invasive plants in Alaska.

California - State Office Invasive Plants Home Page
General information on BLM's invasive plant management program in California with links to BLM field office websites on invasive plants.

Colorado - Non-Native Invasive Plant (Weed) Management Program
Background information on weeds and the weed management program in Colorado; includes links to educational materials, other organizations, and a "Weed Gallery."

Idaho - Noxious Weeds Program 
Describes extent of weed infestation in Idaho and includes chart identifying species of particular concern.

Nevada's War Against Weeds
Describes Nevada's problems with noxious weeds and with invasive annual grasses and what BLM is doing to manage invasive weeds.

Oregon - Invasive Weeds Management
Description of Oregon's Invasive Weed program and links to additional weed sites.

Wyoming - Invasive Plants Program
Introduction to weed problem with links to information about specific Wyoming weeds, their impacts, and how they are being controlled.