BLM Alaska Weeds and Invasives Program
Invasive Plants Management
One of the BLM's highest priorities is to promote ecosystem health and one of the greatest obstacles to achieving this goal is the rapid expansion of weeds across public lands. These invasive plants can dominate and often cause permanent damage to natural plant communities. If not eradicated or controlled, weeds will continue to jeopardize the health of the public lands and to constrain the myriad activities that occur on public lands.
Does Alaska have a Weed Problem?
The perception that Alaska doesn’t have much of a weed problem is false. Inventories statewide have identified over 27,000 infestations. BLM-Alaska has identified over 800 infestations along the Dalton Highway alone. Despite these figures, invasive species have not expanded greatly within the state. Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) to prevent expansion is a BLM priority and the most effective way to protect Alaska from the damages done by invasive species.
Why worry about Noxious Weeds and Invasive Plants?
Non-native plants are plants that have been brought to a place either intentionally or unintentionally by people. Many non-native plants have the potential to rapidly expand unassisted in Alaska's natural areas, and have a negative impact on these places. Some of these species could be considered for listing as noxious weeds by state or federal agencies.
Noxious Weeds and Invasive species:
- destroy wildlife habitat
- reduce opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping and other recreational activities
- displace many Threatened and Endangered Species
- reduce plant and animal diversity due to monocultures of a single species
- disrupt waterfowl and neo-tropical migratory bird flight patterns and nesting habitats
- cost millions of dollars in treatment and loss of productivity to private land owners
Help Slow the Spread of Noxious Weeds and Invasive Plants!
An individual can do many things to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds. Become familiar with the noxious weeds in your area and treat them on your own property to prevent their spread. Wash your vehicles and equipment before venturing into new areas to prevent tracking weeds into non-infested areas. Report weeds on BLM administered lands to the local BLM weed coordinator.