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Governor Gianforte asks Montanans to help combat spread of invasive species


HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today marked the kickoff of National Invasive Species Awareness week (May 15-22) by calling on Montanans to help slow the spread of invasive plants and animals that pose serious threats to Montana’s lands, waters, and economy.

“Everyone can play a part in keeping invasive species out of Montana, which is critical to protecting our communities, economies, and natural resources,” Gianforte said. “We can clean, drain and dry our boats and watercraft. We can identify and report noxious weeds. And we can clean our boots, bikes, and off-road vehicles between uses.”

Invasive aquatic plants in Montana include species such as Eurasian milfoil and flowering rush, which outcompete native plants and can impact boating, swimming and fishing. Terrestrial plants such as rush skeletonweed degrade the productivity of rangelands and crop fields, costing livestock producers in lost forage and crop value.   

Agriculture and outdoor recreation, Montana’s largest economic drivers, are under constant threat from invasive species, DNRC Director Amanda Kaster said.

“If invasive mussels were to become established in our lakes and streams, the annual economic impact could reach an estimated $230 million in lost revenue and mitigation costs to the state. Those costs would impact all of us.”

 National Invasive Species Awareness Week is yearly event to focus public attention on the threats posed by non-native species, and the everyday actions citizens can take to keep them in check. Nationally, invasive species cost the US an estimated $120 billion annually in damages to crops, forests, fish and wildlife, and natural environments.

 Read Governor Gianforte’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week proclamation below.

The Montana Invasive Species Council (MISC) works to protect Montana’s economy, natural resources and public health through coordinated actions to fight invasive species. Educational resources and more information on MISC programs are available at misc.mt.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

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