Invasive Species Management Practices
An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm to Michigan's economy, environment, or human health. Many non-native species in Michigan, including fruits, vegetables, field crops, livestock, and domestic animals are important to our economy and lifestyle. Most non-native species are not harmful and may provide economic benefits. Invasive species cause harm when they out-compete native species by reproducing and spreading rapidly in areas where they have not natural predators and change the balance of the ecosystems we rely on.
A new effort is underway in our area, thanks to funding received from the Michigan DNR, DEQ, and Agriculture and Rural Development Departments' Invasive Species Grant Program. A Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) has recently been formed for Barry, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo (BCK) Counties. The BCK CISMA was formed as a part of a statewide effort for more effective management of and education about invasive plants and animals through regional community-based collaborations. For information, contact Fallon Januska, CISMA Coordinator at (269) 908-4136.
CISMAs are comprised of private landowners, non-governmental organizations, natural resource management groups, governmental agencies, and others who are interested in combating invasive species. Together, we will better understand the threats in our region and prioritize solutions by combining efforts and centralizing communication.
The BCK CISMA will develop a comprehensive, strategic, and long-term approach for managing invasive species including invasive phragmites, black and pale swallow-wort, Japanese and giant knotweed, European frogbit, flowering rush, and Chinese yam. A strike team will survey and verify high-priority areas and use their results to create a comprehensive GIS database to prioritize, implement, and monitor treatments. Education and outreach efforts will raise citizen awareness and encourage involvement in detection and monitoring. To report an invasive species sighting visit www.michiganinvasivespecies