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Learn more about invasive weeds

Learn more about invasive weeds

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is Feb. 21-27. The initiative focuses on damage caused by invasive species.

Experts say invasive weeds represent a multibillion dollar annual drain on our economy. (Maljalen/Thinkstock)

Volunteers in communities across the nation are getting ready for National Invasive Species Awareness Week, Feb. 21-27.  The Weed Science Society of America is one of the sponsors of the initiative, which focuses on the costly damage caused by invasive species.  Invasive weeds alone represent a multibillion dollar annual drain on our economy, experts say.

“It is extremely important that we educate ourselves, become mindful of invasive species and use what we know to guide our actions throughout the year,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director of WSSA.

National Invasive Species Week organizers suggest the following tips for staying informed and making wise decisions:
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Fully comply with all U.S. government regulations regarding the transport of agricultural products into the country through U.S. Customs.
-If you camp, don’t bring firewood along. Instead, buy wood where you’ll burn it, or gather it on site when permitted.
-Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location.

More ideas are available at

The National Association of Invasive Plant Councils will offer a number of webinars during the week:
-“Let’s Take a Hack at ‘Hack and Squirt’ Individual Plant Treatments” (Feb. 22)
-“Volunteers Make a Difference in an Early Detection Rapid Response Citizen Science Program” (Feb. 23)
-“Protecting the Sierra Nevada from Invasive Plants: Incorporating Climate Adaptation into Wildland Weed Management” (Feb. 24)
-“Treating Firewood is a Hot Topic: Seasoning, Solarizing, Kiln Drying and Heat Treatment” (Feb. 25)
-“Weed Wrangle:  A Template for Engaging Local Communities through Citywide Invasive Plant Events” (Feb. 25)
To register to participate, visit and click on the webinar title.

Bioenergy Production and “Preventing the Next Kudzu”
Jacob Barney of Virginia Tech will lead a panel discussion on a new Council for Agricultural Science and Technology white paper titled, “Preventing the Next Kudzu: A Lifecycle Approach to Low-Invasion Potential Bioenergy Production.” The session is from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in Suite 700 at the Environmental Law Institute, 1730 M Street, NW in Washington, D.C.  Register online to attend via webinar or in person.  The CAST publication will be available for download on Feb. 22 at

Congressional Reception and Fair
A congressional reception and fair is 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in Room B-354 at the Rayburn House Office Building. USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea will deliver a keynote address at 5:35 p.m.

Source: Weed Science Society of America

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