So, how are invasive species spread? 

People are primarily responsible for the introduction and spread of invasive species, making us a major part of the solution! The small, simple steps we can take have big results. 

First, consider how invasive species are spread.

You may be aware that aquatic invasive species can be spread when boats, canoes and kayaks move from lake to lake, or river to lake, etc. That’s why you hear so much about the need to Clean, Drain and Dry boats and equipment between trips.

You may have also heard that invasive insects can be spread when people transport firewood long distances for camping or heating. That’s why you see signs that say “Don’t Move Firewood” and “Burn It Where You Buy It.”

If you're very knowledgeable, you may even know that hikers and mountain bikers can pick up the seeds of invasive plants on their boots and gear and unknowingly transport them to uninvaded trail systems.

Essentially, you can think of invasive species as unwanted hitchhikers. They are transported through our activities either by attaching themselves directly to our boats, hiking boots, clothing, gear, etc. or by living within materials that we move, such as firewood, soil, and nursery plants. Once they’re along for the ride, they can be transported to new areas where they can cause irreversible harm.

Some invasive species are already here and a constant threat, but many more are out there and have not yet made their way to the Adirondacks. In fact, the Adirondacks are still largely uninvaded compared to the rest of the country. The majority of our lakes are uninvaded; land-based invasives are isolated to pockets of our forestland; and most importantly, there are growing numbers of people and organizations working together to keep it that way.

 

Photo: © Leigh Greenwood