News and Upcoming Events

Invasive Species Awareness Week is February 25 - March 3.

2018 procl signed

Natural Resources Building

P.O. Box 40917

Olympia, WA 98504‑0917

 

1111 Washington St. S.E.

Olympia, WA 98501

 

 

 

 

 

STATE OF WASHINGTON

RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

(360) 902-3000

TTY: (360) 902-1996

Fax: (360) 902-3026

 

E-mail: Info@rco.wa.gov

Web site: www.rco.wa.gov

For release: Feb. 21, 2018

Contact: Justin Bush, 360-902-3088, executive coordinator Washington Invasive Species Council

 

Gov. Inslee Highlights Need To Prevent and Stop Invasive Species

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has declared the week of Feb. 25th as Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington State, noting that everyone has a role to play in stopping more than $137 billion in annual costs from crop damage, loss of fish and damage to forests.

In his proclamation, Inslee urges residents to play an active role in protecting our state’s resources by doing simple things such as cleaning hiking boots and equipment before enjoying the outdoors, taking unwanted pets to the proper places instead of releasing them into the wild and cleaning boats and gear after leaving the water.

“Invasive species threaten the survival of native plants and animals, damage our land and water and inhibit management of natural resources,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “We must do what we can to remove these threats to biodiversity through prevention and education.”

“Invasive species pose a major threat not only to Washington agriculture, but also to our state and national parks, and even our neighborhoods,” said Derek Sandison, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “With the support of local community members, we have been safeguarding Washington from invasive species for decades. A keen eye by residents has helped keep known invasive species from gaining a foothold and even alerted us to new invasive species that make their way to our state.”

Invasive species can often damage the places we value the most. For example, some infestations can close lakes and rivers to boaters. Other infestations can kill the trees in our neighborhood forest.

“People spend an estimated $21.6 billion in Washington on outdoor recreation, supporting about 199,000 jobs,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which supports the Invasive Species Council and grant programs for outdoor recreation. “Damage to parks and trails from invasive species puts access to those areas and the associated jobs at risk.

“We know how to stop invasive species,” she continued, “The council and its partners have developed a statewide strategy and are implementing actions now. If you or your organization are not aware of the strategy and actions, we invite you to become involved in this important work.”

Invasive species also interfere with ecosystems by changing natural processes such as fire, water availability and flooding.

“Invasive species have negative impacts on everything that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does,” said Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands. “Invasive species threaten DNR’s ability to generate revenue for trust beneficiaries, they increase the risk of wildland fire and they constitute one of the greatest threats to conservation of our native species and ecosystems.”

Invasive species also impact habitat and can compete with, or prey on, native wildlife.

“Invasive species threaten the survival of native plants and animals,” said Joe Stohr, acting director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “They are a threat to almost half of native species listed as federally endangered, including salmon. Everyone who works or recreates outdoors should clean, drain and dry their gear–especially boats and trailers–after every trip.”

“Simple, coordinated actions taken by everyone in Washington will save our agriculture, natural resources, wildlife and ability to recreate,” Cottingham said. “Let’s all do our part to protect the state we love.”

Read the Governor’s proclamation.

Visit the Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week Web page.

To Prevent and Stop Invasive Species We Need Your Help

You can take simple actions to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and invasive species.

 

Clean your hiking boots, bikes, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear before you venture outdoors to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Visit the council’s Washington Invasive Species Education (WISE) Web site to learn more about preventing spread.

 

On your next walk, watch for noxious weeds. Visit the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board’s Web site to learn about noxious weeds and if you spot some in your yard or while walking in your neighborhood, notify your county noxious weed control board.

 

Download the WA Invasives mobile app so you are ready to report sightings of invasive species. Check out the Top 50 worst invaders.

 

Dispose of unwanted pets, aquarium plants or water, science kits or live bait the proper way and NOT by dumping them into waterways. Released pets often suffer a slow death in winter, or may become invasive and damage our wildlife and agriculture. When it comes to unwanted pets or live bait, letting it loose is never the right thing to do. Visit the council's Don't Let It Loose Web page to learn the proper ways to dispose of unwanted pets and plants.

 

Buy firewood where you'll burn it, or gather it on site when permitted. Remember not to move firewood from the local area where harvested. Visit the WISE Web site to learn about the potential dangers of moving firewood or the council’s education campaign.

 

Do you enjoy catching salmon and steelhead? Protect them by not moving any fish from one water body into another. This will prevent spread of fish diseases and also protect salmon and steelhead fisheries from non-native predatory fish. Learn more about moving fish.

 

Use forage, hay or mulch that is certified as weed free. Visit the Washington Department of Agriculture Web site to see details of its certification program.

 

Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invasive plants.

 

Volunteer to survey public lands and trails as a Citizen Science Invasive Plant Monitor with the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council. Learn more.

 

Become a Washington State University Master Gardener and help your community identify, report and properly manage exotic and invasive pests. Read details of the program.

 

Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas. Contact your local state, county or city parks and recreation department, or county WSU Extension office to learn more.

 

Don’t pack a pest. Certain items obtained abroad may contain invasive insects, pathogens, or weed seeds. When traveling abroad, review travel guidelines on items that should not be brought back to the United States. Learn more about what you can bring home by visiting dontpackapest.com.

Registration open for the Columbia Gorge Invasive Species and Exotic Pest Workshop!

ISEP registration flyer_18

The Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area is hosting its seventh annual Invasive Species and Exotic Pest Workshop on March 1, 2018 in Stevenson, WA. This year we will be talking about invasive species management and wildfire. The workshop is co-hosted by Washington State University Extension, the Washington Invasive Species Council, and the Oregon Invasive Species Council and is partially funded through the US Department of Agriculture. Certified herbicide applicators may earn up to 7 Oregon or Washington re-certification credits (pending approval).

To improve networking opportunities, this year we will have a taco bar catered on site from the famous Tacos Pepe! Tacos Pepe is a local favorite for mexican cuisine.  The bar will include meat and vegetarian options as well as beans and rice. To join us for lunch, be sure to check the catering option at checkout.  Learn more about Tacos Pepe on their Facebook page

Register for the event at:  isep-18.eventbrite.com

 

Connect with us on Facebook!

The Skamania County Noxious Weed Program is now on facebook!  Find interesting articles about invasive species, native species, or share a photo of a plant you are having trouble identifying!  Connect with us @SkamaniaNoxiousWeedsflyer_Connect with us on Facebook

2018 Skamania County Noxious Weed List

On February 6, the Weed Board adopted the Skamania County Noxious Weed List for 2018.  The Weed Board has chosen to require control on all state listed noxious weeds in Skamania County.  Per RCW 17.10.140, landowners who have a Class A noxious weed on their property are required to eradicate that weed.  Landowners who have any Class B or Class C noxious weeds are required to control and prevent the spread of these species on an annual basis. 

If you think you may have a noxious weed on your property and need help identifying or managing weeds, please contact the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program.  We offer free home surveys and are happy to help form a plan to help you combat these invasive species. 

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices for 15 weeds developed by the Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) are now available!  View and download them here!

CG Logo '14 JPEG

NEWS RELEASE: Invasive Species Could Cost Washington Businesses, Agencies $1.3 Billion

News Release

For release: Jan. 12, 2017

Contact: Susan Zemek susan.zemek@rco.wa.gov 360-902-3081 TTY 360-902-1996

Invasive Species Could Cost Washington Businesses, Agencies $1.3 Billion

OLYMPIA – A new report released today pegs the economic impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington at $1.3 billion a year and a loss of 8,000 jobs, if there’s no prevention, according to the Washington Invasive Species Council.

“Invasive species are plants and animals not native to Washington, and once they land here, they out-compete existing wildlife,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “They can wipe out crops, clog waterways, damage pipes and dams and completely change the landscape and the wildlife that live there. Left unchecked, invasive species can ring up huge costs for control, kill jobs and harm our economy."

While there are more than 200 known invasive species found in or near Washington state, the economic analysis highlights the damages and potential impacts that could result if 23 of these species were allowed to spread in Washington in a single year.

Following are the total potential economic impacts of 23 invasive species on Washington’s industries:

Crops Cropland has the potential to be quickly infested by invasive plants, which require resources to control, and by invasive animals, which are looking for fruits and vegetables to eat. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on crops grown in Washington is estimated to be more than $589 million a year and 4,400 jobs lost.

Timber Many invasive species have the ability to severely impact Washington’s$1.68 billion timber and logging industry. Invasive noxious weed species such as Scotch broom can outcompete new saplings, which harms future timber harvests. Insect species such as gypsy moth have a more immediate impact on forests by defoliating and stressing adult trees, resulting in their death. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the timber industry is estimated to be $297 million and 1,300 jobs lost.

Livestock Invasive noxious weeds in pastures and rangeland displace native plants eaten by livestock. In some cases, these plants also are poisonous to livestock and horses and can cause life-threatening ailments. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the livestock industry is estimated to be more than $282 million annually and 1,500 jobs lost.

Recreation Recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and boating can all be adversely affected by invasive species. Many of the same species that impact a rancher’s ability to range their cattle also reduce elk and deer populations. Invasive species in the water hamper fish populations and can reduce access to popular fishing areas. Other water species can clog boat motors and render public boat launches unusable. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species to recreational activities is estimated to be more than $47 million a year and 500 jobs lost.

Water Facilities Water facilities such as dams and irrigation systems can be devastated by aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and quagga and zebra mussels. If invasive species are introduced to a facility, costly mitigation and maintenance systems must be installed for the facility to function. The total economic impact to water facilities from quagga and zebra mussels is estimated to be more than $100 million and 500 jobs lost.

The Worst Offenders

Rush skeletonweed, Scotch broom, apple maggot and zebra and quagga mussels are the most costly of the selected invasive species in Washington with an estimated total impact of more than $927 million and more than 5,140 jobs lost, the report concluded.

“Invasive species, including noxious weeds, affect all of us in Washington,” says Alison Halpern, the executive secretary of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. “Many people have probably seen Scotch broom take over a vacant lot, knapweeds crowd out rangeland plants or Eurasian milfoil plug up a lake and make it hard to swim or boat. It’s important to understand that not only are they reducing native plant diversity and degrading important habitat, but they also can really hurt businesses that rely on Washington’s natural resources.”

Invasive species rapidly colonize new areas, displacing native species. Nationally, the impacts of invasive species and control efforts cost more than $137 billion annually but information on the specific costs of these impacts to Washington has been lacking.

To address the lack of information, the Washington Department of Agriculture, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Washington Invasive Species Council partnered with five other state agencies (Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Transportation, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission) to hire Seattle-based Community Attributes Inc. to quantify the impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington. The analysis gathered information on crops, livestock, timber and recreation such as hunting, fishing and boating.

“This economic damage can be reduced or even prevented by controlling noxious weeds, reporting invasive species, choosing non-invasive plants, never releasing unwanted pets into the wild and cleaning recreational equipment before and after use,” Bush said. “We all must do our part to prevent the introduction of invasive species to Washington state. With this amount of revenue and jobs on the line, we can’t afford to ignore this important issue.”

“As this report makes clear, invasive species can devastate the economy, in addition to our state’s environment,” said Jim Marra, pest program manager for the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “This is all the more reason for our agency and our partners to continue the invaluable work of preventing the introduction of invasive species to protect the state’s agricultural, environmental and other natural resources.”

 

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Press Release

 

Natural Resources Building
P.O. Box 40917
Olympia, WA 98504‑0917

 

1111 Washington St. S.E.
Olympia, WA 98501

 

 

 

 

 

STATE OF WASHINGTON

RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

 

(360) 902-3000
TTY: (360) 902-1996
Fax: (360) 902-3026

 

E-mail: Info@rco.wa.gov

Web site: www.rco.wa.gov

For release: August 8, 2016

Contact: Susan Zemek, 360-902-3081

 State Asks You to Check Trees for Invasive Forest Pests in August

 

OLYMPIA – Four state agencies and a university are asking residents to check trees in their yards for harmful bugs as part of the national Tree Check Month in August.

August is the peak time of year to find invasive bugs like Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and other aggressive wood-boring insects.

“Invasive insects can destroy Washington’s forests.” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “In Washington, more than 22 million acres of forests are at risk from invasive insects and disease. We need everyone’s assistance to prevent these damages in Washington State.”

The Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and Washington State University Extension are asking residents to take ten minutes to go outside and inspect their trees. Invasive wood boring insects typically emerge from trees in August. Experts also suggests that all pool owners should check their pool skimmers and filters for the invasive bugs. Emerging adult insects often end up as debris collected in pool filters.

If residents see any invasive insects or signs, they should to take photographs and report the find immediately at www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/report.shtml, where they can get an online reporting form or download the free WA Invasives mobile app.

“Initial infestations are difficult to detect, so early detection and reporting is critical to rapidly manage new populations,” Bush said. “Our state needs help finding new outbreaks so they can be contained quickly and eliminated.”

“Early detection and rapid response is the more effective and cost-efficient approach to managing new invasive species, whether because we have the opportunity to eradicate it or because we can take steps to quickly limit their impact,” said Dr. Chris Looney of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “Our own data show that the general public is an important source of first detections.”

First indications of invasive insect damage to trees include sudden die back or death among a group of like trees that are otherwise vigorous and healthy. If you see this, investigate further and look for sawdust, exit holes or actual beetles. You might help find one of these invasive species:

  • The Asian longhorned beetle is a large shiny black beetle with white spots. At this time of the year, adult beetles emerge from trees leaving large, circular exit holes about 3/8 inch in diameter. These beetles feed on many species, but maples are one of their favorites. Washington has a number of look-alike native beetles and it takes a trained eye to distinguish them, so residents are asked to provide any suspect beetles to one of the agencies mentioned above. If you see numerous shallow holes arranged in rows, this could be the result of sapsucker feeding and not a serious concern. More details on signs and symptoms can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/asian-longhorned-beetle/Find-It.
  • The Emerald ash borer is a shiny, half-inch long, green metallic beetle. Adults begin flying in June and will continue through August as they emerge from ash trees, their primary host. Exit holes are about a quarter-inch wide and have a distinctive D-shape. A potential sign of an infested ash tree is heavy wood pecker feeding activity, as they search for larvae by removing the outer bark. More information can be found at www.emeraldashborer.info/.

Need help recognizing suspicious beetles?

“Each county has a WSU Extension Office and Master Gardener Program that can help identify suspect beetles,” said Todd Murray, director for Washington State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Unit. “And if they can’t, they know the specialist to send it to. Master Gardeners are often the first ones to recognize and report a newly introduced insect pest. Master Gardener clinics receive a large number of insect samples at this time of year.”

“When it comes to the health of your trees, a few minutes checking them for insects can make a big difference,” Bush said.

For more information about invasive species, and ways to keep them from spreading, visit www.invasivespecies.wa.gov and http://wise.wa.gov.

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Photos:

1. Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
Image Credit: Michael Bohne, Bugwood.org

Image Link:
http://www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/press/2016/1262001-SMPT.jpg

2. emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
Image Credit: Debbie Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Image Link:
http://www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/press/2016/5449380-SMPT.jpg

 

Bee-U-tify!

bee packet front

The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program are offering free seed packets containing a non-invasive, pollinator-friendly flower mix!  For more information and a complete list of the species included in the mix, click here.  Also, contact the Skamania County Noxious Weed Program to get your free packet today!  

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Office Location:      704 Rock Creek Drive Stevenson, WA 98648

Mailing Address:        PO Box 369   Stevenson, WA 98648

Phone: (509) 427-3941 Email: Weeds

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