Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texas Invasives

Urban pest management embraces all efforts to eradicate or manage a variety of organisms that are unwanted in the urban landscape.  The list of both indoor and outdoor pests includes insects, vertebrates, pathogens and plants.  Not that these organisms (like that cute raccoon in the creek by your home) are always pests, but when they are out of their place and into ours, they become pests.  A raccoon in your chimney is definitely a pest.

On the other hand there are certain organisms that are, by definition, always out of place.  We call them "invasives", and they are alien organisms that have made themselves noxious and unwelcome in our state or country. Last December I posted about a group called the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council (TIPPC), a non-profit organization to manage non-native invasive plants and pests in Texas.Yesterday TIPPC announced the public unveiling of their newly redesigned website.  I encourage you to check it out.  To get a real flavor of the spirit and impetus behind this group, especially check out the video.  It's a little on the long side at nearly nine minutes, but it will help you visualize the problem.  The video was made in Austin, Texas but the issue is real across the state and our nation.  At stake is native wildlife and plant diversity; and if that doesn't poke you where you feel it, consider this: your favorite fishing hole may be next!  Yes, invasive plants are a real threat to sports fishing and lake recreation, especially in east Texas and lakes throughout the southeastern U.S. 

If you're community minded, and interested in your local environment, there may be ways for you to get involved.  Visit the citizen science tab to learn ways to actively fight invasives in your town, whether it be in Texas or around the country.  Your skills as a PMP may be just what a local action committee needs.

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