Policy Discussion:
Non-Native and Invasive Plants

 -ASWCD Publication: Policy Discussion: Invasive/Non-Native Plants 
 -Alaska Committee for Noxious & Invasive Plants Management (CNIPM, Cooperative Extension Service @ UAF) 
 -Alaska Invasive Species Working Group (AISWG, UAF/CES) 
 -US Forest Service Invasiveness Ranking System for Non-Native Plants of Alaska, in partnership with the Alaska Natural Heritage program, with species list 
 -AK Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC): Mapping of Species 
 -AK Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC): Species List 
 -Citizens Against Noxious Weeds Invading the North (CANWIN) 
 -Center for Invasive Plant Management 
 -USDA Invasive Species Database 
 -National Invasive Species Council (created by President Clinton in 1999) 
 -Strategic Plan for Noxious and Invasive Plants Management in Alaska (CES/UAF) 
 -Environmental Law Institute Model Invasive Species Legislation 
 -Environmental Law Institute, An Action Plan on Invasive Species 
 -National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR): Beware of Invasive Species Regulations 
 -NCPPR, Invasive Species: Animal, Vegetable or Political? 
 -American Land Rights Organization: Invasive Species, an article by Jim Beers, a 33 year veteran of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and a great advocate of property rights 
 -Property Rights Foundation of America: Invasive Species, Regulation by Fraud 

Invasive plants are all around us. With some of the invasives, like chickweed and dandelions, we all feel like we're fighting a losing battle. No matter how often we weed, how long we use sun-blockage methods, or how often we use herbicide, the weeds still return, sometimes seeming like they exponentially multiplied overnight. We control what we can, but absolute eradication of some species will be impossible and we have to resign ourselves to the reality that weeds are a part of our lives.

However, there are some species of invasive plants in Anchorage that we do need to try to eradicate as they are so invasive they take over and eliminate other vegetation or cause harm to our animals.

Some examples, shown below, are: Orange Hawkweed, which eliminates other plant species and overtakes the area; Tansy Ragwort that is poisonous to livestock and contains a toxic alkaloid that reacts with enzymes to cause cumulative liver damage; or Canada Thistle that produces chemicals that inhibits the growth of surrounding plants and accumulates nitrates that cause poisoning in animals when eaten. Some species, such as thistles, get into agricultural areas and can decrease the value of hay grown and cause farmers to spend considerable funds addressing the problem.

The ASWCD assists dozens of residents every year with these issues. Please call the District if you should have questions or need a direction to go. To protect both the property owner and their property rights, and residents' relationship with the District, we do not report to the statewide mapping database or other agencies. Our interest is only in assisting property owners with their questions/concerns and in directly addressing the issues.

Having said this, there is a movement to begin strict regulation and control of non-native.....

For an online copy of our "Most Troublesome Weeds of Anchorage" poster, click here.