Grappling with Invasive Species Management on a Colonized Land: Part I

newspaper birds

For a few years now, I have invested time and energy into cultivating native plants and removing invasive, non-native ones – as a paid worker, an unpaid volunteer and a recreational gardener. My reason for this work is that native plants are beneficial to the local landscape but threatened by invasive plants, a notion well-supported by scientific research and further endorsed by many governmental initiatives. While I sense that the American public is becoming increasingly aware of the economic and ecological threats that some high-profile species pose, I’ve encountered various reactions to how such species are removed, especially when pesticides are involved. I want to better understand the complexities of invasion ecology so that I can advocate for smart natural resource management. But I must admit, I harbor a certain uneasiness about the dichotomy of “native vs. non-native” that is so prevalent in invasive species discourse, and believe some reflection…

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