An invasive species is a plant, animal, or other organism that is not historically found in the range it is in and has negative economic or environmental impacts. Invasive species have certain characteristics that make them particularly able to overtake native species such as thriving in disturbed environments, having quick growth and reproduction, and being tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Increased human movement across environments has lead to greater spread of invasives as they are typically transported by humans such as on shoes and clothing, the bottoms of boats, in firewood, and even in some cases, intentionally brought to new locations.
Invasive species are able to outcompete native species and become dominant in an area. This leads to reduced biodiversity and ecological health. For instance, our local riparian areas are often overrun with Himalayan blackberry instead of a diverse mix of plants and trees; Himalayan blackberry does not provide the same benefits in riparian areas such as bank stabilization, soil health and associated water filtration, and habitat as a diverse mix of native species.
We face challenges with invasive species across environments in Jackson County from residents' backyards and agricultural pastures to our forests and riparian areas. While invasive species pose significant challenges in Jackson County, many individuals and entities, such as those in the Jackson and Josephine County Cooperative Weed Management Area, are actively working on invasive species identification, removal, and restoration of native species.
If you are facing a challenge with invasive plant species in your riparian area, forestland, pasture or agricultural lands, or residential property our staff may be able to help. Contact our office to get in touch with a staff member.
Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center may have opportunities for technical assistance related to invasive species management.
Learn more about invasive species and their management on the pages below!