Invasive species are plants, insects, and other organisms that were either accidentally or intentionally introduced from other places that cause harm to the things we value. Once established, invasive species can negatively impact agriculture, recreation, forestry, human heath, the environment, and the economy.
The Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, and hemlock woolly adelgid are of great concern to Vermont. These pests have already killed millions of trees in the U.S and Canada and have racked up huge ecological, recreational, and commercial costs. They alter the availability of habitat, shade, and shelter for wildlife. They also disrupt the food web, water cycle, and carbon cycle in forest ecosystems.
Non-native, invasive terrestrial plants are one of the greatest threats to the health of Northeastern forests. They negatively impact forest regeneration, forest structure, ecosystem function, recreation and wildlife habitat, are costly to manage, and can be harmful to human health. In Vermont, we have a Noxious Weed Quarantine, and an unofficial watchlist of other plants known to be invasive.
The threat of invasive species is not going away. It's a long-term stewardship issue that must become a daily part of how we look at and care for the woods that provide us with beauty, recreation, forest products and our heritage.
Help us protect Vermont's natural splendor: learn about invasive terrestrial plants and pests below.