Aquatic Nuisance Species
Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming are all impacted by invasive noxious species. Region 8 landscape consists of high plains, mountains, the pothole region and deserts. Except for the higher elevations, rainfall is limited and the area is considered to be a semiarid to arid climate. Surface waters are not generally used for national or international navigation.
EPP scientists and technical experts have begun to see an ever increasing concern about aquatic and riparian invasive species impacting waters of Region 8. With the increasing concern about invasive impacts, there are additional requests for technical assistance to determine if a project locale is at risk for invasive species infestation, early detection, monitoring strategies and managing invasives impacting aquatic ecosystems in Region 8.
In the past, most western states and federal invasive species programs have concentrated on agricultural , rangeland and forestry invasive problems. Terrestrial invasive plants such as leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) have received much of the attention. States are just now beginning to report on aquatic and riparian invasive species, and then usually only when they impact agricultural concerns. Other areas of concern are forestry insects and disease, riparian species that are characterized as utilizing high amounts of water, such as Tamarisk. Invasive species management programs which emphasize aquatic species are gaining visibility and there is a growing recognition of the economic and environmental costs of aquatic nuisance species. The Western Governors' Association Policy Resolution 02 - 21, Undesirable Aquatic, Riparian, and Invasive Species, emphasizes the need to address this problem.
Region 8 is developing a list of major species of concern. It is based on Region 8 State lists, neighboring state lists and presence in neighboring states, and federal lists. A number of other factors are being considered: including local interest, probability of the invasive to become established within ecosystems in Region 8, ecosystem models, and the presence of a pathway of introduction.
Region 8 Species of Concern:
Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth)