Strategy RC5.8: Develop partnerships to identify target areas and remove invasive species and restore native species.
Invasive species include any non-native plant, animal, or other organism whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species are harmful to the ecosystem in that they reduce the ability of streams to make water deliveries, displace native communities, compete for food sources, cause the extinction of native species, increase soil erosion and fire hazards, decrease the quality of habitats, degrade waterways, and decrease the quality and range for wildlife. In addition, invasive species can negatively affect the economy by threatening natural resource-based businesses and impact human health. Constant vigilance is required as invasive species spread through natural and developed areas.
As detailed by the National Invasive Species Council, early detection and rapid response by groups such as the Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partnership is necessary to successfully eradicate invasive species. In addition, citizens and local organizations should take a proactive role in early identification of invasive species and report sightings through the Early Detection & Distribution (EDD) mapping system.