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Prioritizing Invasive Plant Management Strategies

Roger L. Sheley, Brenda S. Smith
Rangelands 2012 v.34 no.6 pp. 11-14
decision making, integrated weed management, invasive species, land restoration, managers, plant ecology, prioritization, range management, rangelands
Invasive plants are seriously impacting rangelands by displacing desirable species. Management of these species is expensive and careful allocation of scarce dollars is necessary. Ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) has the potential to provide an improved decision-making process but managers are often uncertain about how to get started implementing this type of program. We propose a three part prioritization process that land managers can easily implement as part of an EBIPM program. Where invasive plants are present there is usually land that is not yet infested. To optimize the use of resources, the highest priority should be to focus on preventing infestations on land that is weed free. The second priority would be implementing control programs on land where remnant stands of desired species exist, in this way the land may recover without additional restoration. The prioritization process places restoration of rangeland severely infested with invasive plants as the lowest priority for management.