Cover page title: Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge
Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge

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Action must be taken against invasive weeds like leafy spurge. “Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge,” is an 80-page management plan for the nation, originally published by the National Invasive Species Council in 2001. It provides a blueprint for Federal action (in coordination with other nations, States, local, and private programs) to prevent the introduction of invasive species, provide for their control, and minimize their economic, environmental, and human health impacts. Many of the action items in the Plan can be completed or at least initiated with current resources.

An illustration using leafy spurge exemplifies the need to exercise a plan. Since its introduction into the United States, leafy spurge has doubled its acreage every 10 years. This formidable terrestrial weed now infests at least 4 million acres in 29 States. Costs to agricultural producers and taxpayers for production losses, control expenses, and other economic impacts are estimated at $144 million every year in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming alone.

The first line of defense against an invasive species such as leafy spurge is prevention and it can often be the most cost effective method to combat weeds. Although these persistent pests cannot be prevented, early detection of introductions and quick, coordinated response can eradicate or contain invasive species at a much lower cost versus long-term control.

TEAM Leafy Spurge allotted funds to produce 3,000 additional copies with the intent to disseminate several thousand of them to weed board supervisors and extension agents in the Northern Plains Area. For the land manager and others interested, TEAM Leafy Spurge has made “Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge” available to view, print or download to your computer from this site or any of TLS’s electronic informational resource products.

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