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New report shows Wisconsin's fight against invasive species


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - State conservationists say they've been working hard to combat invasive species in Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources released its annual Invasive Species Report on Wednesday to highlight the work that's being done to keep harmful plants and animals out of the ecosystem. Invasive species educator Chrystal Schreck says there's a pair of invasive plants that the DNR is fighting in our area. "Garlic mustard and buckthorn are two of the terrestrial invasives we see across the state."

The fight against garlic mustard is especially hard since it's a fast growing biennial plant that can take seed and hide for a year. Schreck says the DNR is encouraging immediate, vigorous removal of garlic mustard where it's found. "If you can control it before it goes to seed, that's the best way to combat it. Then you don't have the seed base replenishing every year."

Schreck says they're also very concerned over the northward spread of poison hemlock. "It's found commonly on the roadside along with wild parsnip. The challenge is it's highly toxic. Definitely don't want to ingest this plant."

The report shows that the invasive Asian carp are not expanding their territory into Wisconsin waters. Six stray adult carp were caught in 2013 in the Lower Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, with no range expansion from previous findings and no breeding populations found.

Grant funding to help communities battle and prepare for the Emerald Ash Borer beetle was also increased this year. Thirty-one communities shared in $490,000 in grants to help beetle-proof their tree stock by planting a more diverse stock of trees as well as put together preparedness plans.

You can find a copy of the report on the DNR's Website.