Thursday, May 5, 2016

Make May Native Species Month

Make May Native Species Month

It seems like every year we hear about a new advancement in invasive species.  They take over our lakes, rivers, streams, prairies and forest while millions of dollars goes into trying to eradicate them and stop their advancements.    With May being Invasive Species Month you'll probably see more articles in your social media news feeds regarding this topic. 

When we first started Capitol Outdoors, we had a general understanding regarding invasive species.  We knew that Asian Carp, Emerald Ash Borer or Honeysuckle was destructive to the greater ecosystem.    We are continuing to learn about invasive species and conservation on daily basis.
While writing this article we looked into our garden and found that we have invasive species.  For example, this Spring we went and bought Butterfly Bushes.  These bushes attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which is the reason why we bought them. However if you ask people in California and other western states about these bushes they'll tell you how invasive they really are.  But, if you walk into the forest or prairies here in Illinois, you won't see butterfly bushes growing crazy.

Invasive species do not understand borders, they blow in the wind, come over on shipping containers from across the world, get dumped into lakes and eradicating them becomes nearly impossible.  Even our elected officials have come to say that eradicating the Asian Carp is obviously their long term goal but stopping the advancements is short term.  

During the month of May you'll probably see /hear of groups heading out to combat these invasive species.  If you can take a few hours and help out, you'll learn something and feel great about helping out the environment. 

Not everyone has the time to do these types of volunteer opportunities but, if you are going fishing, hunting or on a walk through the woods you can help.  Taking small pieces of invasive species out is better then doing nothing.  That's why it's imperative for all those that enjoy the outdoors to come familiar with all the different types of invasive species, and there's well over 100.   The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a great Invasive Species Site with resources and other great links  

While May has been dedicated as Invasive Species Month we are going to make May Native Species Month, by making sure that we plant only native plants and do what we can to rid the environment of Invasive Species.

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