St. Johnswort,  Joseph M. DiTomaso photoSpotted Knapweed,  Louis M. Landry photoOxide Daisy, Merel Black photo

Native plant communities are the foundation of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, which is one of the most intact ecosystems in the lower 48 states. Even with approximately 60% of the land within the Crown being managed as public land, the native plant communities within the Crown are still at risk.

The invasion of non-native plants is one of the biggest risks facing resource managers in the Crown. The seeds of invasive plants travel by wind, water, animals, and human activity, making even remote, large protected areas of the Crown susceptible to invasive plants. Once established, some invasive plants can even develop into hardier strains as they adapt to their new environment. Due to their resiliency and adaptive capabilities, they can spread rapidly and outcompete native species.

The most effective way for managers to prevent the problem of invasive plants is to avoid a problem in the first place. Through early detection, rapid response to infestations, and education, managers are working to control the spread of invasive plants in the Crown ecosystem.