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First,

Thank you all for taking the time out of your schedules to answer questions.

As I become more and more aware of all the invasive species out there that threaten the biodiversity of the native flora, it seems there is so much ignorance out there to its presence. Some of the fauna has had some press, from the Asain carp to Zebra Mussels to Japanese beetles to the Emerald Ash borer, but not much from what I have seen in regards to vegetation.

I am curious as to what is the MDC's long term strategic plan to ensure the biodiversity of Missouri's Fauna remains strong?

Obviously, I don't think the MDC can wave their magic wand and make all the invasive species go away, but certainly I believe there could be more ways to get the word out than just putting out a publication or three. Many Missouri landowners are simply unaware that they have a problem until it has consumed their idle ground. I know there is cost-share available for invasive species eradication, but this is only a small percentage of landowners that actually care and/or have taken it upon themselves to learn. It sad to see what is happening to the landscape.

Thanks for you time,

Dan

[Edited on 12-16-2009 by HabitatMD]
 

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Thanks for the interest and awareness. Invasive species control and prevention is a daunting task, much more than government agencies can successfully handle on their own. Many times, even if an exotic plant or animal is "banned", it takes awareness of the citizenry to slow the spread. There is a great deal of information available to landowners on exotic plant species. MDC is just one organization that has done numerous radio and literature outreach efforts to educate Missourians about teasel, Sericea lespedeza, bush honeysuckle, kudzu, spotted knapweed, and musk thistle to name a few. In addition to field staff, MDC also has an employee whose sole job is to coordinate efforts to protect Missouri's resources from invasive plants and animals. This often involves coordinating with other states that are battling the same problems.
I often cringe when I see wildlife publications promoting some new "wonder plant" to feed deer or quail. Missouri is NOT the deep south or Texas. What barely grows in certain locales will probably explode in our rich soils, mild winters, and heavy rainfall. We already have almost an innumerable amount of food plants for wildlife in Missouri, bringing in exotics is not the answer. I would encourage all land managers to exercise caution when planting the latest, greatest thing on your property, after all, history has shown that even government agenices have made mistakes promoting introduced plants.
 
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