Invasive Plants

What We Do: Restoration and Collaboration / Invasive Plants

Invasive plants are a serious problem in the Hells Canyon, Wallowa and Blue Mountain ecosystems. These plants are not native to the area. They were introduced by human activity and tend to spread aggressively upon arrival.

Problems caused by invasive weeds include:

  • Loss of native vegetation
  • Reduced food for wildlife
  • Degraded wildlife habitat
  • Soil erosion
  • Degraded riparian zones and fish habitat
  • Changes in natural fire behavior.

The US Department of Agriculture defines invasive plants as introduced species that can thrive in areas beyond their natural range of dispersal. These plants are characteristically adaptable, aggressive, and have a high reproductive capacity. Their vigor combined with a lack of natural enemies often leads to outbreak populations.

Hells Canyon Preservation Council supports the four goals for invasive plant management described by the US Forest Service Region 6 Invasive Plant Program of 2005:

  • Protect ecosystems through an integrated approach
  • Minimize the creation of conditions that favor invasive plants
  • Protect the health of people
  • Implement treatments that protect ecosystems.

Additionally, however, we strongly advocate for preventing the spread of invasive plants due to management activities on public lands. Disturbances due to land management have been shown to create opportunities for invasive plants to invade and spread on public lands. The best prevention against invasive plants is an intact healthy, native plant community.

Hells Canyon Preservation Council works to limit the introduction and spread of invasive plants through advocacy, collaboration, education, and active volunteer restoration projects to physically remove invasive plants and plant native vegetation.

For more information on invasive plants, follow these links: