For the first time ever, Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is proposing a list of invasive plant species. If approved, it will be illegal to import, export, buy, sell, or propagate any living and viable portion of a listed plant species.
The creation of the list of invasive plant species in Maine is a long overdue step towards protecting the economic and ecological interests of our state.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry by Friday, December 16, and encourage them to approve the invasive plant list.
Email: [email protected] or
Mail: Division of Animal and Plant Health
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
WHY AN INVASIVE SPECIES LIST IS IMPORTANT
Species such as burning bush and Norway maple can currently be purchased in many locations throughout the state; however they will quickly take over natural areas and outcompete native species. Invasive plant species frequently grow unchecked which can result in:
- Increased costs for farmers and foresters as the invasive species spread and dominate the landscape.
- Diminished recreational opportunities as invasive species clog waterways and change our forests.
- Increased difficultly for many wildlife species to find food and shelter as invasive species crowd out native plants. For example, studies have shown that berries of nonnative shrubs such as glossy buckthorn are less nutritional than native berries and act as a diuretic for some birds.
A list of invasive plant species will save uninformed consumers from making purchases they will later regret as the plants take over their yards, and then neighbors’ lands.
The process to define invasive species in Maine began nearly a decade ago, and the proposed list of species reflects thoughtful and thorough work from the nursery industry and natural resource professionals.
Please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry by this Friday, December 16, and let them know you want them to approve the invasive plant species list that will make it illegal to import, export, buy, sell, or propagate listed plant species.
Other nearby states such as New Hampshire and Massachusetts have banned the sale of invasive species and Maine Audubon supports Maine taking the next phase to protect our natural resources.
Thank you for your support.
Jenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
(207) 781-2330 x224
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