Governor Gordon Launches Invasive Species Initiative

Oct 28, 2019

Credit Willow Belden

The governor is launching a new initiative to help address Wyoming’s invasive plant species. These non-native species, such as cheatgrass or Russian knapweed, can be found in fields and rivers across the state.

Governor Mark Gordon’s new initiative establishes two teams that will examine policies and efforts to deal with invasive species, as well as identifying which species are most harmful. One team is focused on the scientific and practical aspects of the issue; the other is centered on policy.

These teams are comprised of representatives from government at all levels, industry, agricultural groups, as well as scientists and practitioners.

Michael Pearlman is the governor’s communications director. He said invasive species pose a serious problem for ranchers, agricultural producers and wildlife.

“They can reduce forage production for livestock and they threaten wildlife by impacting habitat,” he said. “They can also do things like change fire behavior, increase erosion and change the nutrient cycles and properties of soil.”

Pearlman said the groups plan to have recommendations on the governor’s desk sometime next spring.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Jeff Victor, at jvictor@uwyo.edu.