Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published April 23, 2009, 09:31 AM

Statewide battle against foreign invasive species gearing up

Wisconsin News
A statewide effort to fight the spread of foreign invasive species could begin as early as August.

A statewide effort to fight the spread of foreign invasive species could begin as early as August.

The Natural Resources Board has approved the nation’s first comprehensive rules to keep dangerous fish, plants and animals in check.

The Legislature will now review the rules and lawmakers could hold them up if they choose.

The big item is a classification system in which 100 invasive species will either be banned or restricted.

Plants like the invasive southern vine are on the prohibited list along with fish like the silver carp.

They’ve been known to gobble up the food that native fish and plants rely on.

Tami Jackson of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes praised the new rules, saying they’ll fit in with the federal government’s efforts to control invasive species in the Great Lakes.

But some utilities and contractors were concerned about being fined if invasive plants show up during their various projects.

And other businesses feared higher costs for them. The DNR expects to make some landowners remove foreign species.

Fines could be possible, but officials vow not to be overbearing.

DNR secretary Matt Frank says the new rules are a good first step in fighting invasive species. But he says they won’t be the total cure.

Tags: