Leelanau News and Events

Can You Name Up North’s “Dirty Dozen” Of Least Wanted Invasive Species?

Aug. 2, 2021

You won’t see them on posters at the post office. But make no mistake, these threats to our fields and forests, lakes and streams are most unwelcome. A huge number of plants, animals, and insects are recognized as non-native threats to the state. Many of them are even prohibited to own in Michigan.

“[It’s] those that do damage, not just non-native. Those that harm human health, the environment, or our ecology,” says Eli Baker, education and outreach specialist at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.

Numerous organizations and governmental agencies are working to identify, control, and/or eradicate these pests while scientists, field workers, and ordinary citizens are using various means — natural, chemical, and mechanical — to address the situation, whether the offender is homegrown or not.

So, do you know the Top 12 invaders?  (Yep, Eurasian Watermilfoil makes the list. The Lake Leelanau Lake Association, in partnership with the Grand Traverse Band, is now dedicated to controlling the weed and other aquatic invasives, boosted by an unexpected $5 million gift from a family with ties to Lake Leelanau last week.) 

Read on in this week’s Northern Express, sister publication to the Leelanau Ticker, for the highlights — or maybe the lowlights — of the invaders we wish weren’t here. The Northern Express is available to read online, or pick up a free copy on newsstands at nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

Pictured: Purple loosestrife, by Shannon Kunkle. This cruel beauty is now illegal to sell, trade, plant, or share in Michigan.

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