Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Percent of DNR land management units with at least 10 mapped terrestrial invasive species occurrences


Why Is This Important?

Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to Minnesota and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species can threaten natural resources and their use. They are considered the second most significant threat to native biodiversity protection in the United States, affecting about half of all rare species. Some invasive species are classified as prohibited noxious weeds and must be controlled as required by Minnesota statute.

Roughly twenty percent of the plant species in Minnesota are non-native. The DNR has identified invasive species as one of the greatest land and water challenges facing the state. The DNR is investing substantial time and effort in eradicating small infestations, keeping larger infestations in check, and preventing new infestations.


What Is DNR Doing?

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Targeted chemical spraying of invasive plants is an important management strategy for eradicating small infestations of invasive plants.   Image 1 of 3 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)
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Targeted chemical spraying of invasive plants is an important management strategy for eradicating small infestations of invasive plants.   Image 2 of 3 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)
Herbaceous_invasives_control.jpg
Targeted chemical spraying of invasive plants is an important management strategy for eradicating small infestations of invasive plants.   Image 3 of 3 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)

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In 2004, the DNR began mapping terrestrial invasive species on DNR-administered lands. The goal of this effort is to give land managers a better idea of the scope of the problem and help them better plan their management. As of 2018, 569 units have had at least 10 terrestrial invasive species observations mapped. To date, these mapping efforts have identified approximately 99,000 infestations of terrestrial invasive plants on DNR-administered lands. To summarize data, a site is considered to have initial mapping done if there are at least 10 terrestrial invasive species observations in the database. As new lands are acquired, the percent mapped for invasive species may go down if the new sites aren't mapped right away.

Beginning in 2005, DNR offered funds to assist DNR land managers with terrestrial invasive species survey and management. For example, in fiscal year 2019, the Division of Ecological and Water Resources' Terrestrial Invasive Species Program awarded $245,727 for 21 projects throughout DNR. With these funds, land managers surveyed 3,915 acres of state land for invasive plants and managed invasive plants on 2,271 acres. Additional species survey and management work occurred throughout DNR divisions with their own division-specific funds.

Many management projects targeted the control of woody invasive species such as buckthorn, Japanese barberry, nonnative honeysuckles, Oriental bittersweet and Siberian elm. Other management projects targeted non-woody species such as Canada thistle, common tansy, cut-leaved teasel, garlic mustard, Grecian foxglove, Japanese knotweed, leafy spurge, spotted knapweed and wild parsnip.


Target: Continue to map and control aggressive terrestrial invasive plant species on DNR-administered lands.

The DNR has two long-term goals for this indicator. The first is to document the location and abundance of priority invasive plants in state parks, state trails, scientific and natural areas, wildlife management areas and state forest lands. The second is to reduce the amount and impact of terrestrial invasive species on DNR managed lands.