It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 27, 2017

snakeheadRemember the snakehead? In 2002, the discovery of this Asian species of fish in Maryland and Virginia brought invasive species to America’s attention.

What is an Invasive Species? Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens in an ecosystem which may cause environmental or economic harm. In 1999, President William J. Clinton issued Executive Order 13112—Invasive Species which established the Invasive Species Council and outlined the responsibilities of Federal agencies for dealing with invasive species.

The National Invasive Species Council spearheads Federal efforts to control invasive species and restore ecosystems. The USDA National Agricultural Library has created the National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) to help people find more information on this threat. The Forest Service’s Invasive Species Program includes videos and publications about the management of invasive species and research related to them. The video Defending Favorite Places shows how we can stop the spread of these invaders.


Click on image to enlarge.

Federal depository libraries throughout the United States provide the public with free access to reports and hearings that show how the Federal Government is fighting this threat.

GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore offers the following publications about invasive species.

The following websites also offer information on this important topic.

The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is a collaborative project between the National Park Service and the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The Atlas provides information about non-native plant species that invade natural areas, excluding agricultural and other developed lands.

The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) is identified in the invasive species Executive Order 13112 as a key Federal-level organization on which the National Invasive Species Council is to rely for the implementation of the Executive Order and the coordination of Federal agency activities to prevent and control invasive plants.


Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

The Invaders are Coming – and They’re Green!

June 13, 2011

I have green aliens living in my backyard. They looked so nice when they arrived, but now…I really don’t know what to do. I blame the Government for this – specifically the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. I was a happy man until I started reading the book they’ve published – A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests – and now I’m a guilt-ridden shell.

When I started reading this book, which was named as one of Library Journal’s Notable Government Documents, I nodded knowledgeably as I looked through the beautiful color photographs of invasive trees that increasingly are infesting 13 southern states. Who wouldn’t recognize the ubiquitous Tree-of-Heaven, or ailanthus, which seems to line every roadway where I live in Northern Virginia? Then there’s the tungoil tree, whose name rang a bell because its oil is used as a wood drying and finishing agent. It’s now considered invasive and  is running wild in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

All very interesting, I thought to myself, as I started paging through the invasive shrubs section. Then it happened. “Sacred Bamboo, Nandina.” What? No! It’s in our back and  front yards! We got it from a friend, and it looks so nice! “Widely planted as an ornamental, now escaped and spreading from around old homes and recent landscape plantings.” Well, maybe there’s an answer; according to the Guide, “Sterile-seeded, reddish cultivars available.”

Shaken, I got into the invasive vines section. English ivy? Uh-oh, we have lots of that, but it was here when we moved in. Vinca (periwinkle)? Oh, great, we planted that ourselves! It was all I could do to finish going through this veritable rogue’s gallery. I may have rushed a little, lest even more aliens catch my eye – I feel bad enough as it is.

Seriously, this is an eye-opening look at how many invasive plants are running rampant though the woodlands of the South and crowding out native species. Since many of them were imported for use as ornamentals, they look great in the photographs, but they literally are a blight on the landscape when they escape into the wild. I’ve had an interest in using native plants in my yard, and this book is really motivating me to do more. Anyone living in the South should be aware of the problem, and this book is an excellent place to start. You can read it here, get a copy here or here, or find it in a library.

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