The troubles I’ve seen…

To the editor:

A terrestrial species is a living organism (microbe, fungi, plant, animal) that live on land. Most invasive species invade and displace more desirable species. Some invasives are health threats. Brown County has an alarming number of invasive species (+100). There are also new species invading every year. I haven’t seen a meaningful educational program by the city, county, or state. I haven’t seen a meaningful financial investment in managing invasive species. Why is this?

Flandrau State Park has largely been over-run with buckthorn, dames rocket, garlic mustard, honeysuckle, dogwood, leafy spurge and others. The goats are a good start. But the real question is how does the DNR resolve decades of no management of invasive plants? Flandrau State Park has a beautiful landscape, but a closer look reveals invasives. I’d like to know what the park’s vegetative management plan calls for…

The City of New Ulm and Brown County are not guilt-free either. I don’t see either involved in education and management of invasive species in the urban area and woodlands. Leadership is needed. Is there a plan?

I doubt that the City of New Ulm, Brown County, and the DNR has any type of comprehensive plans to handle the threats posed by invasive species. They need purposeful plans, budgets, and staff to help educate about and manage invasives. I am suzrprised by the number of new invasives that I saw during this past summer. Lately I’ve noticed how plume grass is spreading — especially along parts of the Cottonwood River. This spreads through its roots. It’s a very pretty grass, but forms a monoculture that is worthless to wildlife and pollinators.

During the month of May a newspaper headline was, “Nature in worst shape in human history.” Invasive species are displacing more desirable species. Should we ignore this massive problem or take some action? Citizens should speak up against invasives and voice the need for management plans by all agencies. We got to do it…

Joe Gartner

New Ulm


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