Skills Series: Invasive Species & Cleaning Gear

Austin, TX: The fourth principle of Leave No Trace is to Leave What You Find.  In this addition of the Leave No Trace Skills Series we talk about how to stop the spread of invasive species through the cleaning of outdoor gear.  What is an invasive species you ask?

An invasive species is non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration whose introduction causes or is likely to cause environmental harm.

Invasive species can be plants, animals, and other organisms (e.g., microbes). Human actions are the primary means of invasive species introductions. 

On Invasivespeciesinfo.gov you can learn about the impacts of invasive species and the Federal government's response, as well as read select species profiles (animals, aquatic species, microbes, and plants) and find links to agencies and organizations dealing with invasive species issues.

Here are some common ways that we unknowingly spread invasive species when we enjoy the outdoors:

  1. Bike Tires
  2. Boot Treads
  3. Boat Hulls
  4. Transporting Firewood

In this video we recommend a few simple and straightforward tactics to combat the spread of invasive species.

  1. Brush or hose off bike tires
  2. Brush off boot treads
  3. Clean and dry boat hulls
  4. Buy firewood where you will burn it

Not sure what invasive species are a problem in your area?

Check out these websites for more information:

Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System

Leave No Trace

Thanks for doing your part and fighting the spread of invasive species and enjoy your world!

Travel Well,

Amanda and Greg - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East Central

Leave No Trace’s Amanda Neiman and Greg Smith are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.