The Door County Invasive Species Team (DCIST) and the Door County Highway Department have partnered to inventory, manage and monitor county right-of-way invasive species. This partnership comes at the perfect time as many invasive species this growing season, especially Phragmites australis and Wild Parsnip, have increased in both density and distribution. Networks of roads and highways have become major corridors for the introduction and spread of non-native invasive species much faster than would naturally occur. Wind gusts from vehicles and runoff from roads move weed seeds long distances along the roads, while other invasive species can hitchhike on vehicles into areas where they do not naturally occur. Soil disturbance and movement of materials for highway construction and maintenance activities have further exacerbated this problem by making it easier for invasive species to get a foothold.
This lucrative partnership, fostered through the Soil & Water Conservation Department, will provide the opportunity to include county right-of-ways in the Door County invasive species strategic plan, develop and implement a right-of-way priority species management plan, hire licensed/certified applicators on an annual basis to treat priority species effectively, and to mitigate the invasive species problem. All of this as well as continued invasive species outreach and education, funded through a grant from U.S. Forest Service, will be conducted to public and private entities and private landowners. Managing right-of-ways and preventing the next invasive species can save the county millions of dollars in control and mitigation costs and improve the beauty of the county.