Also known as "aliens" or "exotics," invasive species are plants, animals, or organisms that spread so quickly that they harm other wildlife.
They are not native to Washington and were brought here by someone or something. Because they are new to this state, natural predators often don't exist, allowing them to spread at alarming rates.Most non-native species are useful, such as farm animals and crops. Just a handful of non-native species cause problems.
Invasive Species Are Everyone's Problem
Invasive species can take over your garden, favorite swimming lake, or hiking trail. Invasive species out-compete native plants and animals for scarce resources, changing the landscape. They damage farms and forests as well as lakes, rivers, and marine waters. They cause hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage. Farmers, foresters, and homeowners also spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to control invasive species.Invasive species are not just a danger in Washington. They are one of the leading threats to the world's diversity of plants, animals, and the places they live. For example, invasive species impact nearly half of the plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Washington Invasive Species Council's Role
The Washington Invasive Species Council, was established by the Legislature in 2006, and tasked with providing policy level direction, planning, and coordination for combating harmful invasive species throughout the state, and preventing the introduction of others that may be potentially harmful. To learn more about the efforts of the council and its partners, and how you can get involved, please visit the council’s Web site. Printable fact sheet.
Recreation and Conservation Office's (RCO) Role
RCO provides staff support, funding, and resources to the Washington Invasive Species Council.
Grants to Control Invasive Species
RCO offers a variety of grants aimed at protecting wildlife and their habitats. Please visit the RCO grants page.