CSF Takes Aim at Invasive Species During Summer Webinar Series

Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Rocky Mountain States, Assistant Manager

  • It is often misconstrued that the outdoor sporting community only cares about the huntable and fishable species while the non-game species are left out of the discussion.
  • Nothing could be further from the truth, as sportsmen and women understand that healthy habitats and effective conservation benefits all species, game and non-game alike.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted the fourth episode of a 5-part summer webinar series that focused on the challenges associated with invasive species management in the United States and the role that the outdoor sporting community can play in their impact mitigation and management.

Why it Matters: Invasive species continue to be a primary threat to global biodiversity, economies, and even human health. Invasive species management can be extremely complex, costly, and time sensitive. It is critical that the outdoor sporting continues to proactively engage in conversations related to invasive species management and advocate for effective and sustainable conservation that benefits all species, not just the ones that end up in our freezer and on our tables.

Invasive species continue to be a primary threat to global biodiversity, economies, and even human health. While the United States has hundreds of species that are classified as “invasive,” in this webinar, CSF focused on several species that have severe negative impacts on multiple levels, including on our public lands, to our native wildlife and their habitats. In the fourth episode of a 5-part summer webinar series, last Thursday CSF hosted 3 guest speakers that dove into the challenges behind managing several of the United States most notorious invasive species, wild horses, wild pigs, and aquatic invasive species.

For a species to be designated as “invasive” it must be introduced to a novel environment by humans, either intentionally or unintentionally and it must cause some sort of ecological or economic harm or threaten public health.  To discuss the complexities of invasive species management in today’s 21st century world was Craig Martin, Branch Chief of Aquatic Invasive Species for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Rebekah Stetson, Chair of the Coalition for Healthy Nevada Lands, and Ellary TuckerWilliams, Rocky Mountain States Assistant Manager for CSF and Liaison to the National Wild Pig Task Force.

In just an hour, presenters discussed some of the ecological, political, social, and logistical challenges associated with managing invasive species. For example, attendees were educated on the unique political challenges around achieving Appropriate Management Levels of wild horses on public lands, legislative and regulatory avenues to disincentivize the introduction of wild pigs into new areas, and the importance of early detection and rapid response to invasive species, especially in regard to aquatic species.

Attendees were provided with numerous examples of how and why the outdoor sporting community needs to continue to be proactively engaging in conversations related to invasive species. From destroying native habitat and outcompeting native wildlife for natural resources to spreading diseases and costing taxpayers billions of dollars in damage, management, and mitigation, invasive species directly threat our most prized game species and the biodiversity that makes our time afield so special. Invasive species management is yet another example of outdoor sporting community leaning into and advocating for effective and sustainable conservation that benefits all species, not just the ones that end up in our freezer and on our tables.

If you missed out on last week’s webinar, the next and final webinar will take place on August 4th titled “Emergent Threats to Hunting and Wildlife from Misguided Opposition to Sustainable Forest Management on Public Lands”.  Register today!

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