Invasive Species Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

One of the constant battles for national parks is battling invasive species. One of the biggest concerns at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is spotted knapweed.

invasive national Park plant species spotted knapweed

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a collection of isolated islands in Lake Superior. Its natural beauty brings thousands of people to kayak, bird watch, sight see, camp, fish, and hike. With these recreationist also comes the potential to introduce non native plants and animals to new places. One plant of major concern is spotted knapweed. It’s a beautiful purple flower, but prevents other plants from growing nearby. It’s moved accidentally from one island to another by seeds stuck to people and their gear. The National Park Service works hard to control its spread, but needs your help. Keep your gear clean, especially when moving from one trail to another or from island to island.

This is not an isolated issue — spotted knapweed has been reported at 89 National Parks across the US, Here are a few things that you can do to help prevent the spread of invasive plant species:

1. Clean your gear
2. Check tents, packs, pets, and vehicles for plant seeds and soil
3. Remove soil and plant material from equipment
4. Remove seeds from laces and brush soil & seeds off shoes
5. Use Boot Brush Stations