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Evasive vs Invasive Species
What is the problem with invasive species & ATV / UTV riding?

The image to the right is an evasive specie. If you see one of these in the woods, leave it alone. They can bite! We suggest you simply run away from it.

More importantly is the invasion species – they can really cause problems. No, they don’t drag off small animals or attack ATV / UTV riders, but they can ruin the wilderness on or near ATV / UTV trails and in your residential neighborhood.

Invasive species can be grass, weeds, seeds that collect in/on your ATV / UTV – small mammals, fish, earth worms that hitch a ride with your ATV / UTV -

"A species that is: 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." [Executive Order 13112 signed by President William Clinton on February 3, 1999 ("Invasive Species Act")]

Native plant and animal species can also behave as invasive species due to the disruption of ecosystem balance by human activities.

The cost of invasive species to the national economy has been estimated as high as $137 billion per year and increasing, due primarily to losses in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as to the cost of clearing invasive-clogged waterways and fighting invasive-fueled fires.

About 42% of the species on the Federal Threatened or Endangered species lists are at risk primarily because of invasive species. Exotic earthworm invasions can lead to declines in soil invertebrates, changing populations of small forest mammals and amphibians, and may even facilitate exotic plant invasions.”

A 1996 WI-DNR Division of Forestry survey estimated that at least 570,000 acres of Wisconsin 's timberland (public and private) have buckthorn present.  These shrubs (along with honeysuckle) are well-established and rapidly spreading throughout Wisconsin , threatening natural areas such as woodlands, wetlands and prairies, as well as hunting areas and timber plantations.  Treatment of invasive shrubs on woodlots can cost $500 to $2,000 per acre. This only covers one-time treatments -- the long-term costs of control, as well as the loss of productivity of affected forests, can drive up these dollar figures.

Take Action to Stop Invasive Species !

Everyone deserves to enjoy Wisconsin’s great outdoors. Our lakes, woods, prairies and wetlands are part of our legacy. Whether you take to the woods or the waters—or just enjoy your own backyard—there are some simple steps that you can take to prevent the spread of invasive species. Please do your part to help protect Wisconsin’s natural treasures!

Boaters, sailors, anglers, paddlers…every time you leave a launch:

  • Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment and remove visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud.
  • Drain water from your boat, motor, bilge, live wells, and bait containers.
  • Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water or on land. Never move live fish, including minnows, from one water to another.
  • Buy your minnows from licensed Wisconsin bait dealers or catch your own and use it to fish the water you caught it from.
  • Wash your boat and equipment with high pressure or hot water, OR let it dry for 5 days


  • Leave firewood at home. Buy it within a 50-mile radius of your campsite.
  • Burn all wood during your trip.
  • Inspect clothing and equipment for seeds, insects, etc. before leaving your camping area.

Landowners and gardeners:

  • Use native plant species whenever possible.
  • Dispose of seeds in the trash.
  • Be on the lookout for invasive species.
  • Respond aggressively to rid your land of new invasive species.
  • Leave native trees and plants alone; natural landscapes offer the best defense.

Hikers, bikers, ATV / UTV riders, and other recreational users:

  • Clean your clothes, bicycles, ATV / UTV's, etc before leaving a site that is infested with invasive plants.
For more information:

Contact your local Department of Natural Resources center or the local forestry service near you. Help protect our ATV / UTV trails, camp sites and play areas by stopping these invasive species from taking over!

Ride Safe - Ride Smart !


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