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NATURAL HERITAGE

DCR and Virginia Native Plant Society Cooperative Project

The Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage (DCR) share a commitment to protect native plant habitats, especially those that support rare, threatened or endangered species. Many introduced alien plant species have become aggressive competitors that readily invade natural habitats. Competition between plant species is a part of any natural habitat, but introduction of alien species disrupts intricate balances and relationships evolved over millenia among native plants and their communities.

A number of invasive alien plants are serious agricultural weeds, and some are toxic when consumed by livestock. Some invasive aliens, however, have a decided economic benefit as forage plants and in gardens. Thus, there is no single, easy solution to the problem of invasive alien plant species. Therefore, VNPS and DCR have combined their resources to confront this little known threat to ecological stability.

Goals

Given the complexity of the problems posed by invasive alien plants, VNPS and DCR have set forth the following goals:

  1. Identify alien plant species that have the potential to become invasive in Virginia.

  2. Document the threat posed by specific invasive alien plant species.

  3. Educate the public about the issue of invasive alien plant species.

  4. Coordinate with other agencies and organizations to identify mutual concerns, and develop reasonable solutions to the problems of invasive alien plants.

  5. Develop and implement sound practices for the control of invasive alien plants in natural areas.

For more information contact:

Virginia Native Plant Society
Blandy Experimental Farm
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2
Boyce, VA 22620

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage
600 E. Main St., 24th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219