If you tune in to OPB TV tonight, you’ll learn all about species of plants and animals deemed “invasive” because they are not native to Oregon and because they spread rapidly due to a lack of natural predators. Plants such as the yellow starthistle threaten to drive out native grasses, and feral pigs can carry diseases that are fatal to people and animals.
What can be done about these weeds and critters before their populations grow to overwhelming numbers? Should they be eradicated — and if so, how? Should we use pesticides? Should we combat one foreign species by bringing in another?
Or, as our ecosystems adapt, should we follow suit? Should we somehow learn to live with our new neighbors?
- Ben Henson: Rancher and owner of Henson Cattle Company in Wallowa County, Oregon
- Ed Jahn: Producer of The Silent Invasion for OPB’s Oregon Field Guide
- Mandy Tu: Invasive species ecologist at the Nature Conservancy
- Steve Herman: Retired Evergreen State College natural history professor