Invasives Get The Spotlight On Madison TV

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach and Communications, Fitchburg
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

The fight against invasive plant species in Wisconsin’s forests, woods and natural areas got a big boost over the airwaves in June.

WISC-TV (Channel 3 in Madison) produced a news feature on invasives that included an interview and tour with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invasive plant specialist and Natural Heritage Conservation representative Mackenzie Manicki.

A frame from a WISC-TV feature package showing Mackenzie Manicki of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources discussing the fight against invasive species.

A frame from a WISC-TV feature package showing Mackenzie Manicki of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources discussing the fight against invasive species.

The feature was staged at Olson Oak Woods State Natural Area, where Manicki discussed and demonstrated the importance of controlling invasive plant species.

“They cause harm, whether that’s economically, ecologically, environmentally or even some of them pose risks to human health,” Manicki said during the feature. “They can crowd out native species, and a lot of them don’t provide the same kind of habitat or food that native pollinators and native wildlife need.”

Manicki demonstrated pulling dame’s rocket, an invasive mustard, and showed other invasives such as buckthorn.

“If there was a whole bunch of buckthorn, for example, or garlic mustard, you wouldn’t see the variety of plants we have here,” Manicki said.

The feature also emphasized the need for Wisconsinites to work together to join the fight against invasives.

“It’s almost always a community effort. It takes a lot of time and energy to control invasive species,” Manicki said. “If you work together with a group or you have some great partners like the department has, you can really make a difference.”

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