Unchecked exotics

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I’m writing to commend Allison Mills and the Missoula Independent for your article “Western native plant societies urge USDA to ban exotics,” published Sept. 12, 2013 on the Indy Blog, highlighting the threat of invasive species.

Your coverage educating and informing people of the dangers of exotic invasive species is welcome in the battle to control and eradicate these non-native threats. Not all non-native plants become invasive, but the rapid proliferation of invasive non-native plants in our wildlands can have a devastating effect. Even though some invasives may look beautiful to the eye, if unchecked they present a real threat to wild species diversity and degrade many natural areas. Invasive species are the No. 2 cause of plant endangerment in the United States, forcing native species to the edge of extinction, and they also cost millions of dollars in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

The Center for Plant Conservation has developed information about invasive species, including resources, contacts, and proactive measures that will help prevent the introduction of new invasive plants. We invite your readers to visit our website for additional helpful information.

Kathryn Kennedy

President and Executive Director

Center for Plant Conservation

St. Louis, Mo.

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