Wildlife Forever, the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA), National Park Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance coordination of invasive species prevention messaging across public lands and waters. The new agreement aims to increase the reach of national prevention campaigns such as PlayCleanGo® Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks®, Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ , and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers on federal lands and waters.
The MOU will facilitate broader adoption and placement of these national invasive species prevention campaigns at trailheads, boat landings, and other public access points. Messaging will remind recreationists to clean their gear before and after leaving protected public lands and waters to minimize the unintentional spread of invasive species. This agreement is open to other federal agencies to participate in coordinating prevention message consistency and on-the-ground implementation for both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. PlayCleanGo, Clean Drain Dry Initiative, and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaigns are nationally recognized programs that empower behavior change through a clear call-to-action and best management practices.
“As of 2019, nearly two million acres of the National Park System’s 85 million acres of public land are already covered by invasive plants. The National Park Service is eager to begin working with partners of this MOU to reach our more than 300 million annual visitors, supporters and advocates to help defend our national parks and public lands from invasive species,” said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela.
President and CEO of Wildlife Forever Pat Conzemius remarked, “This MOU signifies the critical importance of conservation partnerships in the fight against invasive species. This is a major step forward in providing greater coordination and implementation of programs that empower the public and prevent the spread of invasive species.”
“Since 2004, NAISMA has been working toward our vision of having North America’s lands and waters protected from invasive species. We envision these prevention brands being the “recycling symbol” for invasive species. Every time a recreationist enters a trail or puts their boat in, they should see one of these prevention logos to trigger an immediate response to wipe off or brush off their gear, just like seeing the recycling symbol tells you to put your recyclable material in the right place. We are honored to be a member of this MOU along with many other distinguished organizations,” said NAISMA Executive Director Belle Bergner.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson remarked, “This MOU unites the actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with its mission to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking forward to working with the National Park Service, NAISMA and Wildlife Forever.”
Invasive species annually cost the United States economy billions of dollars and are the second greatest threat to biodiversity of plants and animals after habitat loss. Partnerships between organizations at the forefront of invasive species management are key to engaging the public and developing tools and professional training to prevent the spread.
Wildlife Forever: Wildlife Forever’s mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife. The Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ is the national campaign to educate outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging, and resources for local communities to implementing prevention programs. To join Wildlife Forever and learn more about the award-winning programs, including work to engage America’s youth, visit www.WildlifeForever.org.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
National Park Service: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.
North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA): NAISMA is a network of professionals that implements management programs to prevent the detrimental impacts of invasive species to North America’s lands and waters. NAISMA’s mission is to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America.