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Our mission is to protect the forests of the Brown County Hills in southern Indiana from the devastating effects of invasive plant species through education, training, and eradication of non-native invasive plants.
Several individuals, who share the belief that we must act now to save our forests from the devastating impact of non-native invasive plant species, formed The Brown County Native Woodlands Project.
This group will:
- educate landowners and land managers about the problem;
- train volunteers to help map non-native invasive plant infestations;
- encourage public and private entities and individuals to eradicate targeted species;
- hire crews to remove them, when necessary and where possible, using environmentally sound methods;
- suggest native plant alternatives.
Brown County began to recover in the 1920s from widespread forest conversion and degradation. Since the mid-1940s, untold millions of people have been drawn to our county’s rejuvenated wooded hills - to the pastel tints of redbud and dogwood blossoms in the spring and the vibrant panoply of leaves in the fall.
Unfortunately there’s a growing threat to the enjoyment that our woodlands generate and to their economics benefits to Brown County. Non-native invasive plants impinge on our county from every direction and unless we act immediately, there will be neither sufficient funds nor manpower to reverse the devastation. To launch our efforts, the committee chose to target Asian bush honeysuckles, autumn olive, tree of heaven and Japanese knotweed, four non-native invasive plants that are the most amenable to control.
Non-native invasive plants:
- reproduce rapidly, spread over large areas of the landscape and have few, if any, natural controls such as herbivores, competitors and diseases;
- spread by seed, vegetative growth or both;
- alter forests, meadows and wetlands into landscapes dominated by one species;
- reduce our ability to enjoy activities such as bird watching and hiking in natural areas;
- decrease biodiversity by threatening the survival of native plants, animals and microorganisms.
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