Invasive Plants Conference

Local, state and federal agencies all want to do the same thing to each invasive plant species making its way into Michigan.

They all want to rip it up.

The Rapid Response Invasive Plant Intervention Team of the Upper Peninsula is known as  ‘RRIP-IT-UP’ for short.

The group held its third annual invasive plants conference today in Marquette.

Andrew Bek of Marquette’s Moosewood Nature Center says the region is more committed to stopping the plants now than a few years ago.

He says wherever you are in the U.P., from Sault Ste. Marie to Ironwood, conservation groups are working to keep invasive plants out and fighting the plant species that are already here.

Bek says that spotted knapweed is a frequent problem in the central U.P.

Garlic mustard has received a great deal of attention in the region in the last few years.

It’s difficult to control, but progress is being made.

Jan Schultz of the U.S. Forest Service out of Milwaukee says garlic mustard is advancing in the U.P., but she says conservationists are constantly gaining knowledge of where it is and how it’s moving.

There’s even a smartphone app to help catalog invasive plant species in the field.

The Midwest Invasive Species Information Network offers it for free, and group representatives were at the conference to inform people about it.