Managing Invasive Plants: Concepts, Principles, and Practices link

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
America's National Wildlife Refuge System

MANAGING INVASIVE PLANTS: Concepts, Principles, and Practices

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REVIEW, Resources, & References


Test Your Knowledge

Review the key points and then test your knowledge of planning by taking a quiz.

Key Points

1. Ecological and socioeconomic factors are important considerations in planning

Knowledge of ecological processes and principles, and socioeconomic factors that contribute to plant invasions should be incorporated into a planning framework.

2. Planning requires key information and fundamental knowledge

Planning for invasive plant management uses information from and knowledge of management directives, societal considerations, inventory/survey, mapping, risk assessment, monitoring, and management strategies and methods.

3. Ipm emphasizes low risk

IPM promotes using a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.

4. adaptive management contributes to complex decision making

Through experimental management, Adaptive Management contributes to complex decision making by generating new knowledge. Adaptive Management is not a trial and error process but rather links management objectives with learning about the systems, and adjusts management based on the learning.

5. goals and objectives are key to Effective management

“Goals and objectives are the unifying elements of successful refuge management. They identify and focus management priorities, provide a context for resolving issues, guide specific projects, provide rationale for decisions, and offer a defensible link among management actions, refuge purpose(s), Service policy, and the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) mission.” USFWS 2004

6. plans for managing invasive plants guide efforts to reach Desired conditions

A plan guides management in direction and time. It also serves as a reference while management progresses, supporting decision making and problem solving needed to adjust management so that desired vegetation conditions can be achieved.

7. plans for managing invasive plants provide added value

Plans ensure consistency in management efforts as personnel change, helps engage stakeholders and citizens, and is useful as supporting material for writing grants and soliciting partnerships.

8. plans for managing invasive plants may contain multiple strategies

Plans can be developed not only for detailing control strategies but also for prevention, early detection, and restoration strategies.

9. Volunteers are invaluable

Volunteers contribute greatly to invasive plant management projects on many refuges. They are involved in inventory/survey and mapping, control work, restoration, education and outreach, recruiting other volunteers, and much more. In addition to the work they do, many volunteers become proponents and advocates of the individual refuge they work at and the entire Refuge System.

10. Instilling and maintaining volunteer motivation is crucial

Instilling and maintaining motivation in volunteers is crucial to the success of a project and in retaining volunteers over the long term. From the start to finish, acknowledging the contributions that volunteers are making, showing appreciation for their work, and determining if their expectations are being met will ensure satisfaction for everyone.

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Management Frameworks and Plans

US Fish and Wildlife Service IPM

US Department of Interior - Adaptive Management

Collaborative Adaptive Management Network

The Nature Conservancy - Planning, Strategizing, and Communications

Center for Invasive Plant Management - Invasive Plant Management

Society for Ecological Restoration International - Reading Resources


Center for Invasive Plant Management - CWMA Resources

Natural Resources Conservation Service - People, Partnerships and Communities


US Fish and Wildlife Service Volunteers

US Fish and Wildlife Service - A Guidebook for Working with Volunteers (600 KB PDF)

US Fish and Wildlife Service - Volunteers and Invasive Plants: Learning and Lending a Hand

US Geological Survey - Early Detection of Invasive Plant Species Handbook

(see Chapter 14 Using Volunteers for Early Detection in the San Francisco Area Network)

National Wildlife Refuge Association - Volunteers and Invasive Plants

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - Invaders Citizen Scientists

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Ericson J, Hubbard T, Hanson M, Barnett D, Block G. In press. Engaging volunteers in invasive species management. In: Espinosa-García F, Hubbard T, Van Devender TR, Harper-Lore B, editors. Invasive Plants on the Move. Controlling them in North America. Tucson (AZ): University of Arizona Press.

Hobbs RJ, Humphries SE. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology 9(4):761-770.

Krueger-Mangold JM, Sheley RL, Svejcar TJ. 2006. Toward ecologically-based invasive plant management on rangeland. Weed Science 54(3):597.

Sheley RL, Mangold JM, Anderson JL. 2006. Potential for successional theory to guide restoration of invasive-plant-dominated rangeland. Ecological Monographs 76(3):365-379.

US Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Writing Refuge Management Goals and Objectives: A Handbook. (614 KB PDF) <>. Accessed 2007 Oct 30.

Williams BK, Szaro RC, Shapiro CD. 2007. Adaptive Management: The US Department of the Interior Technical Guide. Adaptive Management Working Group, US Department of the Interior, Washington, DC. (36 MB PDF) <>. Accessed 2007 Oct 30.