A Pathways Approach for Invasive Species
What is a pathway?
A pathway is the way in which an invasive species enters into or moves about within Oregon. There are many different pathways and vectors for introduction and movement, including human activity (e.g., trade, industry, recreation), transport (e.g., boats traveling on a trailer, vehicle tires, hiking boots), and varying environmental systems (e.g., wind, water movement, erosion). Some pathways and invasive species threats are well understood, although there are many that could be harmful in ways as yet unknown.
Why a pathways approach?
The increased movement of goods and trade in our global economy enhances the risk that certain pests will enter the state. In balancing limited resources, invasive species managers are already overburdened by the various species known to present serious risks to Oregon. Yet there are millions of species whose harm to the state we have not begun to assess. Preventing new introductions of invasive species and removing and managing existing invasive species requires constant vigilance. Local, state, federal, tribal, and private organizations must work together to monitor the human-induced and environmental pathways by which invasive species move into and within Oregon. In light of this, Oregon is strategically implementing a Pathways Management Approach that includes, assessment evaluation, and collaboration to address threats across complex pathways variables.
Using a pathways approach for Invasive Species
The Oregon Statewide Action Plan lays out actions that can be implemented under a pathways management approach to invasive species. Using a pathways approach requires invasive species managers to consider not only best management practices and risk assessments for specific species, but also the means to reduce the entry and spread of an invader given the pathways that that particular organism utilizes.
Highlighting Current Pathways of Concern
According to United Van Lines (2018), Oregon held the #2 spot for inbound moves in 2017, which is up since 2016, when Oregon held the 3rd highest percentage of inbound moves. However, according to Atlas Van Lines (2018), Oregon had the 8th highest percentage of inbound moves in 2017, which has fallen since 2016, when Oregon held the 2nd highest percentage. Regardless of the exact ranking, the fact is that Oregon has been sitting comfortably on the top 10 list for inbound moves for both moving companies, for multiple years.
Anyone living in Oregon already knows that the number of people living here is growing. But this growth is not only being felt in the Portland-Metro region. According to 2017 Census data, the Bend-Redmond area is 3rd fastest growing metro area in country and Crook County, Oregon is the 8th fastest growing county (with population of 10,000 or more) in the country (census.gov, 2017).
People can unknowingly bring invasive species with them into Oregon when they move here from out of state. Some items of concern include potted plants that may be carrying invasive species, such as the Japanese beetle.
The total number of deplaned passengers at the Portland International Airport was up 6.1% in July 2017 versus July 2016 (Travel Oregon, July 2017).
The number of international deplaned passengers at the Portland International Airport was up 11.6% in July 2017 (+11.6%) versus July 2016 (Travel Oregon, July 2017).
Travelers can unknowingly bring invasive species back with them from a trip. Some common items of concern include certain food items brought back from other countries, which can transport invasive species, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly or Khapra beetle. Learn more by visiting the OISC Don’t Pack a Pest webpage.
69% of Oregon residents participate in outdoor recreation each year and Oregon’s outdoor recreation economy is worth $16.4 BILLION Outdoor Industry Association, 2017).
Recreationists can unknowingly transport invasive species while participating in their favorite outdoor activities in Oregon. What they don’t realize is that these invasive species can have detrimental impacts to these natural areas that they love so much. Learn more by visiting the OISC Clean, Drain, Dry webpage and Don’t Move Firewood webpage or visit www.playcleango.org.