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.