BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A state committee estimates that Indiana landowners and managers spent nearly $6 million last year in trying to control invasive plants.
The Invasive Plant Advisory Committee reached its estimate after surveying 116 government agencies, land trusts, municipalities, contractors and private landowners around the state, representing more than 650,000 acres of managed public and private land. The survey didn't include farms.
State agencies spent nearly $3 million last year against the plants in forests, prairies, wetlands and lakes, according to the survey.
Among the troublesome plants in Indiana is the Asian bush honeysuckle, a landscaping shrub that impedes tree regeneration when it spreads through forests and can reduce the growth of forest canopy trees by more than 50 percent, according to The Nature Conservancy, an environmentalist group.
The survey identified nearly 50 species of invasive plants being managed statewide.
Participants identified garlic mustard as the most commonly controlled invasive plant in Indiana, with nearly three-fourths saying they try to fight it.
"The responses demonstrate how invasive species have gotten a strong foothold in Indiana and how expensive it is to remove them," said committee chairwoman Ellen Jacquart, who is a Nature Conservancy staff member.
The committee, created by the General Assembly in 2010, is working on proposals for decreasing the movement and spread of invasive species.
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