The Wyoming Weed and Pest Council (WWPC), in partnership with PlayCleanGo®, is excited to kick off the fourth annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, June 4 – 11, 2022. Dedicated to highlighting the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species, PlayCleanGo Awareness Week educates recreationists on quick and easy ways to enjoy the outdoors responsibly without spreading invasive species or pests.
Throughout the week, WWPC will join with PlayCleanGo to share information about invasive species and actionable steps that members of the public can take, whether they are out on a hike, boating or enjoying a picnic in the park.
“As people head outdoors, we want them to know that a little bit of prevention contributes to a greater effort of keeping Wyoming wild and beautiful,” said Larry Smith, WWPC President. “Invasive insects, noxious weeds and plant diseases cost the U.S. an estimated $40 billion annually in damages to our lakes, forests and farms. They can threaten our state’s economy, food supply, environment and in some cases, even public health.”
Invasive species are a significant threat to our native wildlife and ecosystems, with nearly 50 percent of endangered or threatened species at risk due to the spread. While often unintentional, people can spread invasive species with the items they move, such as their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses and more.
For outdoor enthusiasts, it doesn’t take much to protect your favorite natural space from invasive species.
Here are six easy steps you can take to stop the spread of invasive species:
- Clean your shoes, clothes, packs, and pets before and after exploring and stay on designated trails.
- Clean your horse’s hooves and feed them weed-free certified hay before your adventure.
- Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft and angling equipment to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!
- Don’t Move Firewood! Buy it where you burn it, buy certified heat-treated firewood, or gather on site when permitted.
- Before traveling to new areas, inspect and clean your trailers, off-road vehicles, and recreational vehicles with water or compressed air to remove mud, plant parts, and hidden pests.
- Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge and invite your family and friends to do the same at the PlayCleanGo website.
“PlayCleanGo while on your adventures,” said PlayCleanGo Campaign Manager Krista Lutzke. “When you do, you are not only helping protect our great outdoors from invasive species, but you’re also contributing to the positive work of landscape managers by reducing the spread of invasive species.”
For more information on what you can do to help stop the spread of invasive pests and to take the pledge, visit the PlayCleanGo website. Follow PlayCleanGo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and resources.
PlayCleanGo is a branded campaign owned by the North American Invasive Species Management Association. The campaign’s purpose is to protect our valuable natural resources from the devastating impacts of invasive species while encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors. PlayCleanGo promotes awareness, understanding, and cooperation by providing a clear call to action to be informed, attentive and accountable for stopping the spread of all invasive species through all recreation activities.
Wyoming Weed and Pest Council
Wyoming Weed and Pest Council (WWPC) is comprised of 23 Weed and Pest Districts in the state of Wyoming. The Council works closely with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the University of Wyoming to keep current with the latest technology and research available to manage noxious weeds and pests. The overall mission is to provide unified support and leadership for integrated management of noxious weeds and pests to protect economic and ecological resources in the state.