Invasive species have many pathways of spread. For instance, weed seeds can be easily transferred to the soil from mud on boots or vehicles, and some weeds seeds have special hooks to help them hitch a ride on clothing or pets.

Being aware of these pathways of spread can help reduce the risk of accidentally moving harmful invasive species around. By learning how to inspect and clean your belongings and knowing the source of the things purchased, we can begin to reduce the chance of inadvertently spreading something that could harm those things we cherish.

Whether walking, hiking, running, biking or riding your horse or OHV, it’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally move invasive species from place to place. Everyone needs to be part of the fight against invasive species and you can help prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals by following these few simple steps.

Come clean

  • Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.

Use local firewood and weed-free or certified hay – Play

  • Burn firewood where you buy it and don’t move wood to your campsite, as you may be inadvertently moving invasive species in the wood. Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host.
  • When horseback riding, use weed-free or certified hay. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.

Stay on designated trails – Play

  • Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or all-terrain vehicle.

Leave clean – Clean – Go

  • Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

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Take the Pledge!

Invasive species can cause damage to the economy, the environment, and to human health, but each person can make a difference in preventing new invasions and stopping the spread of existing ones!
People across North America are joining together to protect the places we love by taking the PlayCleanGo Pledge. When you take the Pledge, you agree to:
  • REMOVE plants, insects, and mud from your boots, gear, and pets.
  • CHECK your tires on bikes and ATVs and remove any plant parts before moving to a new area.
  • CLEAN your gear before entering and leaving a recreation site.
  • STAY on designated roads and tails.
  • LEARN to identify common invasive species and report them.
Fill out the form here to take the pledge!