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Transmission Invasive, Nonnative Species

Invasive, Nonnative Species
Present, Potentially Affected

Invasive species reproduce quickly to become widespread and cause harm to other species. They threaten ecosystems by interrupting the food chain as they consume native species and add competition to native sources. Invasive species also carry disease. This threatens biodiversity and changes the ecosystem’s survival mechanisms. Invasive species are mobilized via wood byproducts, boats, cars, people, and pet purchasing. Non-native species include fish, fungus, bacteria, plants, mammals and insects.

Non-native species reside in environments made for species with a different set of adaptations than the ones they have. This makes them potentially harmful to the environment as they may carry disease. These species are undesirable because they usually require specialized care to stay healthy by increasing competition and decreasing biodiversity. Specialized characteristics include a larger water supply, a specialized diet unfit for the area, are toxic to other species and require a warmer or cooler climate.

On The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands, a management plan is required to mitigate not only the widespread of invasive and non-native species, but also, the toxicity to humans and native species. Weed management must continue three years after reclamation activities have been completed. Other agencies such as the United States Forest Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service require similar management plans.


Invasive, Nonnative Species Impacts & Mitigation

Invasive and nonnative species can experience adverse impacts along the transmission corridor and construction sites. Construction activities may spread the invasive and nonnative species seeds and plants as dirt is hauled, resurfaced and traveled on. Wind and harsh conditions may also spread invasive and nonnative species when stored in stockpiles or other excavated material heaps. Improperly identifying these species endangers native species during herbicide practices and plant removal.

The following mitigation measures indicate procedures to decrease invasive and nonnative seed dispersal and plant duplication:


  • Prior to construction, evaluate the site for any invasive and non-native species, e.g. weeds. Map affected areas in a Geographic Information System and flag them at their physical location. Identify areas where invasive and nonnative species posed fire hazards. Develop a contingency plan for their removal or current state.
  • Power-wash all vehicles entering the site to remove soil and plant particles. Contaminated residue will be disposed off-site.
  • All employee clothes and shoes will be inspected and treated accordingly for contaminants.
  • Travel on existing roads to decrease spreading noxious weed pollen on tires.


  • If herbicides are permitted, consult the BLM for application processes. If they are not permitted, remove plants by hand.
  • Protective equipment is required when applying herbicides.
  • On state managed lands, ensure herbicide labels comply with state regulations. On federally managed lands, develop an herbicide plan to include application locations, target species, herbicide chemical makeup, adjuvants, and application methods.
  • Herbicide application is typically conducted using a broadcast applicator mounted on a truck or all-terrain vehicle, a backpack sprayer, or a hand sprayer. Only licensed operators can perform this task.
  • If invasive or nonnative species are isolated, avoid spraying (from a truck, hand held device, and aerial methodology) special status species and native species.
  • Avoid herbicide applications during flowering season when pollination occurs to eliminate additional herbicide treatment. Also avoid spraying in areas adjacent to bodies of water (storm drains, irrigation ditches, streams, lakes, rivers, or wells) to eliminate cross contamination.


  • During storage, separate topsoil and subsoil layers. Cover with plastic for the project duration to mitigate pollen contaminates from entering the soil.
  • Return subsoil and topsoil to their original state by regrading and using weed-free soil and seed mix for revegetation.