Steep Rock recognizes invasive plants and animals as some of the most significant threats to the well-being of our protected natural and agricultural lands. In August, our volunteer work party tackled a stand of Japanese barberry in Steep Rock preserve. A non-native ornamental that is commonly found for sale in garden centers, Japanese barberry is known for forming dense thickets, altering soil chemistry, and displacing native plants. In our preserves, Japanese barberry not only impairs valuable wildlife habitat, but also occurs in a high recreational use areas. SRA prioritized management because of human health considerations– barberry provides ideal conditions for white-footed mice and deer ticks associated with tick-borne illnesses.
As our climate continues to change, barberry’s stronghold in forests, pastures, and meadows will fortify without intervention. Check out our resources to arm yourself and join the fight. >more
Here’s a look at the front line in Steep Rock Preserve: