About Invasive Species
What defines an invasive species?
Invasive species are defined as species that are:
1) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and,
2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
"Non-native species" and "invasive species" can not be used interchangeably. Many commonly grown fruits and vegetables are not native to the U.S. For example, tomatoes and hot peppers originated from South America, while lettuce was first grown by the Egyptians. (source: USDA)
What is a CISMA?
CISMA stands for cooperative invasive species management area. We are CAKE CISMA because our cooperative invasive species management area covers Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, & Emmet counties in northwest lower Michigan. Don't live in those counties? No problem! Every county in Michigan has a CISMA, you can click here to find yours.
We are a non-profit that relies on grant funding and donations to do all of the invasive species work that we do. While our focus is on our four-county service area, we are aware of invasive species issues throughout Michigan and work to prevent and educate folks about emerging invasive species. We also manage and restore habitats throughout Northern Michigan. We are guided by our steering committee and our strategic plan.
Why do we treat certain species?
There are many invasive species present in Northern Michigan, both aquatic and terrestrial. CAKE CISMA prioritizes invasive species management based on the ecosystem and management feasibility. Some species, like spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) or Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), are so widespread that it is no longer feasible to eradicate them. That doesn't mean we never work on controlling those species, it just means that when we do manage them, we focus those efforts on areas of high ecological importance - like a fen or a dune community.
Invasive species that are not yet widespread or recently detected in our area are the highest management priority for us. Special consideration is also given to “satellite” populations of more established species, as they are easier to control than large source populations (and treatment prevents them from turning into source populations themselves!). In these cases, we offer no-cost treatment for public and private landowners. If you have questions about managing invasive species or if we can treat something for you contact our Program Coordinator, Lindsey, here. If we are unable to treat for you, we will always provide you with best management practices and DIY treatment information.