Saturday, September 24, 2011

No Hitchhiking Allowed

Dateline: Hayden, CO
The Colorado Tour

It's little surprise that the invasion of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) is a major concern in Colorado’s lakes and waterways. These invasive species include non-native aquatic plants, animals, viruses, and pathogens that harm the native ecosystems and can have negative environmental and economic impacts on a massive scale. Zebra and quagga mussels are by far the worst of the ANS culprits, readily establishing a colony in lakes and waterways and capable of phenomenally rapid reproduction.

The outlook for ANS in Colorado is pretty dire, and public land managers are taking special precautions to guard against their spread. At Elkhead Reservoir in Yampa River State Park, we watched a ranger carefully inspect a visitor’s boat and trailer for the telltale signs of an ANS hitchhiker… It’s a clear case of the need to leave what you find where you find it! Our lakes and waterways can only be protected through every user’s awareness, education, vigilance, and good stewardship. Don’t let ANS be an unwelcome hitchhiker on your next outdoor adventure!

… along the Colorado Trail,
Peggy and Barrett

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