Oregon’s Siuslaw National Forest is joining a nationwide effort to track invasive species.
The Siuslaw is collaborating with 12 other U.S. National Forests and Grasslands as part of a pilot program from the University of Georgia.
All you have to do is download the free “Wild Spotter” app and you can identify, map and report invasive species as you trek your favorite wilderness areas. The program aims to enlist citizen science volunteers in gathering crucial data on impacts to natural areas across the country.
Chelsea Monks from the Siuslaw says volunteerism is vital to large scale scientific projects:
"The public accesses land more than we can possibly do and so if we can leverage that access and that use to help us track these invasive species we will be able to respond quicker and hopefully get a handle on them faster."
Data submitted by volunteers is later verified by experts, who catalogue it in a public invasive species inventory database. It will be the first nationwide inventory of its kind.