Why use native plants?
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) uses native plant materials for projects like stabilizing stream banks and floods, reducing soil erosion and sedimentation, reducing the spread of non-native invasive plants, improving wildlife and fisheries habitat, and mitigating the effects of wildfire, among others. The USFS provides several advantages for using native plant materials such as being less likely to be invasive or overly competitive with other native plants and providing food sources for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals. Check out Why Use Native Plant Materials? from the USFS for more benefits.
What are invasive plants and animals?
According to the USFS page on Invasive Plants & Animals, invasive species are non-native species that cause or are likely to “cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Invasive species can be plants, animals, or any other species that are in a non-native ecosystem. These can be introduced in a number of ways, including gear like hiking shoes and clothes, unclean boats that move from one body of water to another, pets, and other equipment.
Invasive species can harm the environment in numerous ways such as clogging waterways, causing disease transmissions, increasing fire vulnerability, impacting ranchers and farmers, and overall disrupting ecosystems. Check out the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Invasive Species Program for more information and specific species lookups.
What should I plant in my yard?
Native plants are adapted to the climate and soil so using them as landscaping can help conserve water and reduce water pollution by minimizing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Native plants can also provide resources for native wildlife, bugs, and birds. Check out the Native Plants page from Oregon Metro for more information on creating a healthy yard and garden.
Want to create a pollinator garden to help important pollinators like the monarch butterfly survive in Central Oregon? Check out the Deschutes Land Trust Pollinator Hub!