Missouri is facing invasions by land and water. One state employee has been assigned to find ways to stop them or control them.

The title of his job seems to be a little inconsistent with his purpose—Invasive Species Coordinator.. But Tim Banek’s job for the conservation department is not to coordinate the invasions. His job is to stop it, control it, or prevent it.

He, the conservation department, and other state and federal agencies are fighting invasive species of plants and animals that can affect our environment, economy, and even human health.

A dozen species already have been identified.

But Banek says government can’t do it all….because most property is in private hands. He says the department has to work with private landowners because 97 percent of Missouri property is in private hands.

He says it’s up to private landowners to watch for and report invasive species and fight them on their own land. Banek says those efforts can work. He points to the must thistle, declared a noxious weed in the 1980s, and successfully fought with imported weevils that attack the plant and destroy its seeds.


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