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PlayCleanGo® Awareness Week Begins June 5

 Photo courtesy: PlayCleanGo/Michigan DNR
Photo courtesy: PlayCleanGo/Michigan DNR (WLUC)
Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - Wyoming Weed and Pest Council along with PlayCleanGo® are excited to kick off the third annual PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, June 5 –12, 2021. A week dedicated to highlighting the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species, PlayCleanGo Awareness Week aims to educate recreationists about quick and easy ways to responsibly enjoy the outdoors without spreading invasive plants or pests.

Throughout the week, Wyoming Weed and Pest Council will join with PlayCleanGo to share information about invasive species and actionable steps that members of the public can take, whether they are out on a hike, boating, or working out in the pastures.

“Invasive insects and plant diseases cost the U.S. an estimated $40 billion annually in damages to trees, plants, crops, and related management efforts. They can threaten the economy, food supply, environment, and in some cases, even public health,” said Larry Smith, president, Wyoming Weed and Pest Council. “As people head outdoors for work and play, we want them to know that a little bit of prevention can go a long way to protecting the rich varieties of habitats throughout our beautiful state.”

Invasive species are a major threat to native wildlife and ecosystems, with nearly 50 percent of endangered or threatened species at risk as the result of the spread. While often unintentional, people can spread invasive species with the items they move such as their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses, farming equipment, and more.

Whether out on the trail, or biking in your local park, here are six easy steps you can take to stop the spread of invasive species:

  • Clean your shoes, clothes, packs, and pets before and after exploring. Make sure you stay on designated trails.
  • Clean your horse’s hooves and feed them weed-free certified hay before your adventure.
  • Clean, drain, and dry your watercraft and angling equipment to stop aquatic hitchhikers.
  • Don’t move firewood. Buy it where you burn it and buy certified heat-treated firewood. Gather on site when permitted.
  • Before traveling to new areas, inspect and clean your trailers, off-road vehicles, and recreational vehicles with water or compressed air to remove mud, plant parts, and hidden pests.
  • Take the PlayCleanGo Pledge and invite your family and friends to do the same at PlayCleanGo.org.

Every little bit of prevention helps and organizations across North America are stepping up to spread the word about PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, including: The Nature Conservancy, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA’s Forest Service, American Hiking Society, Leave No Trace, Bureau of Land Management, North American Invasive Species Management Association, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Forever, state parks, other federal land management entities, state and county land managers, outdoor retailers, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA), County Weed Management Associations (CWMA), and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).

For more information about what you can do to help stop the spread of invasive weeds and species, visit PlayCleanGo.org and be sure to take the pledge. Follow PlayCleanGo on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news and resources. For more information about Wyoming Weed and Pest Council, visit wyoweed.org.

PlayCleanGo

PlayCleanGo is a branded campaign owned by the North American Invasive Species Management Association. The campaign’s purpose is to protect valuable natural resources from the devastating impacts of invasive species while encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors. PlayCleanGo promotes awareness, understanding, and cooperation by providing a clear call to action to be informed, attentive, and accountable for stopping the spread of all invasive species through recreation activities.

Wyoming Weed and Pest Council

Wyoming Weed & Pest Council (WWPC) is comprised of 23 Weed and Pest Districts in the state of Wyoming. The Council works closely with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the University of Wyoming to keep current with the latest technology and research available in the ongoing management of noxious weeds and pests. The overall mission is to provide unified support and leadership for integrated management of noxious weeds and pests to protect economic and ecological resources in the state.

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