Pick Your Battles


About this project

The Great Bay Reserve teamed up with more than 120 community members, natural resource managers, and academics to develop a statewide “Priority Areas for Invasive Plant Management Map” for the control of upland and wetland invasive plant species based on the ecological significance of an area, the ecological services provided, and the potential for invasive plant species to spread to new areas. Extensive community input was solicited to make this strategy as relevant to end users as possible.

How is this project helping

Invasive plants are those not native to our region that can cause economic or environmental harm. Invasive plants have far-ranging impacts. They can decrease biodiversity, threaten wildlife and their habitat, degrade water quality, and imperil public health.

This statewide project has been used to develop a customized invasive plant control strategy for each New Hampshire municipality. These strategies contain a map showing priority areas where invasive plant removal will have the most immediate impact and most effectively protect our native natural resources in the long-term.

They also show a customized “early detection” list of plant species just arriving into each community. Focusing on control of these species may prevent them becoming fully established and stop their spread to neighboring towns. Consideration of the landscape scale is particularly important in the face of climate change as alterations in species ranges are likely.

Picking Your Battles has been presented at workshops and conferences that target NH Conservation Commissions, regional Natural Resource Managers, and the NOAA restoration webinar series. The approach and maps are being used extensively by volunteer groups, extension agencies, and county and state agencies.



Rachel Stevens, Stewardship Coordinator
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve