Non-Native Invasive Species



Non-native invasive species (NNIS) are plants, animals, insects or other organisms whose introduction to an area does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.   Other names for NNIS include exotic species, noxious weeds, pests, etc.    A few examples of NNIS that occur in Minnesota include purple loosestrife, gypsy moth, Eurasian waterfmilfoil, earthworms, rusty crayfish, and common buckthorn.  

Unlike much of the U.S., the Arrowhead Region and the Superior National Forest are fortunate because many of the species that are a problem in the upper Midwest are not well established here yet.   However, NNIS can quickly spread once introduced into the environment.   NNIS can spread on the air, in the water, and on articles like campers, firewood, boats, vehicles, even the mud on your boots.


Because non-native invasive species do not respect property lines, we are working with other agencies, non-governmental organizations, and citizens like you to increase awareness of this resource management issue and take action to stop the spread of NNIS in our area.  Presentation (open and click to advance through slides)


Cook County Invasives Team        


NNIS Management on the Superior National Forest

Firewood Restrictions to Slow Spread of NNIS

List of non-native invasive plants and animals on the Superior

Non-native Invasive Plant Management Project

Fact sheet about non-native plant species

Fact sheet about gypsy moth


If you would like to learn more, here are some useful links: 


NNIS in Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

NNIS in our Region

NNIS in the U.S.


  photo of emerald ash borer

           emerald ash borer


         rusty crayfish


    gypsy moth larvae


     lupinius polyphyllus

NNIS Identification booklet              (Downloadable Booklet )