Alien Species Slips Across the Border

When it comes to keeping non-native plants and animals out of
the country, the first line of defense is inspection. But the United
States
Department of Agriculture recently got a scare, when a noxious weed
slipped through the cracks and ended up for sale at stores around the
country. But will the incident change the way the USDA operates? The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports:

Summit Stewards Promote Balance

Each year, tens of thousand of tourists flock to New York’s
Adirondack State Park… most of them heading straight for the High
Peaks, a rugged chain of mountains just west of Lake Champlain. More
visitors than ever before are climbing above the timberline and
environmental groups are concerned about rare alpine species that are
being crushed underfoot, damaged by campfires and tent sites. As the
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Brian Mann reports, a group called
Summit Stewards is working to protect this rarest part of the
Adirondacks
in a way that still welcomes hikers from around the country:

Beetle Controls Purple Loosestife

A European plant called purple loosestrife is increasingly making
itself at home near lakes, wetlands, and meadows throughout the Great
Lakes region. That’s bad news for native plants that are pushed out by
the aggressive newcomer. But help could be on the way. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tracy Samilton reports on a program to
introduce a loosestrife-munching beetle:

Appreciating the Exotics

If you live in a city or a suburb, chances are that you see non-native
species every day. They might be birds originally from Europe, or a
tree imported from Asia. They’re almost always referred to as pests and
weeds. Great Lakes Radio Consortium commentator, Chuck Staresinic
, suggests that instead of despising these invaders,
perhaps we should admire them. At the very least, we should get used to
them:

Market Testing Irradiated Beef

Early next year, the nation’s two largest meat-packers will test market
a new product—ground beef that’s been irradiated to kill harmful
bacteria. The Federal Food and Drug Administration approved irradiation
for red meat in 1997, but the meat industry has been moving cautiously.
Companies are unsure whether consumers will accept irradiated meat. The
product got a major test recently in Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio’s
Mary Losure reports: