State DEC Reports ‘Substantial Progress’ In Eradicating Giant Hogweed

Photo: NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation

WESTERN NEW YORK – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week they are making substantial headway in eradicating giant hogweed.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said with help from local partners over the past twelve years, the invasive species has been eradicated from more than 600 sites across the state.

“DEC not only works to eradicate this health hazard, but also to raise public awareness about how to recognize it, avoid it, and report it,” said Seggos. “We urge New Yorkers to stay vigilant and report potential giant hogweed to DEC, especially during the next few weeks as the plants begin to bloom and become more noticeable.”

Officials said Giant Hogweed can cause severe skin and eye irritation, including painful burns and scarring when skin exposed to its sap becomes more sensitive to UV radiation.

As a noxious weed, it is unlawful to propagate, sell, or transport the plant. In addition to health concerns, giant hogweed negatively impacts the state’s ecosystem by crowding out native plants and contributing to soil erosion.

Around 2,400 giant hogweed plants exist in over 50 counties statewide. The majority of active sites are concentrated in Central and Western New York region. With landowner permission, crews visit and remove these invasive plants using root-cutting, herbicide, and umbel (flower head) removal control methods.

For more information about Giant Hogweed, including eradication efforts, plant ID, or to view the 2018 Annual Report, visit DEC’s website.

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