To the Editor:

I encourage the Knox County Commissioners to regulate the sale of invasive species plants in our county. Landscapers should have self-regulated these sales years ago because this serious threat has been recognized for a long time. 

Because some in the industry have failed to act, there is no alternative to the type of reasonable regulation that is being proposed. 

I personally have spent $1,500 to remove invasive species from my half-acre property in Vincennes — and I have more work to do. I have also worked with Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area volunteers to clear Asian Honeysuckle and Winter Creeper from Camp Wildwood, Hillcrest Park, and Pyramid Indian Mound. These volunteers have worked more than 357 hours during 17 workdays — and worked at 16 events to educate the public about this menacing threat. It is very difficult work but must be done to save our woodlands. While these volunteers are dedicated, our task is hopeless if local retailers keep selling invasive species. 

And that brings me to my conclusion. Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to fighting invasive plant species, it is critical we do everything we can to prevent the introduction of even more plants that do so much damage to woods, wildlife, agriculture, and to countless homeowners. 

Please act quickly and adopt strong regulation of the sale of these harmful plants. I look forward to Knox County becoming a leader in this effort.

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