This project is a cooperative effort by Clemson-DPI and USDA-APHIS-PPQ to protect South Carolina’s forestry industry and natural resources providing a safe and healthy forest environment. DPI utilizes marketing, print and social media strategies to inform the public about invasive species threatening South Carolina forests and natural resources. This project funds educational materials such as invasive pest ID cards, flyers and posters, and public awareness tools such as billboards, print and video advertisements. These messaging campaigns help to inform the public about invasive species, their pathways and encourages them to report suspect pests via email email@example.com, the Clemson Invasive Species Program website www.clemson.edu/invasives and the smartphone application Southeast Early Detection Network https://www.eddmaps.org/southeast/
We specifically address consumers and travelers in state parks and other high-risk areas for forest pests by implementing a “Don’t Move Firewood” campaign. Outreach and education benefits all South Carolinians as well as the state’s timber and tourism industries by protecting our forests and recreation areas from the spread of invasive species. Informing travelers in campgrounds and along major roadways that may be from or traveling out of state, will benefit surrounding states as well.
Local citizens are critical to two key parts of controlling invasive species: slowing the spread and reporting an early detection. Alert and informed community members are often the first to report new detections and infestations in the US. The Forest Pest Outreach project aims to inform the general public about invasive forest pests through education, mass media advertising and promotional campaigns.