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Belfield in Stark County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Invader on the Badlands

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 
 
Invader on the Badlands Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
1. Invader on the Badlands Marker
Inscription.
In 1909 an aggressive newcomer showed up on the Dakota grasslands. Originally, from Europe, leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) prefers the prime real estate of the badlands – streambeds, wooded draws, and drainages – and has earned its reputation as the most invasive of the over sixty alien plants now found in this national park. When native North Dakota flora are crowded out by leafy spurge, the animals that depend on them for food and cover – bison, elk, and cattle – have to go elsewhere.

No respecter of boundaries, leafy spurge carpets croplands, grazing lands, and park lands alike throughout the Northern Plains.

Today every section of the United States has its own counterparts to leafy spurge: the South struggles with all-encompassing kudzu, New England has seen purple loosestrife choke aquatic areas, and Johnson-grass poses big problems on the south central plains. Itís a biological crisis that crosses the continent – a green invasion.

Leafy spurge may grow to be three feet tall, and its milky-white sap is irritating to the skin. A profusion of hardy seeds grow from these yellow-green flowers, contributing to leafy spurgeís unyielding conquests.

A deep and extensive system of roots gives leafy spurge a double-barreled survival strategy –
Invader on the Badlands Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
2. Invader on the Badlands Marker
new plants shoot up from the roots as well as from seeds. Now growing over a million acres in North Dakota alone, leafy spurge has the potential to double its holdings every ten years.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 46° 53.703′ N, 103° 22.967′ W. Marker is in Belfield, North Dakota, in Stark County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 94, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located on a walking trail near the Painted Canyon Visitor Center in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Marker is in this post office area: Belfield ND 58622, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Invasion Confronted (here, next to this marker); Dude on the Frontier (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Painted Canyon – A View into Theodore Roosevelt National Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Time Travel on the Custer Trail (about 300 feet away); The Soldiers and the Sioux (about 300 feet away); The Badlands (about 400 feet away); North Dakota Badlands (approx. 5.9 miles away); Von Hoffman House (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfield.
 
Categories. EnvironmentHorticulture & Forestry
 
Markers at the Painted Canyon image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 20, 2015
3. Markers at the Painted Canyon
There are two markers at this location. The Invader on the Badlands marker can be seen on the left.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 174 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 13, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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