What is a weed, anyway?
The term weed is used to describe any plant that is unwanted and grows or spreads aggressively. Whereas native plants evolved over millions of years in balance with other plants in the same ecosystem, weeds are invading non-native plants that have come from elsewhere. Terms such as invasive weed or noxious weed are both used to refer to weeds that infest large areas or cause economic and ecological damage to an area.
What's so bad about weeds?
Non-native plants, without their natural enemies, reduce the diversity and quantity of native plants. One single species of weeds can displace many, many species of native plants. This destroys the balance of the whole local ecosystem.
And why is it so urgent?
Weeds are spreading fast on both private and public lands lands. Noxious weeds establish themselves in soil disturbed by construction, travel, recreation, etc. Then wildlife, livestock, machinery, recreational vehicles, people, wind, and water transport seeds from existing noxious weed infestations to new sites. 10% the 1,300 native species of plants in Colorado have already been displaced by non-native weeds.