Forest Service fights noxious weeds in Central Oregon
The U.S. Forest Service will treat more than 750 acres for invasive plants across Central Oregon this year that, if left untreated, could choke out native vegetation, livestock forage and wildlife habitat.
Natural resource managers for the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland have posted detailed plans and maps of the treatment areas to the websites for both the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests.
These plans have been released to ensure the public is aware of and has access to detailed information about the work to take place, including the reasons herbicide applications may be necessary, products which have been approved for use, and what efforts are being made to limit exposure to the minimum amount necessary to eradicate noxious weeds and protect surrounding watersheds and habitat.
Invasive species targeted for treatment include yellow flag iris, reed canary grass, diffuse, Russian and spotted knapweed, ribbongrass, ventenata, Medusahead rye, whitetop and Scotch thistle.
Often overlooked or unrecognized, these invasive weeds are a major threat to both public and private lands in Oregon. They reproduce quickly while displacing or altering native plant communities and they cause long-lasting ecological and economic problems.
Invasive plants increase fire hazards, degrade fish and wildlife habitat, displace native plants, impair water quality, and even degrade scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. They also reduce forage opportunities for livestock and wildlife.
A 2014 study by the Oregon Department of Agriculture found that invasive weeds cost Oregon’s economy $83.5 million annually.
Planned treatments will take place along roads, at rock quarry sites, within recent wildfires and other highly-disturbed areas.
For 2019 invasive weed treatment plans and a map of planned treatment sites on the Ochoco National Forest and Deschutes National Forest, see this document.
Implementation will be carried out by the Forest Service and a number of government and non-profit partners throughout Central Oregon. Work will follow the design features in the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland Record of Decision for the 2012 Invasive Plant treatment project.
Forest Service land managers employ an Early Detection / Rapid Response (EDRR) strategy for mapping and treating invasive infestations. EDRR increases the chances of successfully restoring invasive plant sites by treating new infestations before they become large, thereby reducing the time and cost associated with treatment and the potential ecological damage.
More Information: 2019_Invasive_Plant_Treatments.pdf
Download a brochure of the “Top Invasive Plants of the Crooked River Basin” on the Ochoco National Forest website, at: www.fs.usda.gov/ochoco.
To learn more about the threat of invasive weeds and how you can help prevent them, visit www.playcleango.org
Source information: Deschutes National Forest (press release)