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Riparian weeds are up for eradication

Lookout Creek areaA project aimed at eradicating or containing noxious weeds on the Willamette National Forest is up for consideration. Officials say they need to use herbicides because manual control hasn’t been effective in stopping them from spreading further along five stream corridors. If any seeds are missed, they float downstream during winter flood events, resulting in the colonization of formerly pristine habitats.

In 2006 the Middle Fork Ranger District planned to treat knotweed with limited herbicides along the North and Middle Fork of the Willamette Rivers using stem injection and backpack sprayers. Although the plan for treatment of plants adjacent to perennial water had a life of five years, it expired in 2011.

There was no chemical treatment on knotweed in 2012 or 2013.

A knotweed survey completed in the summer of 2013 looked at a total of 134.5 acres of knotweed within ten feet of water. Those sites include 4.84 acres along Lookout Creek in the McKenzie River Ranger District that need to be covered by an Environmental Assessment that is now open for public comment. Other plots include one on the Sweet Home District and three on the Middle Fork Ranger District.

The proposal includes monitor-ing both the effectiveness of treatments and the effect of treatment on water quality. Both the public and regulatory agencies are being asked for ideas on what type of monitoring to do and if they would like to participate.

Comments on this project should be submitted by January 31st. The EA is expected to completed and available forpublic review and comment in April 2014. Comments can be submitted by mail to: Forest Supervisor, Willamette National Forest, Attn: Jennifer Lippert, 3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite D, Springfield. Oregon 97477. E-mail comments (pdf. txt. rtf, or compatible with Microsoft Office applications) to: - [email protected]. Include “Riparian Weed Treatment Project” on the subject line as well as your name and mailing address. Oral or hand-delivered comments will be accepted during business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Willamette National Forest, Forest Supervisors Office.

Image above: An area along Lookout Creek above Blue River Reservoir could be part of a project to control riparian weeds.


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