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Noxious Weeds—A Growing Concern

The perennial battle between gardeners and the commn dandelion is a minor skirmish
compared to the current war against invasion by numerous species of non-native plants called
noxious weeds. These invaders are sapping the life from the land and the animals that feed off it.
Some species accelerate the spread and frquency of wildfires, while others damage wetlands,
ravage prime grazing for livestock and wildlife, and increase soil erosion. All this is happening on
your public lands! Today, they are spreading across the United States at rates approaching 15%
annually—and some of the worst outbreaks are right here in the Pacific Northwest!

Some local noxious weeds include:

Spotted Knapweed
Wildlife and livestock have little to
graze on when knapweed crowds
out native plants. This invader
reduces biodiversity—an area's
healthy mix of plants and animals.
Knapweed is often spread by
hitchhiking on vehicles.

Mediterranean Sage
This native southern European may
have originally been introduced
in alfalfa seed near Susanville,
California. Although not
poisonous, it reduces forage
by out competing more palatable
livestock and wildlife forage species.

Yellow Starthistle
This obnoxious interloper
spreads like wildfire to form an
impenetrable, thorny barrier to
livestock, wildlife and humans.
It is spreading northward along
road sides from California's
Central Valley.

Purple Loosestrife
This gorgeous flower is often
spread when picked for floral
arrangements—it can reproduce
from seeds or broken plant parts.
Loosestrife quickly replaces
cattails, bulrushes and other
wetland plants, reducing the
quality of food and shelter for
fish and wildlife.

You can help fight invasion by noxious weeds:

*Drive only on established roads and
trails away from weed infested areas.

*Avoid spreading seeds by cleaning
your car, truck, bike, boat, or
construction equipment (particularly
the tires) after it has been in contact
with noxious weeds.

*When using pack animals,
carry only feed that is
certified weed free.

*Within 96 hours before entering back
country areas, feed pack animals only food
that is certified weed free.

*Remove weed seeds from pack animals by
brushing them thoroughly and cleaning
their hooves before transporting.

*Don't collect and move unfamiliar
plants—this is another way seeds spread.

*If you find a few weeds without flowers or
seeds, pull them and leave them where
found. If flowers or seeds are present,
place them in a container and burn them
in a safe place.

*If you find a weed infested area, let
the landowner or managing agency
know so that they can take steps to
control the problem.

*Support and promote your county,
state and federal weed control

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Lake County in 2656 images.