Feds to spray weeds in two area valleys | AspenTimes.com

Feds to spray weeds in two area valleys

Aspen Times Staff Report

The U.S. Forest Service will begin chemical treatment of invasive exotic weeds in the Maroon Creek and Hunter Creek valleys today.

Exotic weed species are non-native species that aggressively outcompete native plants because they have no natural competitors or enemies here. A combination of chemical treatment and hand cutting will be used to eradicate the weeds. Hand cutting will be done in areas near water and near recreational facilities.

The project is being done with cooperation and funding from the state of Colorado, Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, Aspen Wilderness Workshop and the Bureau of Land Management. The Forest Service has obtained a grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Management Plan to assist with the project.

Plumeless thistle and houndstongue are the two species that most heavily infest the two drainages currently, though other species are also present.

Chemical herbicides, primarily picloram, which goes by the trade name Tordon, will be applied with hand wands. Signs will be posted to identify sprayed areas.

Areas where weeds have been removed will be seeded with native grasses in the fall to speed restoration.

For more information, contact Wayne Ives of the U.S. Forest Service at 963-2266, or Michael Craig of Pitkin County Land Management at 920-5390.

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