Weed experts to teach defenses | AspenTimes.com

Weed experts to teach defenses

Aspen Times Staff

The public can learn about identifying the county’s most threatening weeds and what can be done to help eradicate them during Weed Awareness Night this evening at Basalt Town Hall. State Weed Coordinator Eric Lane and other weed experts, including Colorado State University cooperative extension agent Sandra McDonald, will discuss everything from weed identification to how to safely eradicate weeds using biological and chemical controls.”There are some very beautiful ornamental flowers that have escaped flower gardens and are taking over the backcountry,” said Pitkin County’s land manager, Jim Lewis. “It’s not just thistles causing problems, it’s flowers like yellow toadflax, commonly known as ‘butter and eggs,’ and dame’s rocket, a colorful pinkish-purple flower, that are wreaking havoc. They take over native flowers and grasses that wildlife can eat.”Pitkin County, along with all other counties across the state, is mandated by the state of Colorado to eradicate noxious weeds. In fact, Pitkin County has only until 2008 to eradicate the especially noxious plumeless thistle, which Lewis admitted will be a challenge. The county’s Open Space and Trails Program works with the county’s Vegetation Management Program to control weeds on the county’s 2,000 acres of open space and 35 miles of trails.”Pitkin County Open Space and Trails has taken enormous strides to control noxious weeds on county-owned open space, but we need the cooperation of our neighbors to win the weed battle,” said Gary Tennenbaum, Open Space and Trails land steward. “Our goal is to restore native vegetation on all county-owned open space so our wildlife can thrive.”Weed Awareness Night will be from 6-8 p.m. For more information, call Jim Lewis at 920-5214.