Thursday, December 19, 2013

Upsetting the Balance: Nederland's Noxious Weeds

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Scentless Chamomile - not for tea!
Upsetting the Balance:  Nederland and Its Weeds

Our native grasses and wildflowers evolved over millions of years to fill unique ecological niches. What we know as weeds today (non-native, ecologically damaging plants) did not exist in the Nederland area prior to human settlement.

Escaping their natural enemies, some non-native plants become invasive, reducing the diversity and quantity of native plants. Weeds rapidly invade areas where the native ground cover is disturbed. But invasive weeds may also invade high-quality native habitats threatening pristine ecological systems and rare plants and animals.

What weeds are we talking about?

In Nederland, some dominant weeds are scentless chamomile, oxeye daisy, Canada thistle, spotted knapweed, yellow toadflax, common tansy, diffuse knapweed, musk thistle, cheatgrass, mullein, and field bindweed.  For more info:   Nederland Noxious Weed List  and  CO Noxious Weed List

Why Should Nederland Care?

  • Weeds are a growing problem in the Nederland area, seriously detracting from our enjoyment of the natural environment.
  • Weed control increases the cost of maintaining both public and private open space.
  • Weeds take over important habitat areas for wildlife, displacing native shelter and forage for wildlife while reducing the diversity and quantity of native plants.
  • If left uncontrolled, weeds can dramatically change a visual landscape by completely dominating an area that once held a mix of native species.
  • Nederland is the Gateway to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area with tens of thousands of visitors each year. If Noxious Weeds are left untreated, millions of acres of adjacent National Forest and National Park lands become threatened by weed seed "hitchhikers" on car tires, mountain bikes, shoes, and animal fur.

Planning for 2014:

On Dec 9, 2013, folks from Nederland’s SAB, PROSAB, DDA, Teens, Inc, BOT, and the public attended an information presentation about noxious weeds by Boulder County Weed Manager, Steven Sauer, and Forest Service Biologist, Bev Baker. It was decided to form a committee to initiate a Nederland Weed Management Plan. 

What weeds should we target? How do we reduce their presence? Who is going to do the work and how will it be funded?

It takes a Village. Be part of the conversation. Be part of the solution.

Contact Diana Maggiore at lunamejor@gmail.com to learn more and see how you can help.
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