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Soil disturbance spreads noxious weeds

OTC soil disturbance spreads noxious weedsMustard weed invades and destroys native environmentsChaffee County's Weed Department (yes, there really is a "Weed Department") weighed in on Christo's "Over the River" project. Spokesman Larry Walker explains how construction, foot and vehicle traffic, and other soil disturbances spread weeds that are harmful to invaded environments.

Read the complete letter, below.

 

CHAFFEE COUNTY WEED DEPARTMENT
P.O. BOX 699
SALIDA, COLORADO 81201
719-539-3455

"Our main concern is the spread and increase of noxious weeds along the river corridor caused by river bank disturbances, heavy equipment and increased traffic along the roads and river banks."

Chaffee County Weed Department has been asked to give an opinion on
the Over the River Project on the Arkansas River. Our main concern is the
spread and increase of noxious weeds along the river corridor caused by
river bank disturbances, heavy equipment and increased traffic along
the roads and river banks. Noxious weeds increase rapidly when soil and
native vegetation is disturbed. The department has concerns that this
project will adversely affect the river ecosystem by spreading noxious
weeds along the corridor.

There is also a new invader along the Fremont/Chaffee county line that
causes great concern. Brassica elongata, or Elongated Mustard has be
identified in the Wellsville area in the last 3 years. In that period
it has spread to infest over 100 acres and has jumped to the south side of
the river and is moving along the highway. This species is acting as a
perennial plant producing seed on stalks that break loose each year and
tumble dispersing seed as it rolls with the wind. The rosette remains
and over winters to produce new seed the following year.

"the Chaffee County Weed Department has justified concerns that the 'Over the River' project will cause environmental damage... costing the Counties, BLM and CDOT thousands of dollars to control."

Elongated mustard is growing in extremely rugged terrain where it is
very difficult to reach to do control work. Fremont and Chaffee county
weed departments are very concerned that this project could spread
Elongated mustard up and down the river corridor costing the Counties,
BLM and CDOT thousands of dollars to control. Due to the extreme terrain
that the plant can occupy it may totally escape into surrounding areas
such as private and USFS lands.

Due to these problems the Chaffee County Weed Department has justified
concerns that the Over the River project will cause environmental
damage and significant weed management cost increases for all land managers in
the area.

Larry Walker, Supervisor
Chaffee County Weed Department
_______________________________________________________________________

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