Control efforts yield results

Great Basin Institute worker spraying priority weed, yellow starthistle, in Del Monte Lane area.
Great Basin Institute worker spraying priority weed, yellow starthistle, in Del Monte Lane area.

Overseen by Nevada Land Trust’s Becky Stock and funded by a grant from the Truckee River Fund, 1,440 acres of parks and open spaces were surveyed for invasive weeds in 2012, with weeds controlled on a total of 52.4 acres.

Weed group member Eric Hasty and Nevada Land Trust employee worked with three Master Gardener volunteers from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to scope out sites, map infestations and direct crews to maximize impact. Most of the treatments were either mechanical (digging out the weeds) or chemical (applications of herbicides).

In the fall, Eric returned to the treated sites to again map the sites and determine success rates for treatments. He found only 12.2 acres of weeds, a 76.7% reduction in infested acres overall!

With remaining funds, the sites will be re-visited in 2013 to monitor for weeds and retreat as needed. The toughest weeds can take several years of treatment to kill, and repeated follow-up for five or more years is essential to ensure success.

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Dead thistle demonstrates effectiveness of control program.

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