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Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area
Affiliated Counties or Partnership
Clackamas, Multnomah, Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat (WA), Skamania (WA)
Member of the Western Invasives Network.
 
 
Columbia Gorge  CWMA
 
Contact
John Cowan, co-Chair
Oregon State Parks
john.cowan@state.or.us
Phone: 503-281-0944

Justin Bush, co-Chair
Program Coordinator
Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program
PO Box 790/704-A SW Rock Creek Dr.
Stevenson, WA 98648
Phone: 509-427-3941
bush@co.skamania.wa.us
(for Skamania County noxious weeds please refer to this website
http://www.skamaniacounty.org/noxious-weeds/) 

The following questions were answered by cooperators as part of an Oregon CWMA survey project in 2009.

 

CWMA Mission
Prevent the introduction and control the spread of harmful invasive plant species in the Columbia Gorge CWMA region by facilitating cooperative management among all willing land managers.
 
List the Cooperators involved in your CWMA.
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District; Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District; Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon Parks and Recreation Department; Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Klickitat County Noxious Weed Control Board; Underwood Conservation District; Oregon Department of Agriculture; Bureau of Land Management, Salem District; Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Board; Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; USDA Forest Service, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area; Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute; Wasco County Weed Department; US Army Corps of Engineers; Exotic Species Control Project; Hood River County; Cascade Pacific RC&D; Washington Noxious Weed Control Board; Oregon Department of Agriculture Plant Division, Noxious Weed Control, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District
 
What makes the structure of your CWMA successful?
The Columbia Gorge CWMA uses integrated weed management with the following principles:
  • Projects are designed using an ecosystem management approach based on an understanding of weed biology, weed ecology, and landscape level processes.
  • Treatment copies a "wildfire management" model with the following priorities:
a)    Target sources of spread and isolated populations while protecting high value localities.
b)    Determine the perimeter of larger infestations and contain them to the area.
c)    Attack larger infestations or widely dispersed weeds using biocontrols when available.
  • Control projects are designed after serious consideration of a range of treatment options so that the control methods are the most effective and appropriate to a given situation.
  • Projects include a vision and plan for desired future conditions after the weeds are gone.
  • Education and outreach activities are targeted to specific audiences, with clearly defined desired behavioral changes.
What is the highest priority species in your area?
Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard
 
Describe your most valuable outreach/education tool.
We are very excited about the potential of the newly completed Western Invasive Network (WIN) web site, an on-line resource that we hope will that address many of the needs of invasive weed managers throughout the area!  http://www.westerninvasivesnetwork.org/
 
What are some of your most successful on the ground accomplishments?
The Columbia Gorge CWMA has only been around for about a year, so the accomplishments of the various partners in the group are our biggest successes as far as on the ground work.  With regards to accomplishments of the CWMA to date, we have successfully gathered a consistent group of dedicated partners to our quarterly meetings where we have shared experiences, resources and obstacles.  Many of us have already begun utilizing the relationships made through the CWMA to enhance progress with existing projects.
 
List your highest priority on the ground projects and why they are high priority.
Japanese Knotweed eradication ~ important because it is a controllable population at this point, but could very quickly grow to a size that could be unmanageable. 
 
Garlic Mustard ~ prevention of further spread.  This is a very problematic plant in the western parts of our CWMA and we want to ensure that it does not have the opportunity to spread further into the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
 
What would you say is your CWMA's largest obstacle in the way of achieving your mission?
The lack of reliable funding has been our largest obstacle.  Unlike our Washington partners, those of us working in Oregon constantly struggle to keep our County Weed Departments funded.  In many cases, a funded weed eradication project is not funded long enough to accommodate the maintenance necessary to successfully eradicate the weed.
 
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