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Invasive noxious weeds & watershed restoration don't mix

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Watershed restoration projects designed to help salmon and other endangered species could ultimately become endangered themselves if unwanted weeds get in the way:

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In the ongoing effort to improve fish and wildlife habitat in Oregon, the planting of desirable grasses and other vegetation to control erosion and siltation is very important. But it doesn’t do any good if what is planted is infested with seed seeds:

BUTLER:  “Prevention is certainly our first line of defense for managing weeds statewide. Historically, many of our worst noxious weeds were introduced as seed contaminants and brought into this country or into Oregon.”  :14

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Tim Butler of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Program says contaminated seed has inadvertently introduced weeds to sensitive areas in the state. He advises land managers and owners to make sure what goes in the ground is clean and weed-free:

BUTLER:  “The best insurance that we recommend is that they procure seed ahead of time so they have enough time to pull a sample and have that tested to ensure that it does not contain noxious weeds.”  :15

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The Oregon Department of Agriculture regulates the state’s seed industry and does some sampling and testing as well. Additional testing may cost someone a little more, but having to remove weeds down the road will cost a lot more. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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BUTLER says planting contaminated seeds that end up being weeds is actually like shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to habitat restoration:

“As good land stewards and land managers, it’s essential that people keep that in the back of their minds and when they are procuring seed to ensure that it’s a clean product and free from invasive noxious weeds.”  :13

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BUTLER says it doesn’t do any good to plant seeds that may contain weed seeds:

“If we’re looking at trying to restore a watershed or fish and wildlife habitat as far as getting desirable species in there, if we are introducing invasive exotic weeds, that is certainly defeating the purpose of what we are trying to accomplish.”  :15

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