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Share the fight against invasive weeds in Oregon

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Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed May 18th through the 24th as Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week. This year’s emphasis is on protecting the state’s natural resources:

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The theme for Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week is SHARE, which stands for Saving Habitats and Restoring Ecosystems. There’s plenty of evidence showing a direct tie between noxious weeds and degraded water quality or riparian conditions. Oregonians can share in addressing the invasive weed problem:

BUTLER:  “Many of the 118 or so state listed noxious weeds, most of them, have some sort of an impact on certainly watershed health as a whole. Then there’s many of those specific weeds that have impact on riparian areas and also directly in the water.”  :16

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Tim Butler manages the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Control Program. He says invasive weeds threaten not only the environment, but the state’s economy. A core strategy in the fight against weeds is early detection, rapid response:

BUTLER:  “First of all, with some of these new invading weeds, if we can get in early on and prevent them from getting established before they become a significant problem and certainly control and contain the ones that are there.”  :12

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Many of these plants look pretty, but have nasty characteristics. They reproduce prolifically and crowd out desirable native plant species. This is the tenth year that the governor has proclaimed Weed Awareness Week, and while past efforts have helped move the needle in the fight against invasive weeds, more collaboration and cooperation among agencies and the public is needed to truly be successful. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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BUTLER says this year’s Oregon Weed Awareness Week theme can be summed up in one word– share:

“The SHARE theme is an acronym for Saving Habitats and Restoring Ecosystems, but also SHARE certainly stands for sharing responsibilities and working together in concert to try to achieve common goals for protection of Oregon’s natural resources.”  :17

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BUTLER says invasive weeds are a problem that has wide ranging impacts on the economy and the environment:

“I think often times, when you mention noxious weeds, people automatically think it’s just production agriculture. It’s certainly critical. But there’s a lot of other resources in the state that noxious weeds impact as well.”  :14

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