U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 230

Northeast California Weed Warriors Benefit Multiple Agencies

The battle against the spread of noxious weeds is set to continue this spring, when Northeast California’s teams of Weed Warriors take to the field. Working on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and areas administered by partner agencies, the teams will locate, map and eradicate stands of weeds that threaten land health and productivity.

The BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office coordinates the work of these warriors. Some will be assigned to BLM projects, while others will work on projects for the Lassen County Special Weed Action Team (SWAT), which includes 32 public and private agencies and organizations.

Below, Weed Warrior Alex Glover targets weed pests as he drives a quad across high desert range in eastern Lassen County.
Weed Warrior Alex Glover targets weed pests as he drives a quad across high desert range in eastern Lassen County

Weed Warriors have been active in Northeastern California since 1997, when they focused on mapping infestations of yellow star thistle, which was making its first appearance in the county. Early attempts at yellow star thistle treatments were successful, and the group turned its focus on other weeds including tall whitetop, puncturevine, Scotch thistle and Mediterranean sage.

When they’re not battling weed pests, the warriors can be found in classrooms, at science fairs, and working in county fair exhibit halls, spreading the word about the importance of fighting noxious weed infestations. Educational efforts for this year began with participation at “Ag Day,” a special event organized by California State University, Chico. About 900 elementary school students participated.

Below, Hank Neely greets visitors to the Lassen SWAT exhibit at the Lassen County Fair in Susanville
Hank Neely greets visitors to the Lassen SWAT exhibit at the Lassen County Fair in Susanville

Below, Josh Gibbs works with members of a Cub Scout pack to show them how to identify and remove tiny yellow star thistle plants. The scouts participated in a Weed Pull Day, an event hosted by Lassen Community College and the BLM several years ago.
Josh Gibbs works with members of a Cub Scout pack to show them how to identify and remove tiny yellow star thistle plants

The Weed Warriors’ successes were recognized recently with an award the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and an award from the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District.

Success stories are the Weed Warriors’ greatest reward. Below, Wes Barry spreads native seed in an area where noxious weeds were successfully eradicated.
Wes Barry spreads native seed in an area where noxious weeds were successfully eradicated

For more information on the Weed Warriors, contact BLM's Eagle Lake Field Office Botanist Carolyn Gibbs at cgibbs@ca.blm.gov.

May, 2006

News.bytes, issue 230