USFS treats invasive plants
The Deschutes National Forest is in the process of applying herbicides to invasive plants within an area adjacent to the Metolius River and the Metolius River Trail through Oct. 4.
The Sisters Ranger District is using two herbicides (Roundup Custom and Polaris) to treat invasive nonnative ribbongrass, reed canarygrass and yellow flag iris on approximately two acres near the Metolius River.
Treatments are taking place in select locations from just upstream of the confluence with South Fork Lake Creek downstream to Candle Creek Campground.
The method of treatment is spot applications with a backpack or hand-sprayer. It involves application of herbicide to foliage of target invasive plants to minimize effects to native plants. The applied herbicides dry within an hour of being applied and do not pose a risk to human or animal health under the concentrations being applied.
The Metolius River Trail remains open during treatment, but the public should remain on the trail during active treatment operations and keep dogs leashed. Blue dye is added to the herbicides to make treatment areas clearly visible.
Ribbongrass, reed canarygrass and yellow flag iris are invasive plants overtaking native sedges, wildflowers, and shrubs within the river's riparian habitats.
Those nonnative species outcompete most native species and present a major challenge in protecting the ecosystem of the Metolius River. Restoring and protecting the Metolius Wild and Scenic River and its values including fish, wildlife, water quality, ecology, scenery, and cultural values is a priority of the Deschutes National Forest.
The two herbicides being used were approved through an environmental analysis in 2005 and a supplemental environmental analysis in 2012.
For more information, contact Beth Johnson, Sisters District botanist at 541-549-7727.
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