The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will continue a project to eradicate, control, and contain known and future infestations of invasive weeds using chemical treatment next week.
An Environmental Assessment released by the Forest Service in 2010 identified 493 known infestations located on National Forest System lands managed by the LTBMU. Noxious weeds reproduce and spread rapidly, displacing native plants. They also reduce the amount and quality of fish and wildlife habitat, increase soil erosion and stream sedimentation, and impair recreational access, according to a USFS press release.
Current project areas include 64 Acres Beach parking lot, Angora Burn area, Baldwin Beach meadow, near Big Meadow Trailhead (FS Road 1213), Brockway Summit, Slaughterhouse Meadow, west shore of Fallen Leaf Lake, Heavenly Creek Meadow, Heavenly Ski Area, Rabe Meadow, Pope Beach parking lot, Spooner Summit area, Tahoe City area, and the Tallac Historic Estates. In addition, weed infestations on Forest Service urban lots will be treated in the vicinity of Ralph Drive, Terry Lane, Ski Run Blvd., and Mt. Rainier Drive in South Lake Tahoe, Sugar Pine Drive in Incline Village, Marge Court in Zephyr Cove and Pine Street on Kingsbury Grade.
Target invasive weeds are Tall Whitetop (Lepidium latifolium), Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica), Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). Treatments will use herbicides similar to the commercial product Roundup. Applicators will apply the product by hand. Herbicide application will follow approved Environmental Protection Agency, state, and local direction.
Caution signs will be posted in treatment areas and will remain posted for at least 48 hours after treatment. Orange and black caution tape will mark the boundary around each treatment area. A blue marker dye will be used to easily identify locations that have been sprayed. Treatment areas are small, totaling less than two acres across all sites. Access to treatment sites will be restricted for several hours during and after the application. Forest Service staff will be onsite to monitor the areas in order to ensure public safety while the project is implemented.
For information, contact Blake Engelhardt at 530-543-2879 or visit http://tinyurl.com/basinweeds.