Forest Service plans noxious weed control in Cle Elum area

OKANOGAN-WENATCHEE NATIONAL FOREST NEWS RELEASE -- The Cle Elum Ranger District will treat over 700 acres of noxious weed infested land on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest beginning in early June. Various control methods including manual, chemical, and cultural treatment will be carried out by US Forest Service employees as well as a local contractor.

Planned treatment areas include: Table Mtn., Reecer, Swauk, and Blue Creeks, Liberty, Cougar and Lion Gulch, Teanaway, Manastash, Taneum, Upper Cle Elum Valley, Cooper River, French Cabin Creek, Salmon la Sac, Kachess, Box Canyon Creek, Lost Lake, Cabin Creek, Stampede Pass and Gold Creek on selected roadsides, trailheads and rock/borrow pits. Noxious weeds to be treated include knapweed, sulfur cinquefoil, dalmation toadflax, butter and eggs, absinth wormwood, thistle, hairy cat's ear, common tansy, St. Johnswort, scotch broom, oxeye daisy, tansy ragwort, chicory, orange and yellow hawkweed and hounds tongue.

Manual control (hand pulling) of weeds will be done by volunteers and Forest Service employees. Chemical control will involve four types of herbicide that will be spot applied to noxious weeds by a Washington State licensed applicator. Herbicides will be mixed with a blue colored dye so treated areas are readily identifiable. All Washington state and federal guidelines will be followed. Project sites will be signed to notify those in the vicinity that herbicide application has taken place.

In order to reduce the risk of re-infestation, cultural control, or planting treated areas with a native grass seed will follow manual removal and/or chemical treatment of weeds in some areas. Monitoring of previous year's treatment areas will also occur.

For questions about treatment locations including maps and other information, please visit the Cle Elum Ranger District office at 803 W 2nd St., Cle Elum, WA. If you are interested in observing or participating in the Cle Elum Ranger District noxious weed program, please contact Helen Lau at 509-852-1074.