SAWC is taking on invasive plants.

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An invasive plant is defined as a plant species that is non-native (or alien) to an ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. The annual cost of invasive plants to the U.S. economy is estimated at $120 billion per year. Despite its remote setting, Southeast Alaska is not immune to invasion by these plants nor the economic and ecological impacts that come with them. In fact, well over 50 invasive plant species in more than 1,000 infestations have been documented in Juneau alone.

 

Reed canarygrass takes over a stand of fireweed near lower Jordan Creek in Juneau.

SAWC is taking on two of the most invasive of these plant species – Bohemian knotweed and reed canarygrass. Knotweed and canarygrass occur throughout the City and Borough of Juneau road system. Once established at a site, these species quickly outcompete and displace native plant communities that benefit humans, fish and wildlife. With the permission of property owners and appropriate permits, SAWC staff will apply herbicide to high priority knotweed and canarygrass infestations throughout the CBJ next month.

 

Once established, Bohemian knotweed rapidly forms dense infestations that displace important native plants such as salmonberry, thimbleberry, and wildflowers.

For more information about this project or to get assistance with an invasive plant problem, contact SAWC restoration biologist John Hudson at john@sawcak.org.