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BLM treating invasive weeds on public land

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Burns District, planned to implement approximately 40,000 acres of aerial spray treatments for Medusahead rye and cheatgrass on public land beginning Aug. 2 and lasting for four to six weeks. Both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft will be used in the effort.

The treatment schedule for Harney County includes these locations:

• Riley area;

• Coleman Creek and Buzzard Fire area (Crane/Riverside);

• Bone Creek/Carlson Creek area (east Steens); and

• Drewsey area (potentially).

Medusahead out-competes other grasses by extracting the majority of moisture well before perennial grasses have begun to grow. Once land is invaded by this species, it becomes almost worthless, supporting neither native animals, birds nor livestock. Cheatgrass is problematic as well. It can maintain superiority over native plants because it’s a prolific seed producer that is able to germinate in the autumn. It’s also tolerant of grazing, and it increases with frequent fire.

There are many things an individual can do to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds. First and foremost, become familiar with the noxious weeds in your area and treat them to prevent their spread. Wash your vehicles and equipment before venturing into new areas to prevent dispersal, and report weed sightings on BLM-administered lands to your local BLM office.

For more information about weed treatments on public land, contact Lesley Richman at the BLM Burns District office at 541-573-4479.

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