News Release – 5/18/12

Clark Public Utilities Eradication Nation declares open hunting season on invasive knotweed

– Program seeks volunteers and issues warning to weeds along Salmon Creek –

VANCOUVER, WA – May 18, 2012 – Clark Public Utilities’ Eradication Nation has declared "open season" on knotweed and invites volunteers to join in the hunt.

Funded through a $74,000 National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant, the utility’s Eradication Nation program is launching a coordinated operation to identify, monitor and control the spread of the invasive plant.

Eradication Nation is a collaboration between community and non-profit groups committed to removing non-native plants from the Salmon Creek watershed. Clark Public Utilities spearheads the effort through its ongoing StreamTeam program and will coordinate hundreds of volunteers this summer to remove and suppress Japanese knotweed. In total, more than 900 volunteer hours will be dedicated to this initiative.

"We have a core of dedicated volunteers working with us to find and fight knotweed, but we need more help," said Bethany Lund, invasive species coordinator at Clark Public Utilities. "Far more aggressive and harder to control than Himalayan blackberry, Japanese knotweed grows up to three inches per day and will travel 20 feet in every direction, pushing through concrete, with roots eight feet deep."

Volunteers can help by joining the team for surveying events held on Saturdays in June and July and treatment events from June through September. Opportunities to assist during the week are also available. To-date, teams have surveyed 26 stream miles and treated 55 acres of knotweed infestation.

Knotweed grows in thick, tall stands on uneven ground so volunteers must be able to navigate this terrain. Specific volunteer opportunities include applying or injecting herbicide and surveying new infestations using professional GPS equipment. Training and required licenses will be provided for volunteers. For more information, call 360-992-8787, email knotweed@clarkpud.com or visit www.StreamTeam.net.

Eradication Nation partners include Clark County Vegetation Management, Salmon Creek Watershed Council, NW Wild Fish Rescue, WSU Watershed Stewards, Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation, and Clark Public Utilities Stream Stewards.