Forest Service seeking recruits in war on weeds
Staff reportsNoxious invaders – six-feet tall and covered with spines – are trying to take over area forests and neighborhoods, and the feds are looking for volunteers to wipe them out.No, the invaders aren’t out of “War of the Worlds,” they are noxious weeds – musk thistle to be exact. And the U.S. Forest Service is asking Truckee-area residents to come out next week to Boca Dam and help eradicate the invasive weed. On June 24, the Forest Service is holding its annual Boca Hill Weed Day. It is the sixth year that the agency will tackle a 600-acre plot of thistle, the largest in the state. “We have made good progress on this infestation. I hope we can treat at least 50 acres this year,” said Susi Urie, a Forest Service botanist. Musk thistle is a noxious weed that is covered with spines and grows up to six feet tall. The growth on Boca Hill is the largest known population in California. A noxious weed is a rapidly spreading, highly invasive plant that can outcompete native plants, and can cause serious ecological damage to both public and private lands, Urie said. The noxious weeds that come from other parts of the world that have similar climates are prepared to survive and thrive in a new environment, she said. Next Thursday’s work day is sponsored by Tahoe National Forest and the Nevada-Placer Noxious Weed Management Group, who will provide tools and lunch for those that sign up. Participants will need to bring gloves, hats, sunscreen, drinking water, and be prepared for warm weather.Anyone who can participate should RSVP to the Truckee Ranger station at 530-587-3558. Please call for more information. Volunteers will meet on the western side of Boca Dam at 9 a.m. where the dirt road widens for parking, and pull weeds until early afternoon.