Coming up in June are several free training opportunities to learn how to identify invasive plants that threaten our national forests and wilderness areas.
First up is a June 1st Weed Watcher training in North Bend, and attendees will learn to identify and map priority invasive plants along trails in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This training is co-hosted by the King County Noxious Weed Control Program, The Mountaineers, and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
The goal of the program is to find new infestations early, while there’s still a chance to stop them from spreading.
The King County Weed Watcher program works closely with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and King County Parks to track and control invasive plants in the Upper Snoqualmie/Alpine Lakes Wilderness areas.
The Mountaineers’ Wilderness Weed Watchers are working to track and control invasive plants in the Wilderness Areas spanning from the northern reaches of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to the southern terminus of the forest near Mt. Rainier National Park.
As the organizers put it, “Being a Weed Watcher is a wonderful way to hike with a purpose and help protect the beautiful wilderness and recreation areas that are such an important part of all our lives in the Pacific Northwest!”
The June 1st training will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in North Bend. If you’re interested in attending, please email Sasha Shaw at email@example.com or Katherine Hollis at The Mountaineers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Later in June, you have three opportunities from the PNW Invasive Plant Council to join the effort to help locate and eradicate invasive plants in Washington State.
These free trainings will be
- Friday, June 20th, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., in Vancouver, Washington.
- Saturday, June 21st; 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Kelso.
- Saturday, June 28th, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Naches.
The PNW Invasive Plant Council is a non-profit conservation organization (http://www.pnw-ipc.org/) working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Agriculture, and state and local conservation groups.
The trainings are part of its Citizen Science Early Detection Rapid Response program, which is gearing up for a third year of searching for priority invasive plants in national forests and beyond.
The organizers write that, “We are excited to recruit new volunteers and inspire our current volunteer base to search for and eradicate invasive plant populations in Washington State. This year we are focusing on documenting invasive species in the Olympic, Gifford Pinchot, and the Naches District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests.”
They go on to note that surveys are needed on other public lands as well. If you’re planning on hiking, boating, kayaking, horseback riding or working in these areas this summer, surveying for invasive plants would be an easy and meaningful activity to add.
The program receives funding from the National Forest Foundation and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Space is limited, so if you would like to attend one of the PNW Invasive Plant Council trainings, please contact Julie Combs at email@example.com (or call 615-812-5295) to reserve your place.