Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Report: Year 7 Weed Monitoring at the Air Force Academy

CNHP GIS Program Manager Amy Lavender walks a Canada thistle monitoring transect at the Farish Memorial Recreation Area.

CNHP staff Renée Rondeau and Amy Lavender completed their seventh year of noxious weed monitoring, analysis, and reporting for the U.S. Air Force Academy (AFA) and Farish Memorial Recreation Area (FMRA) near Colorado Springs.

The latest report includes a summary of the results of the past seven years of population monitoring of targeted noxious weeds, emphasizing changes that were observed between 2010 and 2011.

This report and all previous years' reports are available on the CNHP reports page.

Highlights of 2011 monitoring include:
  • Russian knapweed: aggressive spraying has extirpated the few known populations. Continued monitoring is necessary to assure that this species is permanently eliminated from the AFA.
  • Musk thistle: Number of plants increased over at the AFA despite treatments, but the species appears to be declining at FMRA.
  • Canada thistle: cover increased in untreated areas at AFA, but the species appears to be declining at FMRA.
  • Leafy spurge: At this time, herbicide treatment appears more effective than biocontrol, and should be continued.
  • Myrtle spurge: Aggressive treatment is having a positive impact, but the species is not yet eradicated.
  • St. Johnswort: Overall, the 2011 occupied area and number of individuals remained similar to 2010. Careful and coordinated treatment should continue.
  • Scotch thistle: occupied acres remain the same, but density of individuals is decreasing. Ongoing weed management is critical for this species.
  • Spotted knapweed: this species has reached high numbers. We intend to conduct an herbicide vs. biocontrol study in 2012, utilizing the predicted models developed in 2009 to develop the study in collaboration with Texas A&M.
  • Tamarisk: continued management and monitoring is necessary, but treatments appear to be keeping this species under control.
  • Houndstongue and Dalmatian toadflax: these two species are relatively new to the area. Aggressive treatment in resulted in the eradication of Dalmatian toadflax, but houndstongue is still present.
  • Yellow bedstraw: This weed was discovered at one area in 2010. Rapid response has been very effective.
  • Yellow toadflax: Mixed results at FMRA suggest this species was eliminated from one area but continuing to increase in others.

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