New Partnership Tackles Costly Invasive Weeds on Clackamas River

Invasive weeds cost Oregon residents millions of dollars each year, but a new effort is now underway to control invasive weeds along the Clackamas River. This effort is spearheaded by the newly formed Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), representing 13 public and nonprofit organizations working within the Clackamas River watershed. The CRISP partners just completed a comprehensive plan that sets priorities and strategies for coordinating management of invasive weeds across the Clackamas River Basin.

Why Target Invasive Weeds

Garlic Mustard Control in Clackamas County Photo by CCSWCD

Garlic Mustard Control in Clackamas County Photo by CCSWCD

The invasive weeds targeted by the group are important because they impair water quality, degrade natural areas important for fish and wildlife, reduce the productivity of farms, and reduce property values. The partnership hopes to mitigate these impacts by helping agencies, organizations and private landowners work more effectively across their property and jurisdictional boundaries.
“The strong participation we’ve seen from the partners speaks to the commitment of our members and the need for increased weed management within the Clackamas Basin,” says Jenny Dezso, project manager at the Clackamas River Basin Council and one of the lead authors of the CRISP plan. “The coordinated efforts of the CRISP partners will undoubtedly have a very positive impact on the health of the Clackamas River and provide benefit to landowners living on or near the river.”

Cost to You

The impact from invasive weeds is very real. A recent study by the Oregon Department of Agriculture found an annual loss in personal income of $83.5 million for just 25 of the 131 noxious weeds within the state. The study estimated a potential annual loss of $1.8 billion if weeds were left unchecked.

“In Clackamas County alone, we are tracking more than 31,000 weed populations for treatment,” says Samuel Leininger, WeedWise program manager for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. “We’ve got a big job ahead of us to control existing weeds and to prevent new weeds from establishing. The CRISP plan does a great job of prioritizing our efforts in the Clackamas Basin to get the most bang for our buck.”

Partnership Works

“We know we can’t do this alone,” says Peter Guillozet, a Metro natural resources scientist. “Invasive weeds ignore property lines, so working with our neighbors is essential. Metro has been such strong supporter of the CRISP planning effort because helping neighboring landowners to more effectively manage their weeds is a long-term cost savings for us.”
Implementation of the plan is slated to begin in the spring of 2016 with work on four priority target areas with the Clackamas Basin. Partner efforts include long-term goals planned over the next 10 years.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do implement the CRISP plan,” Dezso says. “But we are all excited to see the groundswell of support from our partners and landowners, who are ready to be responsible stewards within the Clackamas Basin.”
Organizations involved with creating the plan include:

  • 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Area
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Clackamas County Parks
  • Clackamas County Water Environment Services
  • Clackamas River Basin Council
  • Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Metro
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Control Program
  • Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
  • Portland General Electric
  • United States Forest Service

For additional information about Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership or for a copy of the CRISP Plan, contact either the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 or the Clackamas River Basin Council at 503-303-4372. You can also visit the CRISP webpage.

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