As you head out for some well deserved exercise or restorative time in nature, remember to clean your boots before and after you hike. And your sneakers, sandals, and flip-flops too. It’s a quick and easy way to help to prevent the spread of invasive weeds.
Summer is in full swing and that means Oregonians are out in force, visiting the many wonderful parks and recreation areas for which our state is so famous. We love our native plants and native wildlife, trails and creeks, mountains and beaches, but did you know that these unique areas can be easily spoiled? Contamination by invasive weeds can destroy precious habitat and limit resources that our native pollinators, song birds, fish, and other wildlife need to survive.
This study found an estimated annual loss of almost $83.5 million in personal income to Oregon’s economy from just 25 selected weed species. These costs are estimated to balloon to $1.8 billion if invasive weeds are left untreated. We all pay the bill for invasion of weeds species through increased food costs, higher taxes, and decreased property values.
Clean Your Boots After You Hike
You can help control invasive weeds in our area by making one simple commitment — Clean your boots before and after you hike! Remove seeds from your socks and boots (check laces and boot tread) and check your children or pets who hike with you for seeds as well. This simple step can help prevent the spread of invasive weeds into our parks and recreational areas. Share this important tip with friends, family, and fellow hikers! (Print a copy of our poster to share here – What is hitchhiking on YOUR boots? )
What Else Can I Do?
While the best way to protect our natural areas is to not introduce invasive weeds at all, the next best thing is to eliminate them just as soon as they are detected. This approach is called Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR). You can help by learning to identify new invasive weeds in our area by taking a look at The Terrible Twelve in this brochure below!
Should you identify one of these invasive weeds, please report your sightings to the District’s WeedWise program by giving them a call at 503-210-6000, or submit your information online to the Oregon Invasive Species hotline.
Your help in identifying and reporting locations of these invasive weeds in our community will provide early detection information to the experts working to stop the next invasion before it starts!