Tag Archives | weeds

Improving Riparian Habitats One Landowner at a Time

Our partners at Molalla River Watch recently published their Summer 2016 Newsletter. This article below, written by Asako Yamamuro, Molalla River Watch Restoration Project Coordinator, captures the spirit of collaboration the District enjoys with our watershed partners. Their valuable on-the-ground work and hard-working volunteers enable the District to more effectively distribute resources throughout our community. Many thanks to Asako and Molalla River Watch for their permission to share this article.

Improving Riparian Habitats One Landowner at a Time

Wilderness International at BuellsWhen landowners ask for assistance, Molalla River Watch helps them out. The Buells, who live where the Molalla River and Cedar Creek meet, felt overwhelmed by their ivy problem. They approached Molalla River Watch for advice.

Through our partnerships with Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, we brought in riparian and fish conservation experts to the Buells’ property. The experts assessed the extent of invasive weed infestation and determined the importance of their property to trout and salmon habitat. The riparian and fish experts discussed options to improve the Buells’ property for wildlife.

Buells before and afterWith the Buells’ goals in mind and a Conservation Plan written by Clackamas SWCD and tailored for their property, Molalla River Watch submitted a grant to Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to fund invasive weed removal and planting natives.

Molalla River Watch was awarded the grant and we have started implementing the Conservation Plan by collaborating with the Buells, volunteers, and Wilderness International, which runs at-risk youth work crews. We oversee the work and Clackamas SWCD specialists will assess progress towards accomplishing Conservation Plan goals. The Buells are glad they asked Molalla River Watch for advice and now significantly more wildlife will benefit.

Tansy Ragwort Poisons Livestock and Neighborly Relationships!

Tansy ragwort has long tormented hay producers and rural landowners who graze livestock. Horses and cows are especially susceptible to this poisonous weed.

In open fields, grazing animals will generally avoid eating tansy ragwort, but in heavily infested pastures they may have few other options. Contaminated hay is particularly a problem because it becomes impossible for feeding animals to avoid consumption.

Tansy Ragwort is manageable

Tansy Ragwort is manageable

Tansy ragwort has a long history in Clackamas County. It was one of the few plants regulated under the former county noxious weed control district that was formed in 1949. At that time, landowners in Clackamas County could be cited for having flowering plants on their property. Back then, neighbors would come together for community tansy pulls to keep their horses and livestock safe and to avoid the dreaded visit from the weed inspector.

In the 1960s, several insects were introduced as biological controls to reduce the abundance of tansy ragwort. These insects feed on the plants and weaken or kill the tansy. The most recognizable of these is the crimson red Cinnabar moth. The caterpillar for the moth feeds on the flowering plant during the summer months.

With the introduction of a flea beetle in 1971, we had the one-two punch needed to reduce the tansy ragwort problem to relatively low levels. Following the reduction of tansy ragwort, Clackamas County dissolved the Clackamas Noxious Weed Control Board on August 3rd, 1989 citing the effectiveness of the biological controls as well as budget constraints as the chief reasons for its dissolution.

In the years since the weed board was dissolved, tansy ragwort has continued to persist in Clackamas County, but typically at much lower levels than those encountered in previous generations. The biological controls introduced in the 1960s and 1970s are still working on our behalf!

In years with especially mild and wet springs we see a strong revival of tansy ragwort seedlings. In these years, the effects of the flea beetle are dramatically reduced and we see tansy ragwort soaring to the top of Clackamas County’s least wanted list of weeds.

Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on Tansy Ragwort

Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on Tansy Ragwort

This year, folks throughout Clackamas County are once again seeing the yellow flowers blooming in their fields. They are calling in to the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) asking for assistance in controlling this weed. But by the time tansy flowers appear, the best management of this weed is a good pair of leather gloves, a strong back, and a healthy dose of perspiration from pulling mature plants. Mowing and cutting plants only spreads the poisonous vegetation around, making it more difficult for livestock to avoid. Tansy ragwort is normally a biennial plant, but mowing can cause it to behave like a perennial, meaning it will tend to come back year after year.

Some of our customers remember the neighborhood tansy ragwort pulls that were common many years ago…but now they seem to be a thing of the past. Tansy still poisons livestock but also affects the relationships of once cordial neighbors. Each year the Clackamas SWCD receives a large number of calls from neighbors complaining about their neighbors tansy plants.

There are no longer weed inspectors in Clackamas County, so our best recommendation is to work with your neighbors to control tansy ragwort. We have developed a Tansy Ragwort Best Management Practices document to help folks develop a management plan for their property.

Despite the onslaught of tansy ragwort, remember that all is not lost! Tansy ragwort is manageable. If you have a lot of tansy plants and are feeling overwhelmed, focus first on areas where grazing animals are present or along fence lines to help with your neighborly relations. Pull flowering plants and dispose of them as trash or pile them up away from grazing animals and then burn them when allowable.

If plants are already going to seed, cut off the seed heads and dispose of as trash. Try to avoid spreading seed further. Follow up the next spring by pulling emergent rosettes when the ground is still wet or use an approved herbicide recommended by the Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook that is appropriate for your property. Be sure to always read and follow the label directions on any herbicides you purchase. Work to keep good vegetated cover on your ground. Avoid overgrazing, reseed good pasture grasses as needed, and implement rotational grazing practices when possible to rest vegetation over time.

Don’t let Tansy Ragwort poison your livestock, or your relationship with your neighbors: do the neighborly thing and control your tansy ragwort. Happy Pulling!


Call for Citizen Scientists!

Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant CouncilThe Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council, a non-profit conservation organization, is hosting two FREE workshops to train citizens to identify important invasive plants. Join a regional volunteer effort to detect and eradicate invasive plant species!

In just 2.5 hours of your time, you will learn how to identify priority invasive plants and how to record basic data. Participants also learn methods of manual invasive weed removal. Equipped with this new knowledge, volunteers with be able to conduct invasive plant surveys that are of great value to local land managers. Your efforts will directly support the maintenance of healthy ecosystems.

If you work on or spend time enjoying public lands, or would just like to learn more about invasive plants, we invite you to attend one of the upcoming trainings.

April 27, 2016, Wednesday at 1:00 pm-3:30 pm Sandy, OR
Sandy Community Center
38348 Pioneer Blvd, Sandy, OR 97055;
Parking is available along the side and at the back of the building.
Hosted by: David Lebo, Westside Zone Botanist, Mt. Hood National Forest and Sam Leininger, Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District and the Columbia Gorge CWMA

April 28, 2016, Thursday at 9:30 am-12:00 pm Vancouver, WA
Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum
1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661.
Hosted by: Carol Chandler, Wildlife Biologist, Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Emily Stevenson, Skamania Noxious Weed Board, Columbia Gorge CWMA

Seating is limited; if you would like to attend one of these free trainings, please RSVP to Julie Combs to reserve your place or call 615-812-5295.

Participants may receive WDSA or ODA pesticide license re-certification credits (2 credits) pending approval.

Citizen science volunteers will receive an invasive plant identification booklet along with survey forms and instruction on how to report findings. Volunteers are asked to conduct 1-2 surveys over the 2016 field season.

The Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council works in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Washington Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA), Department of Natural Resources, and other state and local groups on a Citizen Science Early Detection Rapid Response program. Funding from the National Forest Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the WSDA, and others has allowed the group to gear up for their fifth year to search for priority and newly emerging invasive plants in our National Forests, National Parks, and other public lands.

The Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council is excited to recruit new volunteers and inspire their current volunteer base to search for and report new invasive plant populations. There is a great need to document emerging invasive plant populations on all public lands.

Annual 4-County CWMA Pull Together Shares the Latest on Invasive Weeds

Weed professionals learn new strategies for combating weeds.

Weed professionals learn new strategies for combating weeds.

Registration for the 2016 Annual Pull-Together event is open! Each year, land managers, field workers, contractors, and invasive weed professionals gather together to learn about new invasive plants, new treatments, and all the latest news in the weed world. Organized and sponsored by the 4-County CWMA, a partnership of organizations throughout SW Washington and NW Oregon dedicated to combating invasive weeds for the benefit of native habitat, this year’s annual event will be held on February 24, 2016 at the Oregon Zoo.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Becky Kerns, PhD, Research Ecologist, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Her presentation will explore the links between climate change and invasive plant invasions.

Cost for the event is $43.19 per person and includes coffee, snacks, and a lunch. Seating is limited, so reserve your seat now.

Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus

Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus

New this year will be a poster session. Please bring posters to display and outreach materials to share!

Five (5) Herbicide Applicator Re-Certification Credits will be available from ODA. Herbicide Applicator Re-Certification Credits will also be available from WSDA. The number of credits will be posted as soon as they are available.

Sarah Hamilton, the 4-County CWMA coordinator, notes that this is a popular and well- attended event. She adds, “It’s a great networking opportunity and our professionals are always excited to learn about the newest weeds in our area.”

  • 4-County CWMA Pull Together
  • February 24, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Oregon Zoo – 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221
  • Register here!

Request for Proposals: Priority Invasive Weed and Vegetation Management

UPDATE February 26, 2016: This RFP is closed.

The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) is looking for qualified contractors to perform invasive weed control, and restoration planting on multiple project sites within Clackamas County. Categories of work may include:

  1. Manual Site Preparation and Maintenance;
  2. Mechanical Site Preparation and Maintenance;
  3. Planting;
  4. Survey and Monitoring;
  5. Aquatic Site Preparation, Maintenance, and Survey and Monitoring;
  6. Project Management.

All documents that support this announcement are posted on the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District website (www.conservationdistrict.org). These documents include:

  • Request for Proposals
  • Appendix 1: Sample Contract (including insurance requirements)
  • Exhibit 1: Scope of Work
    • Attachment A: Proposal Forms
    • Attachment B: Target Species List
    • Attachment C: Indemnity Agreement for Third Party Contractors

 Note: Watch for future website postings, and or updates as needed, including:

  • Questions and answers exchanged between interested parties and CSWCD
  • Any revisions to this RFP

Paper versions of these documents will be provided upon request.

Completed proposals and any questions or comments should be submitted during business hours Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm to:

Eann Rains, RFP & Contracts Administrator

Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District

ATTN: RFP #2016-WW-01

221 Molalla Ave., Suite 102

Oregon City, OR 97045

Email: erains@conservationdistrict.org

Phone: 503-210-6005


Upon selection of qualified contractors, we intend to execute a contract immediately and proceed with work as conditions allow.


Supporting Documents


RFP #2016-WW-01: Priority Invasive Weed And Veg Mgmt
RFP #2016-WW-01: Priority Invasive Weed And Veg Mgmt
125.7 KB
RFP #2016-WW-01: Proposal Forms
RFP #2016-WW-01: Proposal Forms
147.5 KB
RFP #2016-WW-01:Target Species List
RFP #2016-WW-01:Target Species List
1.3 MB
RFP #2016-WW-01: Indemnity Agreement For Third Party Contractors
RFP #2016-WW-01: Indemnity Agreement For Third Party Contractors
21.5 KB
RFP #2016 WW 01 QA (02 25 2016)
RFP #2016 WW 01 QA (02 25 2016)
867.9 KB