News and Upcoming Events
Invasive Species & Exotic Pest Workshop
The Columbia Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area, in conjunction with the Washington and Oregon Invasive Species Councils, WSU Extension, and the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program, present the
6th Annual Columbia Gorge Invasive Species & Exotic Pest Workshop
When: Thursday, March 02, 2017 8:30am – 4:45pm
Where: Rock Creek Hegewald Center Auditorium 710 SW Rock Creek Drive Stevenson, Washington
Who: Natural resource managers, restoration professionals, pest managers, interested public
Cost: $45 For registration info & to view a full agenda, please visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2839188
Or contact Skamania County Noxious Weed Program at 509-427-3941 or email@example.com
Information on new & emerging technologies with a focus on best management practices for invasive plants and insects will be presented from experts from Oregon and Washington.
· Forest Pests & Diseases
· New Weeds & Weed Management Tools
· Invasive Species Detecting Dogs
· Herbicide Modes of Action and Resistance
· Feral Swine in the Pacific Northwest
7 Pesticide Applicator Recertification Credits from Oregon and Washington will be offered (pending approval)
Native Plant Sale and Treefest
Native Plant Sale Order Deadline -- February 28 &
UCD's First Annual Tree Fest -- March 18
Underwood Conservation District (UCD) has launched its annual native plant sale for residents of Skamania and Klickitat Counties. To view available species of trees, shrubs and native grass-and-flower seed mixes, and to order conveniently online using your credit or debit card, visit the UCD website: www.ucdwa.org. Orders will be accepted until February 28, 2017.
The UCD website also has information on the benefits of native plants, how to choose what to plant, and additional resource links.
Prices vary depending on species, but most seedlings cost about $1.50 each. They come ready to plant as 1-3 year-old, bare-root or plug seedlings. There are significant discounts for orders of 400 or more trees (of the same species).
This year’s plant sale has a couple of new features. Online orders in advance of the spring distribution are subject to a minimum $45 order, which equates to a couple dozen or more shrubs or tree seedlings.
Distribution will be on a single day this year: Saturday, March 18, at Rhinegarten Park (Lincoln and Main Streets, White Salmon). This will correspond with UCD’s first “TreeFest,” featuring same-day plant seedling sales for those people who want only a few, or last-minute, seedlings. Additionally, there will be booths, food and other activities for landowners, homeowners and families. Mark your calendar for March 18’s TreeFest!
The annual tree sale is one way UCD and other conservation districts encourage the restoration of natural habitats and promote native species. The goal of this not-for-profit sale is to provide a convenient, low-cost way for property owners in Skamania and western Klickitat Counties to obtain these trees and shrubs.
Integrating Beneficial Habitat Workshop
“Integrating Beneficial Habitat on Your Farm” is a Thursday, Feb. 23 workshop featuring presenters and a hands-on exercise to help Columbia Gorge farmers — whether operating an orchard, vineyard, market garden or other ag enterprise — learn about providing habitat for and gaining from beneficial arthropods and birds. Topics will include basic identification of beneficial species, habitat and plant selection, current knowledge and research, and basic design.
The workshop runs 8:30am to approximately 4:00pm at the Mosier Grange building, 900 4th Street, in Mosier, Oregon.
Lunch is provided and the workshop is free for the first 30 RSVP attendees. Contact Dan at Underwood Conservation District (firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-493-1936) to RSVP or with questions.
So please RSVP!
Pesticide applicator continuing education credits are in the works for attendees.
This is the first of two paired workshops, the second being this spring in the field at one or more local farms.
Landscaping with Native Plants Workshop
Do you dream of a backyard habitat garden? A Firewise-approved property that is lovely and low-maintenance? A privacy hedge that welcomes birds and butterflies?
Join environmental planner Jurgen Hess, of Hood River, and Underwood Conservation District to design your project with expert guidance.
The “Designing Your Natural Landscape” workshop will be held in White Salmon, at the library meeting room, 9am-noon on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017.
This is a working work-shop: Participants will be taking detailed notes and making sketches, with the aim of leaving with a designed project, or at least some great and specific ideas.
Registration is free, but but space is limited to 20 people. PLEASE REGISTER ASAP if you’d like to attend. Email Dan (email@example.com), or call him at 509-493-1936 to sign up.
2017 Skamania County Noxious Weed List
On February 1, the Weed Board adopted the Skamania County Noxious Weed List for 2017. The Weed Board has chosen to require control on all state listed noxious weeds in Skamania County. Per RCW 17.10.140, landowners who have a Class A noxious weed on their property are required to eradicate that weed. Landowners who have any Class B or Class C noxious weeds are required to control and prevent the spread of these species on an annual basis.
If you think you may have a noxious weed on your property and need help identifying or managing weeds, please contact the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program. We offer free home surveys and are happy to help form a plan to help you combat these invasive species.
NEWS RELEASE: Invasive Species Could Cost Washington Businesses, Agencies $1.3 Billion
OLYMPIA – A new report released today pegs the economic impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington at $1.3 billion a year and a loss of 8,000 jobs, if there’s no prevention, according to the Washington Invasive Species Council.
“Invasive species are plants and animals not native to Washington, and once they land here, they out-compete existing wildlife,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “They can wipe out crops, clog waterways, damage pipes and dams and completely change the landscape and the wildlife that live there. Left unchecked, invasive species can ring up huge costs for control, kill jobs and harm our economy."
While there are more than 200 known invasive species found in or near Washington state, the economic analysis highlights the damages and potential impacts that could result if 23 of these species were allowed to spread in Washington in a single year.
Following are the total potential economic impacts of 23 invasive species on Washington’s industries:
Crops Cropland has the potential to be quickly infested by invasive plants, which require resources to control, and by invasive animals, which are looking for fruits and vegetables to eat. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on crops grown in Washington is estimated to be more than $589 million a year and 4,400 jobs lost.
Timber Many invasive species have the ability to severely impact Washington’s$1.68 billion timber and logging industry. Invasive noxious weed species such as Scotch broom can outcompete new saplings, which harms future timber harvests. Insect species such as gypsy moth have a more immediate impact on forests by defoliating and stressing adult trees, resulting in their death. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the timber industry is estimated to be $297 million and 1,300 jobs lost.
Livestock Invasive noxious weeds in pastures and rangeland displace native plants eaten by livestock. In some cases, these plants also are poisonous to livestock and horses and can cause life-threatening ailments. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the livestock industry is estimated to be more than $282 million annually and 1,500 jobs lost.
Recreation Recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and boating can all be adversely affected by invasive species. Many of the same species that impact a rancher’s ability to range their cattle also reduce elk and deer populations. Invasive species in the water hamper fish populations and can reduce access to popular fishing areas. Other water species can clog boat motors and render public boat launches unusable. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species to recreational activities is estimated to be more than $47 million a year and 500 jobs lost.
Water Facilities Water facilities such as dams and irrigation systems can be devastated by aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and quagga and zebra mussels. If invasive species are introduced to a facility, costly mitigation and maintenance systems must be installed for the facility to function. The total economic impact to water facilities from quagga and zebra mussels is estimated to be more than $100 million and 500 jobs lost.
The Worst Offenders
Rush skeletonweed, Scotch broom, apple maggot and zebra and quagga mussels are the most costly of the selected invasive species in Washington with an estimated total impact of more than $927 million and more than 5,140 jobs lost, the report concluded.
“Invasive species, including noxious weeds, affect all of us in Washington,” says Alison Halpern, the executive secretary of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. “Many people have probably seen Scotch broom take over a vacant lot, knapweeds crowd out rangeland plants or Eurasian milfoil plug up a lake and make it hard to swim or boat. It’s important to understand that not only are they reducing native plant diversity and degrading important habitat, but they also can really hurt businesses that rely on Washington’s natural resources.”
Invasive species rapidly colonize new areas, displacing native species. Nationally, the impacts of invasive species and control efforts cost more than $137 billion annually but information on the specific costs of these impacts to Washington has been lacking.
To address the lack of information, the Washington Department of Agriculture, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Washington Invasive Species Council partnered with five other state agencies (Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Transportation, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission) to hire Seattle-based Community Attributes Inc. to quantify the impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington. The analysis gathered information on crops, livestock, timber and recreation such as hunting, fishing and boating.
“This economic damage can be reduced or even prevented by controlling noxious weeds, reporting invasive species, choosing non-invasive plants, never releasing unwanted pets into the wild and cleaning recreational equipment before and after use,” Bush said. “We all must do our part to prevent the introduction of invasive species to Washington state. With this amount of revenue and jobs on the line, we can’t afford to ignore this important issue.”
“As this report makes clear, invasive species can devastate the economy, in addition to our state’s environment,” said Jim Marra, pest program manager for the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “This is all the more reason for our agency and our partners to continue the invaluable work of preventing the introduction of invasive species to protect the state’s agricultural, environmental and other natural resources.”
For release: August 8, 2016
Contact: Susan Zemek, 360-902-3081
State Asks You to Check Trees for Invasive Forest Pests in August
OLYMPIA – Four state agencies and a university are asking residents to check trees in their yards for harmful bugs as part of the national Tree Check Month in August.
August is the peak time of year to find invasive bugs like Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and other aggressive wood-boring insects.
“Invasive insects can destroy Washington’s forests.” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “In Washington, more than 22 million acres of forests are at risk from invasive insects and disease. We need everyone’s assistance to prevent these damages in Washington State.”
The Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and Washington State University Extension are asking residents to take ten minutes to go outside and inspect their trees. Invasive wood boring insects typically emerge from trees in August. Experts also suggests that all pool owners should check their pool skimmers and filters for the invasive bugs. Emerging adult insects often end up as debris collected in pool filters.
If residents see any invasive insects or signs, they should to take photographs and report the find immediately at www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/report.shtml, where they can get an online reporting form or download the free WA Invasives mobile app.
“Initial infestations are difficult to detect, so early detection and reporting is critical to rapidly manage new populations,” Bush said. “Our state needs help finding new outbreaks so they can be contained quickly and eliminated.”
“Early detection and rapid response is the more effective and cost-efficient approach to managing new invasive species, whether because we have the opportunity to eradicate it or because we can take steps to quickly limit their impact,” said Dr. Chris Looney of the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “Our own data show that the general public is an important source of first detections.”
First indications of invasive insect damage to trees include sudden die back or death among a group of like trees that are otherwise vigorous and healthy. If you see this, investigate further and look for sawdust, exit holes or actual beetles. You might help find one of these invasive species:
Need help recognizing suspicious beetles?
“Each county has a WSU Extension Office and Master Gardener Program that can help identify suspect beetles,” said Todd Murray, director for Washington State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resource Unit. “And if they can’t, they know the specialist to send it to. Master Gardeners are often the first ones to recognize and report a newly introduced insect pest. Master Gardener clinics receive a large number of insect samples at this time of year.”
“When it comes to the health of your trees, a few minutes checking them for insects can make a big difference,” Bush said.
1. Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
2. emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
National Invasive Species Awareness Week!
Invasive species cause millions of dollars of damage every year to our agricultural, cultural, and natural areas. They crowd out native species and are a huge detriment to biodiversity.
One of the best ways to combat invasive species is to prevent their establishment in the first place. So when you are out enjoying all Skamania County has to offer, take a few steps to do your part in preventing weeds from invading your favorite trail or park:
1) Brush your boots, bike, or gear before and after you recreate
2) Keep pets leashed and stay on the trail
3) Volunteer to help remove invasive plants in your favorite natural area
4) Report any invaders to your local Noxious Weed Program
5) Tell your friends about how to prevent invasive species!
The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Program are offering free seed packets containing a non-invasive, pollinator-friendly flower mix! For more information and a complete list of the species included in the mix, click here. Also, contact the Skamania County Noxious Weed Program to get your free packet today!