13th Annual Invasive Species and Exotic Pest Workshop
03/23/2024 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Skamania County Noxious Weed Board Meeting
04/02/2024 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
- Feb 05
No information for likes
- Feb 15
No information for likes
WE ARE HIRING! Click the link for the full job description and County application. Candidates who wish to deliver their applications may do so Monday through Thursday from 7:30am-5:30pm. Applications deadline is February 21, by 4:00pm. Skamania County is an equal opportunity employer. #noxiousweeds #jobopening #skamaniacounty #washingtonstate #columbiagorge #naturalresources #naturalresourcesjob #jobwithbenefits #noxiousweedcontrol #conservation #ConservationJobs
Washington is a National Leader in Establishing Weed Laws
Washington’s first weed law was passed in 1881 to fight the spread of Canada thistle, a weed that was accidentally brought by early settlers that rapidly degraded rangeland forage opportunities.
In the late 1960s, the state legislature established the state’s Noxious Weed Control Board, and authorized counties to establish County Weed Boards. In addition, there are also a handful of Weed Districts that are contiguous with Irrigation.
Weed laws establish all property owners’ responsibility for helping to prevent and control the spread of Noxious Weeds. Since plants grow without regard to property lines or political jurisdictions, everyone’s cooperation is needed – city gardeners, farmers, government land agencies, foresters, and ranchers can act cooperatively to slow the impact and spread of weeds.
What Do County Weed Boards and Local Weed Districts Do?
Washington’s weed laws direct the state Noxious Weed Control Board to create and maintain the state’s official list of noxious weeds that landowners may be required to control. Skamania County’s Weed Board has adopted the Noxious Weed list in its entirety to respond to individual property owners needs most effectively.
County Weed Boards and local Weed Districts survey their jurisdictions for noxious weeds and can require any listed weed regardless of class to be controlled. These weeds are called “designates” and vary between county’s according to specific threats they may pose. This allows for flexibility within Washington’s diverse landscape. Weed Program managers work with landowners to ensure designates are controlled and help educate the public about noxious weeds. County Weed Boards can file civil infractions and landowners can be fined for failure to control weeds.
Washington’s weed laws spell out responsibilities and create the government infrastructure needed to support citizens in the effort to control invasive weeds.
What it Means to 'Control' Weeds
Controlling weeds means not letting weeds reproduce- usually, that simply means not letting them go to seed. Legally, control means to prevent the dispersal of all propagating parts capable of forming a new plant, including seeds.
The State’s Noxious Weed List is Organized into Three Classes of Weeds: Class A, B, and C.
- Class A weeds are mostly newcomers to Washington and are generally rare.
- The goal is to completely eradicate them before they gain a foothold.
- Landowners are required to completely eradicate Class A weeds. (Eradicating weeds means getting rid of the plants altogether, including plant roots.)
- Class B weeds are those that are widespread in some parts of the state, but limited or absent in other parts of the state.
- The goal with Class B weeds is to prevent them from spreading into new areas, and to contain or reduce their population in already infested areas.
- The State Weed Board designates Class B noxious weeds for control in those parts of the state where they are limited or absent and threaten to invade. Additionally, a County Weed Board may select a Class B non-designate for control if it is considered a local priority.
- Landowners may be required to control Class B noxious weeds, depending on how widespread the species is and/or whether the species is a local priority.
- Class C weeds are often widespread or are of special interest to the agricultural industry.
- The State Weed Board does not require control of Class C noxious weeds.
- The County Weed Boards may designate a Class C weed for control and require a landowner to control it if it poses a threat to agriculture or natural resources.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) maintains a plant quarantine list, called 'Plants And Seeds Whose Sales are Prohibited in Washington State.' This quarantine list consists of both terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) plants known to be invasive and damaging. The quarantine list includes those plants whose sale or distribution is prohibited in Washington State.
All Class A weeds are on the quarantine list. Some plants are placed on the list to prevent them from ever being imported to our state.
It is illegal to transport, buy, sell, or trade any quarantined species. It is also illegal to distribute seed packets, flower seed blends, or 'wildflower mixes' that include these plants. Anyone who violates the quarantine restrictions is subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington Invasive Species Council
March 4, 2021
Contacts: Justin Bush (WISC), 360-704-0973; Becky Bennett (WDFW), 360-701-7026
State asks public to inspect aquarium moss and prevent movement of invasive mussels
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking anyone who has purchased Marimo moss balls from any retailer for their aquarium to inspect the plants for invasive zebra mussels.
This week, the U.S. Geological Survey released a public report of potential invasive mussels detected in shipments of “Betta Buddy” brand Marimo moss balls at a Seattle Petco. WDFW enforcement officers investigated the report, removed 56 Marimo moss balls, and visually confirmed the presence of at least 12 zebra mussels.
Once alerted, several other states have reported the presence of both live and dead zebra mussels at other retailers. As additional zebra mussel reports were coming in, authorities learned that PetSmart has also sold moss balls and the Marimo brand nationwide.
WDFW notified both Petco and PetSmart of the inadvertent distribution of this invasive species, and the retailers quickly acted to pull the product from shelves nationwide and placed them in quarantine. The retailers are partnering with WDFW and other agencies to address the threat.
“At Petco, we’re committed to supporting the health and wellness of pets, people, and our planet,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, head of Veterinary Medicine at Petco. “We immediately paused the sale of all Marimo aquarium moss balls at Petco locations and on petco.com and placed them in quarantine. We’re working closely with regulatory authorities, our vendor partners, and our own veterinary staff on appropriate next steps, including proper handling and disposal of any affected products and proactively contacting our customers to provide information and resources on how to responsibly collect and dispose of them at home if necessary.”
“No one organization can solve the invasive species problem alone," said WDFW Police Captain Eric Anderson, "We are working in partnership with industry and every level of government to solve this as quickly as possible. This coordination is how we’re successfully preventing these species from taking hold in Washington."
Lab testing confirmed the mussel as the zebra (Dreisena polymorpha) mussel, which is a prohibited aquatic invasive species in Washington State that, if established in local waters, would be capable of causing significant infrastructure and environmental damage.
Investigations into the product origin are currently underway. The wholesale distributors out of California and Florida have been notified, and shipments into the country will be ceased.
“Anything that moves can move invasive species,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC). “Invasive plants can hitchhike on your boots, aquatic animals can attach to your boat or equipment, and problem species can also move by hitchhiking through commerce; as we see in this case. We all have a role to play to prevent and stop invasive species, and the most basic action is reporting anything that could be a problem and looks out of place. If you see something, say something because you could find the first hitchhiker and prevent millions, if not billions of impacts to our economy and environment.”
Quagga and zebra mussels can clog pipes and mechanical systems of industrial plants, utilities, locks, and dams. If invasive mussels take hold in Washington, officials estimate it would cost more than $100 million each year to keep Washington’s power and water infrastructure running, in addition to causing catastrophic ecological damage.
Two methods for the aquarium owner to safely dispose of the moss ball(s):
- Remove the moss ball(s) and place in a plastic bag. Put the bag in the freezer and leave for at least 24 hours. After that, the moss ball(s) can be disposed of in the trash.
- Place moss ball(s) in boiling water for at least one full minute. After that, the moss ball(s) can be disposed of in the trash.
Aquarium species and accessories:
Collect the fish & plants and place them in another container. Dispose of the water in a sink or toilet. All municipal wastewater is treated to kill all pathogens, and septic tanks are fully self-contained underground.
Carefully use water that is 140 degrees to flush and coat all the tank and accessory surfaces. It is recommended that you do another water change within a week and continue to monitor the tank for any unusual aquatic growth.
If you do not have access to high temperature water, a 1/3 cup of unscented household bleach per gallon of water can be used as a disinfectant. Allow the aquarium, substrate, rocks, décor, and filter media to soak in the bleach water solution for 10-15 minutes. After adequate contact time, thoroughly rinse off all items prior to resetting up the aquarium. When resetting up the aquarium, dispose of the previously used filter media and replace with new media. Finish by using a dechlorinating product to neutralize any residual chlorine prior to reintroducing aquatic life.
For extremely large aquariums that you may not be able to completely dewater/decontaminate, dispose of the moss ball(s) as above. Officials recommend that the public conduct frequent water changes and continue to monitor the tank for any unusual aquatic growth.
WDFW and the Washington Invasive Species Council recommends that anyone who thinks their aquarium may be carrying invasive mussels to utilize the online reporting options to include the Washington Invasives app or online reporting form. It is as easy as taking a photo and submitting for an expert to review. http://invasivespecies.wa.gov/report-a-sighting/ .
WDFW is requesting $2.8 million in new state funding this legislative session to help address the threat of aquatic invasive species. For more information on aquatic invasive species in Washington, visit the WDFW website. For more information on the Washington Invasive Species Council, visit InvasiveSpecies.wa.gov.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.
Tree of Heaven
More information can be found by visiting:
If you think you have Italian arum, please contact us for more information on how to control it. If you think you have seen Italian arum in the wild, please contact our office to report the location. Thank you!
Winter is over, now it's time for the native spring ephemeral wildflowers, those that grow, flower, and reproduce before the woodland trees leaf out. But some invasive plants prevent this from happening. One of these is Ranunculus ficaria, a.k.a. lesser celandine or fig buttercup. Now, you may be thinking "Oooh, pretty buttercups!" But, this plant has some nasty habits that are destroying native spring ephemeral wildflowers.
The leaves appear in late winter, forming a dense mat which prevents the growth of almost every other plant. You might be surprised to know this mat can even block out English ivy!
Lesser celandine, native to Europe, is a low-growing perennial plant. It was originally cultivated as an ornamental due to its attractive yellow flowers and ability to quickly create a uniform groundcover. Lesser celandine grows vigorously and forms large, dense patches in gardens and on forest floors, displacing native and ornamental plants. It can easily out-compete spring-flowering plant communities and negatively impact local wildlife. This invader emerges well in advance of most native plants and spreads rapidly via underground tubers and bulblets. The prolific tubers may spread to new sites through soil movement or be unearthed and scattered by humans and other animals. Mowing is not recommended as this spreads the plant through the bulbils on the stem. Lesser celandine is toxic to livestock and humans. It grows in full shade to full sun and prefers moist to wet soils but can persist in a wide range of conditions.
Early identification and timely removal of lesser celandine is crucial to preventing its spread. Due to its short life cycle, the window of opportunity for controlling lesser celandine is very short. Lesser celandine flowers in late winter before many other plants have started to grow. It's best to remove manually or with herbicide when all plants have come in for the season, just before or during its early flowering period (early spring). Lesser celandine is extremely hard to control once established. Utmost care should be taken not to move contaminated soil and plant parts should all be disposed of in the landfill to prevent contamination of the yard debris and compost system. Please do not share this plant!
Invasive Species Awareness Week in Washington Declared by Governor Jay Inslee
OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed February 26 through March 3 as Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week in solidarity with National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
“Invasive species and noxious weeds are already a big problem in Washington and species that have yet to reach our state could pose even greater challenges in the future,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “If we want to protect our economy and environment, we all need to do our part to prevent the further spread of invasive species. There are simple things we can do in our everyday lives to protect the natural resources we hold so dear.”
Whether on land or in water, some human-introduced organisms such as fish, bugs, plants, other wildlife and even diseases can damage agriculture, recreation, forests, and other resources. Invasive species are a global problem that has cost the United States more than $1.2 trillion in the past 50 years. A 2017 state study estimated that some species not yet in Washington, such as invasive freshwater mussels, would cost the state more than $100 million annually in damage and loss if they were not prevented.
“There is a lot at stake in Washington,” said Stephanie Helms, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “Invasive species threaten the survival of endangered species such as salmon and orca. Some pose a risk to agriculture, trade and food supplies, and some can change natural processes increasing wildfires and flooding and reducing water availability.”
The awareness week includes a series of webinars and events aimed at sharing information on priority invasive species, risks to the economy and environment and ways to become part of the solution. Visit the Invasive Species Awareness Week web page for more information.
“The role of the public can’t be understated,” Helms said. “We have lots of examples where the public has discovered a new problem species. Many organizations work together to detect invasive species but they can’t be everywhere. Residents playing an active role in their communities to protect the resources we value is very important.”
The Washington Invasive Species Council has a mobile app, WA Invasives, and InvasiveSpecies.wa.gov website to help with reporting and response. Beyond awareness and reporting, below are simple actions people can take to protect public lands and natural areas from invasive species.
- Clean hiking boots, bikes, waders, boats, trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear before venturing outdoors to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn about pathways that spread invasive species.
- On a walk, look out for noxious weeds. Visit the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board’s website to learn about noxious weeds and report sightings to the county noxious weed control board.
- Dispose of unwanted pets, aquarium plants and water, science kits and live bait the proper way and NOT by dumping them into waterways. Released pets often suffer a slow death in winter or may become invasive and damage wildlife and crops. Visit the council’s Don’t Let It Loose web page to learn the proper ways to dispose of unwanted pets and plants.
- Download the WA Invasives mobile app to be ready to report sightings of invasive species. Learn about the top priorities.
- Buy firewood where it will be burned or gather it on site when permitted. Remember not to move firewood from the local area where harvested. Learn more about the potential dangers of moving firewood.
- Protect salmon and steelhead by not moving any fish from one waterbody into another. This will prevent the spread of fish diseases and protect salmon and steelhead from non-native predatory fish. Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website to learn more about moving fish.
- Use weed-free, certified forage, hay or mulch. Visit the Washington Department of Agriculture website to see details of its certification program.
- Plant only non-invasive plants in the garden and remove any known invasive plants.
- Volunteer to survey public lands and trails as a citizen science invasive plant monitor with the Pacific Northwest Invasive Plant Council. Learn more by visiting the council’s volunteer web page.
- Become a Washington State University Master Gardener and help the community identify, report and properly manage exotic and invasive pests.
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas. Contact the state, county or city parks and recreation department, land trust, conservation district, or Washington State University’s Extension Office to learn more.
- Don’t pack a pest. When traveling internationally, review travel guidelines on items that should not be brought back to the United States. Learn more about Don’t Pack a Pest.
- Shellfish are at risk from infectious diseases and invasive species. Never move shells or shellfish without a permit from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Washington is a wonderful place to call home due to clean water and productive land, abundant natural resources, diverse agricultural commodities, booming domestic and international trade and ample opportunities to recreate on the land and water,” Helms said. “Invasive species threaten much of what Washington embodies and values. Please take a few minutes to learn about this important topic and integrate simple preventative actions into your daily activities. By working together, we can help prevent this shared problem.”
Check out our newly published StoryMap! See highlights from the last 20+ years of noxious weed control work and how we are Making a Difference in Skamania County.
On February 6th, the Weed Board adopted the Skamania County Noxious Weed List for 2024. 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.
WE ARE HIRING!
Do you like to work hard and don't mind working in the rain or heat? Do you care about the forest and its health? Come work with the Skamania County Noxious Weed Program and learn all about invasive species and how they impact our lives.
Currently we have a new position for which we are hiring. This position is 75% FT with full benefits. Please check out the job description and find an application to apply on the Human Resources page.
Soon, there will be temporary positions available with the Noxious Weed Program, including Natural Resource Aide and Natural Resource Worker. Check back on the Human Resources webpage for the job descriptions and to obtain an application.
The Skamania County Noxious Weed Board meets at least quarterly in the Noxious Weed Program Office located in Stevenson, WA. Meetings occur on the first Tuesday of any given month and start at 10AM. Meetings are open to the public. For meeting schedule and agendas, click here.
The Gorge Cooperative Weed Management Area creates and supports collaborative weed management efforts among public and private land managers and owners. The CWMA meets quarterly and hosts workshops and outreach events throughout the year. View the CWMA calendar here.
The Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board holds meetings every other month. The public is welcome to join either in person or online.
The Washington Invasive Species Council was created by legislature to improve coordination among state agencies and help the State be more strategic about managing invasive species. The council holds regular meetings and the public is welcome to attend. For more information, please click here.
National Invasive Species Awareness Week or NISAW occurs annually to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international, and national scales. During the week of February 26 - March 3rd, 2024, educational events are scheduled throughout the country to promote awareness on invasive species detection, management, and prevention. Local events and simple actions can be found here.
The Columbia Gorge CWMA hosts an annual Invasive Species and Exotic Pest Workshop to provide information on invasive species and their management to professionals and the public.
The 13th annual workshop will be held February 29, 2024 in Stevenson, WA. To view the agenda or register for the free event, please click here.
National Pollinator Week is June 17-23, 2024 and is a time to celebrate pollinators! An international celebration, Pollinator Week helps to spread the word about the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles. For more information click here.