USFS to treat weeds near Deschutes River Trail

Herbicides to remove invasive reed canary grass

BEND, Ore. - Next Tuesday, the Deschutes National Forest will apply herbicides to invasive plants in an area adjacent to the Deschutes River Trail southwest of Bend.

From 5 a.m. to noon on July 16, the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District will use two herbicides (Rodeo® and Poast®) to treat invasive reed canary grass within a nine-acre area of Ryan Ranch, located just south of Dillon Falls on the Deschutes River.

Two methods of treatment will be used, officials said. Areas with concentrated populations of reed canary grass will be broadcast sprayed from an all-terrain vehicle with attached boom sprayers. Smaller, less-concentrated areas of reed canary grass will be spot sprayed from backpacks.

The applied herbicides will dry within an hour of being sprayed and do not pose a risk to human or animal health under the concentrations being applied, the agency said.

The Deschutes River Trail will remain open during treatment, but the public should remain on the trail during treatment operations.  Dogs, as per current seasonal requirements, must be leashed while walking on the trail.  

Reed canary grass is an aggressive invasive plant that is overtaking native sedges within the area's wetland habitat.

Reed canary grass out-competes most native species and presents a major challenge in wetland mitigation efforts.

Restoring the wetland habitat of Ryan Ranch is a priority of the Deschutes National Forest and this action, in addition to others, will move that restoration effort forward.

The two herbicides being used were approved through an environmental analysis in 2005 and a supplemental environmental analysis in 2012.  Prior to the approval of herbicide use, reed canary grass was treated by pulling; however, pulling isn't highly effective because any root not completely removed continues to reproduce.  

For more information, please contact Peter Sussmann at 541-383-5594.

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