Environment

Oct 6, 2012 10:23 PM by Patrick "Juice" Godfrey

New threat to Waldo burn scar

An unexpected threat in the Waldo Canyon burn scar could make flooding concerns even worse.

Diffuse Knapweed, a noxious weed, is already in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood and ready to invade the already devastated area. The weed is common in El Paso County and is in the sights of the County Weed Supervisor. It must be eradicated or contained according to Colorado law.

The weed will kill off any competing plants and take over an area. This can have dramatic effects in an area that is trying to regrow vegetation after a wildfire. A single Diffuse Knapweed plant can generate 18,000 seeds that can spread after the plant dies and turns into a tumbleweed.

This isn't the only the weed has. "It produces a chemical in the ground that actually kills the other grasses and wants to make it into a desert that only has the ability for it to grow." Says Theresa Springer with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, a non-profit group that helped mitigate the problems in the Hayman burn scar.

The weed is resistant to most common herbicides and it takes professional grade chemicals to kill it. Experts like Theresa say, "We really need people to be on the lookout for this particular plant, (and) pull it!"

If you would like more information about this weed, you can click here for the El Paso County website or click here for the Coalition for the Upper South Platte's weed website.

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