Noxious weeds such as cheatgrass, leafy spurge and knapweed already occupy over 133 million acres nationwide. Weeds displace native plant species, increase fire risk and destroy wildlife habitat and rangeland forage — and they’re continuing their invasion at a rate of 1.7 million acres a year.
The UC Davis studies, authored by doctoral student Jonathan Gelbard, environmental science professor Susan Harrison and U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Jayne Belnap, say the invasion is accelerating. Roads are a major reason: They create avenues where weeds, hitching rides off radiator grilles and gusts from passing vehicles, can penetrate and alter ecosystems. The new studies provide fodder for advocates of planned rural development, and offer yet another reason for the protection of public roadless lands.
For a copy of the report, contact Jayne Belnap at 435-719-2333 or email@example.com.
- Edward Williams on When poisoning is the solution
- Jeff Zapko on Climate showdown on the Willamette in Oregon
- Jim Brandau on When poisoning is the solution
- Michael Weeks on Deaths renew calls for national parks to rescind BASE jumping bans
- John Finch on Illegal bike trails and a Forest Service crackdown divide a town