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Volunteers Battle Invasive Weeds in Mt. Rose Wilderness

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A team of nine volunteers with Friends of Nevada Wilderness attacked two acres of invasive weeds in the Mt. Rose Wilderness this past Saturday.

Stewardship Technician Renee Aldrich led the charge against perennial pepperweed and musk thistle along the Hunter Creek Drainage. The team removed 99% of the thistles and pepperweed at the two-acre project site, pulling approximately 8,000 plants.

“It’s amazing to look back and see the amount of work nine people can do in one day,” said Renee at the end of the day. “It makes you realize that a day of volunteering really can make a big difference!” The team worked under blue skies with temperatures in the mid-70s. “It’s a great day for pulling weeds!” remarked one volunteer. Volunteers with Friends of Nevada Wilderness began working to remove invasive weed species in Mt. Rose in 2007, and head into the area at least twice a year to battle weeds.

In partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation, volunteers have focused on removing musk thistle, a particularly hardy invasive. A single musk thistle flower head can produce over 1,000 seeds for the wind to disperse, and seeds can germinate up to a decade after they have fallen from the flower head.

Removing the thistles involves more than just yanking them up – if roots are left, the thistle just regrows.Volunteers carefully dug out the deep thistle tap-root to ensure progress against this destructiveweed.

Join Friends of Nevada Wilderness this field season in battling invasive weed species! Visitwww.NevadaWilderness.org or email Renee Aldrich at [email protected] for details on thenext musk thistle expedition in the Mt. Rose Wilderness.

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