As first frosts begin speckling Pierce County, we’re wrapping up another treatment season in our Knotweed Control Program. Last year’s efforts have shown significant progress in reducing the amount of the invasive knotweed plant which severely degrades salmon habitat and many ecosystem services. This year, we have continued efforts in our existing strategically selected multi-year projects, and we have further developed plans and funding opportunities to continue throughout the next pivotal years.
In our large watershed projects, eight dedicated knotweed seasonal staff were fundamental to successful treatments. The Upper Nisqually watershed received its second or third consecutive year of treatment in many spots over the 17 river miles treated, ensuring a foothold in the eradication process. In the South Prairie Creek/Wilkeson Creek watershed, 10 river miles were treated. Many properties there were treated for the second, third, or fourth time; additionally, several new properties with large infestations were folded into the project and received their first treatments.
Our smaller projects also continued the path to successful eradication. In the Town of Steilacoom, eradication has now been achieved on 7 properties, and 23 more received retreatment of the small amounts remaining. Our work with Pierce County Parks transitioned to exclusive focus on Chambers Creek Canyon knotweed, as our previous work in Bresemann Forest has reached near eradication. This Chambers Creek knotweed received its second year of treatment, and we plan to continue working towards the bay in the coming years.
Lastly, our partnership with the Great Peninsula Conservancy
has resulted in near eradication on one of their bayside properties as well. A measly two plants remained after the first treatment last year, and were retreated this season.
We can’t thank our partners and landowners enough for allowing this valuable work to happen on such a large-scale, habitat restoring context.