Botanists have discovered five new noxious weed infestations in designated Wilderness areas on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and are asking for public comment on treatment options until April 2.
Three infestations in the Wild Sky Wilderness were found along a segment of the North Fork Skykomish Road 63, which is part of the North Fork Skykomish Trail #1051; one site was discovered on Scorpion Mountain within the Wild Sky Wilderness; and one area is located within the Glacier Peak Wilderness boundary beyond the junction with the Mill Creek Trail.
The forest is working on an Environmental Impact Statement that proposes treating 43 different noxious weeds on 5,250 acres forest wide using herbicide, manual, mechanical and biological agents over several years until the weeds are controlled.
According to the botany program manager Laura Potash, if the invasive species are not treated, they will continue to spread, causing multiple adverse environmental impacts: displacing native plant communities, increasing soil erosion and fire hazard, degrading fish and wildlife habitat, threatening rare and cultural plants, and harming natural scenic beauty.
The proposed action and the updated maps that include the wilderness areas are online. Comment by email, by phone to Laura Potash at 425-783-6043 or by mail to: Laura Potash, project leader, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, 2930 Wetmore Ave., Ste. 3A, Everett, WA 98201. Learn about forest projects at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mbs/NEPA.