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BLM closes some Cronan Ranch, Greenwood Creek areas for weed control

By: Staff report
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The Bureau of Land Management’s Mother Lode Field Office will close the Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek parcels to public access on April 16 and 17 when herbicides will be applied for invasive weed control.

A notice of intent to apply herbicides will be posted on signs at the trailhead at least 24 hours before application and closure signs will be posted during the herbicide application. Broadcast and spot herbicide applications are planned along approximately 14 miles of trail edges to reduce weeds and make trails more accessible for recreational use.

“We are taking an integrated weed management approach to control invasive plants,” said Jeff Horn, outdoor recreation planner in the Mother Lode Field Office. The weed treatments are needed to reduce invasive plants, predominantly yellow starthistle and medusahead.

Land use practices have created extensive infestations of these invasive weeds throughout the Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek areas, he said. In addition to herbicides, BLM is using mowing, pulling and prescribed fire to help control the invasive weeds.

As part of that integrated approach, BLM plans to use prescribed fire on 66 acres infested with yellow starthistle and medusahead within the “Long Valley” portion of the Cronan Ranch parcel, possibly later this year.

This Cronan Ranch and Greenwood Creek parcels receive a high amount of recreation due to the presence of the South Fork of the American River and a large trail network, he said. Weed infestations can alter the use of trails and other areas. The increasing expansion of invasive plants has also led to a loss of habitat function and reduced the quality and quantity of forage for wildlife, impaired visual aesthetics, altered soil productivity, and increased the potential for soil erosion and adverse impacts on water quality. Invasive plants are likely to continue to invade surrounding native habitat affecting recreation, wildlife, and other resources without effective weed management.

For more information, contact the Mother Lode Field Office at (916) 941-3101.