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Local forest ecosystem endangered by weed

 

If the balance of nature in Woodside's redwood-forest ecosystem is worth saving, this week -- California Invasive Weed Awareness Week -- is a time to do something about it.

The forests of Woodside and nearby areas happen to be the only known locations in California of a grass called slender false brome, according to Leigh Ann Maze of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. Stands of it have the potential to inhibit the growth of native plants and trees.

"We're trying to figure out where the edges of it are (and where it is not)," Ms. Maze told The Almanac. "It seems to be mainly concentrated in the redwood under-story areas."

Slender false brome, along with non-native thistles and grasses in open space preserves in Woodside, Skyline and La Honda are particular targets this week by volunteer weed pullers, including members of the California Conservation Corps, Ms. Maze said.

Grant money is available to help homeowners identify and safely remove the weed from their land. The first step is a survey of the property by a district representative, who will recommend treatment methods.

After the treatment is complete, the representative will return to verify the weed's removal before reimbursing the homeowner, Ms. Maze said.

In 2009, this program enabled the treatment of more than 50 acres, an accomplishment the district would like to repeat in 2010, Ms. Maze said.

Go to this link for more information.

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