Colorado State Parks Noxious Weed Management Plan
- Client: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Douglas, Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties
- Date: September 2014
- Info: Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting prepared noxious weed management plans for Chatfield State Park (3,800 acres) and Cherry Creek State Park (3,300 acres) that included maps, methods for treatment and plans for weed management activities.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife‘s management principles guide it in achieving its mission and making decisions at all levels of the organization. The agency values leadership, public trust and accountability, science-based management decisions, stewardship, communities, customer service, communication, stafff and diversity. The management plans were designed to provide park technicians with “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)” for common weed management activities. A major component of the plan places emphasis on properly selected and applied chemical treatment. This includes details about which herbicides can be used on particular species, as well as an herbicide mixing protocol to maintain effectiveness of active chemicals in a mixture and increase plant uptake. The plans identified near, mid- and long-term objectives for noxious weed management and outlined a three-year calendar, listing management activities in order of decreasing priority, and providing season and method of treatment.
Weed species at the parks were inventoried in accordance with the North American Invasive Species Management Association standards and mapped with Trimble GEO XT GPS units. The mapping efforts identified roads, trails, developed areas and most habitat areas. All current (and some former) species listed by the Colorado Noxious Weed Act were inventoried. Identified species were listed as points, lines and polygons.
No single management technique is perfect for all weed control situations. Blue Mountain developed park-wide priority areas and priority species for management based on an integrated weed management process that includes several management techniques (biological chemical, cultural and mechanical) in combination to control particular species with minimal adverse impacts on non-target species. This approach is predicated on ecological principles and integrated multidisciplinary methodologies in developing strategies that are practical, economical and protective of environmental and public health. Priorities were set based on prevention, detection, suppression, restoration and monitoring.