Medusahead out-competes other grasses by extracting the majority of moisture well before perennial grasses have begun to grow. Once land is invaded by this species, it becomes almost worthless, supporting neither native animals, birds nor livestock. It also changes the temperature and moisture dynamics of the soil, greatly reducing seed germination of other species, and creating fuel for wildfires.
The Medusahead treatments in Harney County will occur on BLM-administered lands in the Riddle Mountain/Happy Valley area, near Folly Farm on the east side of Steens Mountain, in the Lamb Ranch area, and on Bartlett Mountain, in conjunction with treatments on adjacent or nearby private lands. Treatments will be made over the next 3 weeks by way of helicopter using the herbicide Plateau.
The Strategic Weed Attack Team (SWAT) – a joint venture between the BLM and Harney County – has been invaluable in managing rapid responses to new invasions of noxious weeds in the area, with Medusahead as no exception. With the SWAT’s help, small infestations are controlled quickly and economically, averting the potential spread and increase to unmanageable levels of obscure noxious weed populations.
There are many things an individual can do to help prevent the introduction and spread of noxious weeds. First and foremost, become familiar with the noxious weeds in your area and treat them to prevent their spread. Wash your vehicles and equipment before venturing into new areas to prevent tracking weeds into new areas, and report weed sitings on BLM-administered lands to the local BLM Weed coordinator.
For additional information on the Medusahead treatments in Harney County, please contact the Burns District BLM at (541)573-4400.