Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Blueweed Blitz removes 3,500 lbs of weeds

Blueweed Blitz crew 2015
Photos courtesy of Brad Bustard

Toni Lucas

The Pincher Creek Watershed Group is a volunteer organization that recognizes the creek as part of an integrated, complicated and fragile ecosystem. On July 11, 2015, 20 landowners and 60 volunteers worked together to improve the area by participating in the annual Blueweed Blitz.  The Blitz is annual because the blueweed is perennial.  Landowners and volunteers pulled weeds over an area that runs from Highway 6 to Christie Mines Road south of Pincher Creek.

Brad Bustard is a land owner and a long term volunteer on this project.  Bustard said that over 3,500 pounds of blueweed was removed from the ecosystem this weed pull.  He estimated that a small plant weighs approximately one half of a pound.  Working with those numbers he estimated 7,000 plants, and close to 45 pounds of weeds pulled by each person.  There was no weed pull in the area they were covering 2014 and Bustard said that even missing the one year out of 13 made for a more visible display of the plants this year.  "Well, they estimate one plant can produce 10,000 seeds, so a million plants can come about pretty quickly," said Bustard.  "We eliminated millions of seeds this year."

Volunteers divided into smaller groups and fanned out to cover as much area as possible.  At about 4:30 pm they got together for a dinner catered by Twin Butte General Store and to give out awards.  The Waterton Lakes National Park Weed Crew were winners of the prestigious Bent Back Award.

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