Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blue Weed Blitz to return for a 15th year

Issak Bustard at MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 council meeting

Date corrected for accuracy.
T. Lucas/C. Davis - On May 23, 2017 Isaak Bustard appeared before both local councils at their regular meetings, as a representative of the Pincher Creek Watershed Group (PCWG).  Bustard told the councils about the upcoming 15th Annual Blue Weed Blitz, which is scheduled to happen *
July 8, 2017. Bustard said "The Pincher Creek Watershed Group was created by concerned landowners of the state of the creek and the amount of these obnoxious weeds that were growing along the shore of our Pincher Creek. So we created the Blueweed Blitz, which is an annual weed where we collect on average 4,000 pounds of weeds in a day, which is demolishing thousands of plants and collecting billions of seeds, preventing them from further spreading."

Bustard explained the purpose of the PCWG.  "Our mission statement is to work together as a community to improve the health of the creek and the surrounding watershed." He outlined the area the volunteers work within, starting at Griers Ranch along the Christie Mine Road. "Our original goal was to eliminate the weed,b ut that has proven to be an unattainable goal, since it is such a resilient weed." He explained the facts from previous pulls and some of the fun to be by volunteering for the weed pull including trophies, dinner, camaraderie, and helping the environment. They have had volunteers come from as far away as Ontario, people in retirement, and whole families helping. "The priority of the Pincher Creek Watershed Group is to continue this event, and use it as an awareness tool for future generations and the general public, of the weed and what it does to the watershed." During discussion after the presentation Bustard said "Preventing it from spreading is our biggest goal."

According to Bustard, every year about 4000 pound of weeds are eliminated because of the event, resulting in the removal of billions of seeds from watershed.  Blueweed is the primary target, but other weeds are also eliminated along the way.  Bustard said the group will sometimes spray the same plants two or three times a year as part of their eradication efforts.  He added that he is not sure there's anything else they can do except "do what we've been doing".

MD of Pincher Creek Reeve Brian Hammond asked if Bustard was satisfied that the group can do a good job without further support from the municipalities.  "The more the merrier," responded Bustard, adding that the weed situation is a lot for landowners in the area to handle on their own.

The disposition of delegations is routinely addressed by the Town and MD of Pincher Creek councils at following regular meetings.  Bustard was thanked by both councils for his presentation.

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