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Faculty member leads fight against weeds in Carson City

Posted 8/13/2009

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) faculty member Margie Evans has been at the forefront of the battle against invasive weeds since 2005. As the Carson City Weed Coalition coordinator, Margie works with public agencies and private landowners within Carson City to control Nevada’s noxious weed population.

UNCE’s Carson City Weed Coalition has partnered with Carson Water Sub-Conservancy District, the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Department of Agriculture, Carson Forest Service Ranger District, Carson City Utilities, Carson City Parks and Open Space, Empire Ranch Golf Course and several other groups in a collaborative effort to eradicate weeds in the Carson valley. The group targets several weeds in the area.

"In addition to tall whitetop, or perennial pepper weed as it’s also known, we deal with Russian knapweed, Canada thistle and poison hemlock," Evans said. "We are working on early detection and rapid response to control these invasive weeds."

Canada thistle, a creeping perennial, can be particularly difficult to eradicate.

"The thing you should not do is try to dig Canada thistle up," Evans said. "It’s almost impossible to get all of the plant out of the soil, and the weed can sprout from just a piece of root. We’re trying to use chemicals, and we’re looking into using insects to control the Canada thistle population."

UNCE and the Carson City Weed Coalition combine physical removal efforts with community education to control invasive weed populations. Events like Weed Track and Attack Day combine education and hands-on experience to help Nevadans gain a broader understanding of weeds.

Evans said it’s important to exercise all available methods of weed removal, including asking for help.

"There’s no one way to deal with weeds," Evans said. "Having an integrated management toolbox is important. There’ll be some plants you’ll want to dig up; others will require a biological approach, and others, chemical.

"It’s important to mix things up and use everything in your management toolbox. A Master Gardener or Extension Educator can help determine which tool in the toolbox is best to use depending on the weed type."

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