Citizen Scientists to Attack Glacier's Noxious Weeds by Hand
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park’s Citizen Science Program announces the first annual Noxious Weed Blitz on Friday, July 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Glacier Community Building. Noxious Weed Blitz participants will be trained to assist Glacier’s Invasive Plant Management Program by learning to identify, map and pull invasive plants.
Participants will spend the morning learning how to identify five targeted non-native invasive plant species. After lunch volunteers will learn how to conduct invasive plant surveys and how to map the location of invasive species using Global Positioning System (GPS) units. People will break into smaller groups and head out to areas on the west side of Glacier to pull weeds. Volunteers are asked to bring drinking water, gloves for hand pulling and sturdy footwear for hiking.
Glacier National Park’s Invasive Plant Management Program manages non-native invasive plants that displace native flora, interrupt ecological processes, or degrade natural scenery. Most infestations of invasive plants in Glacier are closely correlated to disturbed areas such as roadsides, recreational areas and construction sites. However, backcountry trails also provide a corridor for invasive plants to spread. Monitoring the spread of invasive plants along Glacier’s more than 700 miles of backcountry trails is a difficult task.
In 2008, the Invasive Plant Management Program and Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center established a citizen science program to enlist the help of members of the public to map the spread of invasive species into Glacier’s backcountry. After attending the event, Noxious Weed Blitz participants will be trained as citizen scientists and will be able to continue monitoring and reporting the locations of invasive plants during future hikes in Glacier’s backcountry. The event is free and open to all ages; however, children should be accompanied by an adult.
Glacier National Park’s Citizen Science Program engages members of the general public to assist in gathering biological research data. This program, now in its sixth year, is supported by the Glacier National Park Fund, and fosters stewardship while providing critical baseline information on Common Loons, mountain goats, American pikas and invasive plants.
A free lunch and a noxious weed field guide will be provided for participants. Please contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at (406)888-7986 or e-mail us to sign up or to learn more about the event. For more information about Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center programs go to: http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/ccrlc.htm.
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Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.