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Happy Talk About Weeds

By: 
George Wuerthner

I recently attended a presentation on invasive weeds by a representative of the Deschutes National Forest.

The problem with the presentation was that it promoted and legitimized an industrial paradigm to weed threats. The Forest Service (FS) promotes an Industrial Forestry Paradigm that treats the symptoms, not the causes of ecological degradation.

The biggest factors contributing to the spread of weeds on public lands comes from logging/thinning and livestock grazing. Yet during the entire Forest Service presentation, the one thing missing from the talk was any mention of why and how weeds are spread. Most species that we consider weeds are plants that thrive on disturbance. In other words, activities that create bare soil and/or reduce the viability of the native species to compete against weed species, thus promote weed invasions.

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