Tag Archives | CRISP


Welcome Monte!

We are pleased to welcome Monte Mattsson as the newest member of the WeedWise Program.   Monte joined our team as a new WeedWise Specialist, in early March 2023.  Monte is working on controlling, surveying, and mapping invasive species; conducting outreach to landowners; and collaborating with many of our partners to manage invasive weeds through […]

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Join the WeedWise Team!

We are now accepting applications for two WeedWise Specialists The Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates for two WeedWise Program Specialist positions to help protect local and regional working lands and natural areas. Our goal is to create a high-quality job experience for a conservation-minded leader. Closing Dates: WeedWise Specialist-CWMA Coordinator:  […]

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Staff Spotlight: Lindsey Karr, WeedWise Specialist

Get to know the WeedWise program, through our people! The success of the WeedWise program is in great part due to the hard work and dedication of our staff.  If you have ever called the office or stopped by for assistance with your weed problems, you have undoubtedly worked with one of our hard-working employees.  […]

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Staff Spotlight: Lindsey Karr, WeedWise Specialist

Get to know the WeedWise program, through our people! The success of the WeedWise program is in great part due to the hard work and dedication of our staff.  If you have ever called the office or stopped by for assistance with your weed problems, you have undoubtedly worked with one of our hard-working employees.  […]

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Clackamas River Focus Area Weed Control

The Problem of Weeds on the Clackamas River

The Clackamas is a remarkably scenic river and a beautiful place to live, work, and recreate. The lower half of the river is home to many private residences, farms, public parks, quarries, golf courses, and natural areas. Unfortunately, and partly as a natural result of all this activity, it is also home to many invasive weeds.

Invasive weeds can cost landowners and managers a lot of money to control. They can degrade pastures and agricultural land. Some weeds can clog shorelines and smaller waterways, and some are even toxic. Furthermore, many of these weeds can spread upland or downstream, causing problems in other areas.

The CRISP hosted a 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Area field day, highlighting collaborative weed control and restoration along the Clackamas River. Photo by Samuel Leininger, CSWCD

Partner Collaboration

Many of our partners are doing great work along the Clackamas River. In particular, there has been a lot of work between Carver and Milo McIver State Park in Estacada. For example, the Clackamas River Basin Council has been removing weeds and planting native shrubs and trees at many streamside sites through their Shade Our Streams Program. Metro has many active restoration and weed control activities at multiple properties they manage. Both Oregon State Parks and Clackamas County also have multiple parks in this area where land managers control invasive weeds. The WeedWise program also controls high-priority weeds at many private and public sites along the Clackamas.

Despite all this great work, we needed shared strategies, increased coordination, and a way to seek sustainable sources of funding. The Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) has provided these things, allowing us to accomplish more weed control. CRISP partners submit weed control project ideas and then meet to discuss and prioritize the projects. While we carry out projects throughout the whole watershed, the area between Carver and Milo McIver State Park is our key focus area. We highlight 3 focus area projects below.

Contracted crews spray false brome near Milo McIver State Park, Photo by Lindsey Karr, CSWCD

Milo McIver State Park (and surrounding areas) Project

Milo McIver State Park is an important area for both recreation and wildlife habitat. Aside from a few satellite weed patches, it also has the most upstream population of both garlic mustard and false brome. Because of its location on the River, and its importance as a recreation destination, it has a high potential to be a source for the spread of these weeds to other areas. For example, a camper, hiker, or disc golfer can come to the park from out of the area, get a bit of mud (with seeds!) on their boots or wheels, and then track it back home or to another park.

As a result of CRISP, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has been able to go after these weeds more effectively and aggressively. Furthermore, the increased coordination has brought attention to the area and the WeedWise program has controlled these weeds on neighboring properties. Furthermore, the WeedWise program has been able to control two Oregon Class A noxious weeds, giant hogweed and oblong spurge, on neighboring properties. This prevents the weeds from entering the park, thus reducing the chances they will spread elsewhere.

Across the river, there is further collaboration to control several high priority weeds. Portland General Electric, Columbia Land Trust, the Clackamas River Basin Council, and the WeedWise program are working together to control garlic mustard, knotweed, policeman’s helmet, false brome, and spurge laurel.

Bohemian knotweed growing along Deep Creek. Photo by Clackamas River Basin Council

Knotweed Project

Originally from Asia, but introduced to Europe and North America in the 1800s, invasive knotweeds are aggressively invading streams, rivers, and other landscapes. Many people who live on the Clackamas or its tributaries are all too familiar with this weed. While all of the CRISP partners would love to completely eradicate it, there is simply too much for anyone to control at a large scale. The good news is that CRISP has increased both coordination and resources to allow us to control more knotweed than we could without the partnership.

In 2017, 2018, and 2019, after coordination with CRISP partners, the WeedWise team tackled knotweed along the Clackamas upstream from where Richardson Creek flows into the Clackamas (near the junction of Highway 224 and Tong Rd). The WeedWise program was also able to survey and treat knotweed along upper/middle Clear Creek, Eagle Creek, Dubois Creek, North Fork Deep Creek, and other smaller streams that flow into the Clackamas. The surveys are important for us to understand where the knotweed is coming from and how to prioritize our control efforts. We are also coordinating work with the Clackamas River Basin Council to control knotweed along Deep Creek. In the future, we hope to expand this work to other Clackamas tributaries and further downstream on the Clackamas.

Garlic mustard control on a property near the Clackamas River. Photo by Samuel Leininger, CSWCD

Garlic Mustard Project

Garlic mustard is another serious invasive plant in North America. Highly adaptable, garlic mustard is difficult to control, spreads through copious seed production, and forms dense stands that out-compete native vegetation. Eradicating garlic mustard is a long process that can take years, even decades, before eradication is even possible. Thankfully, garlic mustard has not spread along the Clackamas as badly as knotweed, and CRISP partners have been able to make control efforts at most of the known populations each year. Part of the problem we face is that we don’t know about all the garlic mustard patches or don’t have access to them.

CRISP has helped the WeedWise program to reach out to more property owners. We’ve sent letters to inform people about our program and our efforts to control invasive weeds. Currently, there are about 510 landowners in the Clackamas watershed that are signed on to participate. CRISP has also supported WeedWise efforts to survey those properties. In addition to these plant surveys, WeedWise and Metro collaborated to survey some of the islands in the Clackamas River. Afterward, we worked with restoration contractors to control the weeds we found, thus preventing them from spreading downstream.


Local partners join forces to tackle costly invasive weeds along the Clackamas River

Invasive weeds currently cost Oregonians millions of dollars each year. One recent estimate indicates that without intervention these will increase to $1.8 billion in personal income losses a year from degraded lands and reduced productivity. What is being done? A local effort is underway to help mitigate the impacts of these invasive weeds along the […]

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Clackamas Upper Watershed Project

The Upper Watershed

The upper portion of the Clackamas River watershed contains about 445,000 acres of land, which is 74% of the total watershed. Most of this land is in the Mt. Hood National Forest,  managed by the USDA Forest Service. The upper watershed’s streams and rivers are fairly steep and fast moving with narrow floodplains and few side channels. There are almost no permanent human settlements in the upper watershed, and the area has largely been managed for forestry, conservation, and recreation. Additionally, much of the terrain is steep and somewhat remote. As a result, the forests, streams, and other habitats of the upper watershed are quite healthy with relatively few invasive weeds. This is great news!

The Problem

A stream and high quality habitat in the upper watershed

Weed seeds or plant parts can spread to remote areas through recreationists, road maintenance equipment, and animals. Because these areas are remote, the concern is that an invasive weed patch could go undetected for years and become a big problem. For example, an abandoned rock quarry or decommissioned road can contain invasive weeds because seeds were accidentally brought to the area on dirty equipment. Then, because people rarely visit these places, those weeds can grow and reproduce without detection.

If these invasive weed populations are left unchecked, they can spread and dominate some areas, thus reducing plant diversity, decreasing the quality of habitat and forage, and potentially out-competing some of our rare and sensitive species.

While we are concerned about many invasive plants, we are most concerned about weeds that can grow well in forest understories, such as false brome and garlic mustard. There are also many invasive plants that spread easily along trails and roadsides. This can be a problem because the vehicles, hikers, and animals that use these roads and trails can unknowingly spread seeds or other reproductive plant parts.

WeedWise staff digging up false brome plants along a popular road used for recreation

What are we doing?

To combat this problem, the Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) has decided to conduct extensive surveys of the upper watershed. Since 2017, we have surveyed 373 locations in the upper watershed, targeting 67 invasive weeds. These locations included trailheads, campgrounds, quarries,  decommissioned roads, construction sites, illegal dumping sites, and the entire Road 45 system. We were also able to assess weed patches that had been previously recorded and needed an update. In addition to invasive weeds, we also looked for rare, threatened, and endangered species. This helps us to be aware of any sensitive species in the area when we return to control the weeds.

These surveys are giving us valuable information! In particular, we were able to find and control previously undetected patches of false brome, a high priority weed. Additionally, we have recorded and treated patches of houndstongue, knotweed, knapweeds, rush skeleton weed, common hawkweed, European hawkweed, black locaust, goutweed, and others. The WeedWise program has been working closely with the USDA Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Portland General Electric to control the most impactful weeds and prevent them from spreading.

What’s next?

A previously undetected false brome infestation, about 1 mile down a decommissioned road.

We are planning to continue these surveys and treatments as long as we can. Each year, we seek to survey a new area that we have never surveyed. These surveys continue to inform our decisions about which plants and locations we will target each year.

This project gives us the information we need to detect and prevent the spread of invasive weeds and protect these high quality habitats.

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Project Highlight: Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership

The Clackamas River Basin is not without its fair share of invasive weeds.  Thankfully, we have a hard working group of skilled land managers actively managing these invasive weeds.  Formed in late 2015, the Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) was established to improve the coordination of weed management in the Clackamas Basin. This partnership […]

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Welcome to our newest WeedWise Specialist!

We are pleased to welcome a new addition to the Clackamas SWCD’s WeedWise Program.  Lindsey Karr is our newest WeedWise Specialist, joining the Weedwise program in late 2016. She works on controlling, surveying, and mapping invasive species; conducting outreach to landowners; and also collaborates with many of our partners to carry out the management plan […]

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Join the WeedWise Team!

We are currently seeking qualified candidates for a WeedWise Program specialist position. All applications materials must be submitted to the District no later than 4:30 PM on Oct 14, 2016. About the position The WeedWise Program Specialist is a full-time, at-will non-exempt position that will provide project management to the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation […]

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