Grant #290

Mount Rose Noxious Weed Monitoring, Treatment, and Re-seeding 2024

FNW staff will visit our known musk thistle sites in early spring to identify areas of greatest concern and prioritize locations for volunteers to work. We will also monitor the effectiveness of the previous year’s treatments. Our main target species for removal is musk thistle (Carduus nutans), we will also be looking for weeds including perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium), and medusahead (Taeniatherum caputĀ­medusae) to provide additional information for the Forest Service.

During late April, May, and June FNW staff will lead volunteers to the worksites and remove musk thistle by digging with shovels or by hand. Though our last project usually concludes before the plants have gone to seed, if the plants have already formed viable seeds, we will clip the flower heads and pack them out to be safely destroyed. In the fall, volunteers will return to sites that were treated for musk thistle to spread a native seed mixture by hand. FNW provides some snacks, additional water, weed identification and removal training, education, and all necessary tools and personal protective equipment for volunteers. Please see the map, included in the attachments, for estimated project locations.

TMWA Benefit:

The proposed projects are in line with multiple grant priorities, specifically priority #2 (Watershed Improvements), priority #4 (Re-Forestation and Re-Vegetation Projects:) priority #6 (Stewardship and Environmental Awareness).

Noxious weeds, including the musk thistle, are a concern for the long-term health and biodiversity of the Truckee River Watershed. Our proposed volunteer projects can directly improve the quality of this area by removing musk thistle and reintroducing native grasses and flowers in the same locations – improving watershed resiliency. All of the proposed actions are recommended by the Forest Service botanists and best practices for musk thistle control. Reducing weeds in the Mount Rose Wilderness decreases the amount of seeds that can spread downstream, reduces soil erosion, improves water quality, and creates a better overall visitor experience along the Hunter Creek and Steamboat Ditch Trails.

This program continues to educate the community about the importance of noxious weed mitigation while providing opportunities to directly engage in the stewardship of weed removal themselves. Volunteers who complete a project with us will have an understanding of the connection between the importance of a healthy watershed and invasive species management. By working with the public, we can encourage intentional stewardship and awareness or our local watershed and water supply needs.