Weed Pulling, Barbecue and Bitterroots

Sometimes there's no way around it--you just have to get your hands dirty and pull some weeds.  In the case of noxious spotted knapweed, there is no time too early to get ahead of an infestation. Cue our hearty crew of Hands on the Land volunteers, who met us on a bright Saturday morning south of Alberton on one of our private conservation easements there.

Spotted knapweed is a tough customer. Between its thirsty tap root and high seed production it can quickly spread over a large area.  And due to its recent arrival in North America many of our native herbivores, like deer and elk, are not used to its taste and will avoid eating it.  

Spotted Knapweed
Spotted knapweed. Photo by Matt Lavin.

Our dozen volunteers spread out over the rocky landscape and pulled every knapweed they could find, bagging the dried seed heads to keep them from continuing to spread.  While it was hard work, we were treated to sweeping views of the Clark Fork River and Petty Creek valleys.  Best of all, we were working on the so called "bitterroot bench" of the property and the bitterroots made a good showing for us.

Blooming Bitterroots
Blooming bitterroots.  Photo by Lena Viall.

But it wasn't all work. The friendly and welcoming landowners not only joined us for the workday, but also treated us to a hike through their picturesque property and a delicious after-work barbecue at their home.  Between the views, the satisfying work and some lip-smacking Jamaican jerk chicken, it was a day very well spent.

Want to get involved with our Hands on the Lands volunteer program?

Visit our volunteering page to learn more and sign up receive e-updates about our upcoming events and workdays.


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