Saturday, August 01, 2009

REMINDER FOR SAFE BERRY PICKING ON SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST

July 29, 2009 -- People picking berries on the Superior National
Forest should be aware that spot application of herbicide to control
invasive plants may occur on some roadsides within the Forest. As
part of a Forest Service-wide effort to manage exotic and
rapidly-spreading (non-native invasive) plants, Forest Supervisor
Jim Sanders signed a decision in 2006 that allows for management of
non-native invasive plants using a variety of methods including
herbicide, hand-pulling, and biological controls. Locally, the
Superior National Forest has been working with partners such as the
counties and state to control non-native invasive plants. When ever
possible, we choose to use non-chemical means. However, herbicide
spraying is often the most effective control for invasive plants that
grow within the rights-of-way of roads. Through the end of August
2009, we plan to use two approved herbicides, Milestone and Escort,
both of which have low toxicity to people and wildlife. Although we
control the spray to stay within 25 feet of the road's edge, we
suggest that if you do pick next to a road, you move 50 feet from the
road before you start picking. This will help ensure that your
berries are from outside the treated area and that you are safe from
traffic hazards.
As always, we urge berry-pickers to confirm identification of plants
they are harvesting from and to be aware that some forest plants bear
poisonous fruits. There are many excellent printed and pictoral
guides to wild and edible plants that can help.

Maps showing herbicide treatment sites for this summer are available
at district offices in Grand Marais, Tofte, Aurora, Ely, and Cook,
MN, and on the Superior National Forest
website: www.fs.fed.us/r9/superior. To learn more about non-native
invasive species of concern on the Forest and what you can do to help
slow their spread, check out the "Non-Native Invasive Species" section.

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