County aims to snuff out knotweed in waterways

EVERETT — A program getting under way this summer aims to eradicate invasive Japanese knotweed from the banks of the Pilchuck River.

Snohomish County’s Noxious Weed Control Board plans to perform the work with the help from state and federal grants. The goal is to start near the river’s headwaters near Spada Lake, then move south past Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Snohomish, until reaching the Snohomish River.

“If you live or own property on the Pilchuck River or any of its tributaries, if you have seen this plant, or if you would like to schedule a field visit, contact us,” said Sonny Gohrman, the county’s noxious weed coordinator.

From now until September, the noxious weed board will be seeking river access to survey and control the invasive plant, at no cost to landowners.

The county’s noxious weed board received a $20,000 state Department of Agriculture grant for surveying, Gohrman said. Another state grant for the same amount is expected next month. An additional $10,000 in county Surface Water Management dollars is dedicated for knotweed removal in the Stillaguamish River, Little Bear Creek and Pilchuck River basins as needed.

The state Department of Ecology also is providing a Conservation Corps crew for some of the surveying and removal work.

Knotweed sprouts from stems and roots. It can clog small waterways and displace native vegetation. That can lead to bank erosion, flooding, and destruction of fish and wildlife habitat.

Japanese knotweed and related plants are native to Asia. They were introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as ornamentals. Common names include Mexican or Japanese bamboo, elephant ear and fleeceflower.

For more information, or to schedule a visit, call 425-388-7534; or write to Janice Martin, the county’s noxious weed inspector, at janice.martin@snoco.org; or to Gohrman at sonny.gohrman@snoco.org.

More in Local News

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read