A group of invasive weeds could be threatening the water in the Carson River, and the Carson River Advisory Committee will get a lesson this week on how to deal with the damaging plants.
"We need to deal with this issue," said Jane Schmidt, a resource specialist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. "This is extremely important because all the good things (the Carson River Advisory Committee) does could get unraveled."
Schmidt said Carson City does not have a weed management group to control and get rid of the weeds growing throughout the city, unlike many other cities and counties, including Douglas County.
The advisory committee asked the Nevada Department of Agriculture to speak at their Wednesday meeting, and Schmidt said she hopes the committee will determine a way to deal with the problem after they learn about the dangers of these weeds.
"We ask Carson City to start looking and coming up with solutions to this problem," Schmidt said.
Vern Krahn, parks planner for Carson City Parks and Recreation, said the Nevada Department of Agriculture is speaking at the meeting to inform city staff and members of the Carson River Advisory Committee about the noxious weeds so they may be informed when deciding whether or not to take action and develop a plan.
"We want to know how it's affecting the watershed in Carson," Krahn said.
Schmidt said one of the main culprits affecting Carson City is the tall whitetop, a weed that has already destroyed 20,000 acres in Reno, mostly along the Truckee River.
"It's nice when you find one or two plants, sometimes you can get rid of it very quickly," she said. "When it starts to gain a foothold, it's almost cost prohibitive. You can't do anything when it gets to a certain stage."
Schmidt said tall whitetop, like many other noxious weeds, decreases water quality, and limits wildlife and recreation. Because the weed spreads so rapidly, it also destroys native plants which prevent stream bank erosion.
The tall whitetop can grow up to 7 feet tall when in full bloom. It's known for its clusters of white flowers.
YOU CAN HELP: Invasive weeds spread easily. If you see a weed in your yard and you are unsure if it is harmful, call the Cooperative Extension Office in Carson City at 887-2252.
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