Officials say they’re losing the battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird.
Before the midday heat had set in, Jeff Cann and Tim Kroeker were out of their Dodge pickup, trudging through waist-deep water in waders and rubber boots. The two wildlife biologists had come to this vast expanse of sun-soaked Central Valley wetlands on a recent morning to check in on the first traps that California has authorized in its nascent effort to hunt — and exterminate — the nutria.
Agencies from San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties to NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture formed an invasive-weed task force seeking holistic, more comprehensive solutions to free the Delta from its oppressors.
“Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says.”
From the Lake Tahoe News, in a commentary by Joanne Marchetta:
“When the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and partner agencies started inspecting Lake Tahoe watercraft in 2008, all we knew was that we needed to protect our waters from the growing threats of aquatic invasive species. We took the necessary steps, but did not know then that the watercraft inspection program would one day help protect other water bodies as well.
“A mandatory boat inspection program continues to pay dividends for Lake Tahoe, a conservation agency said, as 36 boats harboring invasive plants, mussels and snails were prevented from entering the lake in 2013.”