Hopefully you read the earlier post, We’ve Been Invaded, and already know about the Knapweed which is spreading through our community.
The weed is spread by vehicles along the road, and has specifically infested Starlight Pines Ranchettes and Moqui Ranchettes.
We need to get rid of this evasive species of weed.
The Forest Service has painted a pretty grim picture of this nasty weed. It takes over everything in it’s path, killing all other plants, and natural species in it’s way. It is extremely difficult to get rid of. If it progresses and spreads into Clear Creek it can actually choke over the stream bed, kill off native plants, and potentially kill wildlife.
We were hopeful to get a grant from Coconino County to fund spraying herbicide along our roads.
John Ritter submitted a detailed grant proposal and went before the Coconino County Forest Service to make the case for the importance of this funding. Unfortunately, with only $500K to give in grant money, and $2.5M in requests, we did not make the cut. There were many other projects that gained priority for the small funding available, like the Museum Fire Restoration, Williams Watershed Operation to thin trees to stop erosion, and Flagstaff Watershed Protection firewood project.
Unfortunately, without County funding we will have to attack this problem on our own.
The recommended herbicide to spray our roads is approximately $1000. It is best applied in the Spring as the weeds are coming up and before they go to seed. We will have to hire someone to spray the roads, which should be done on an annual basis, at an unknown expense at this time.
In order to pay for this annual expense we may look at additional fees within the Ranchettes such as a transfer fee upon sale of properties, similar to what is done in other communities.