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SERVING SALEM, KEIZER A N D T H E M I D -VA L L E Y

BY RUTH LIAO Statesman Journal ing charges. "If I had thought there were any drugs, I would have called the cops right off the bat," Anderson said. But in this rental home in the 1600 block of Wendy Street NE -- one of three homes recently raided by police -- officers seized several kilos of cocaine, a 12-gauge shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol. Anderson, 83, said previous renters would trash the lawn or play loud music. But he described the men who were arrested as polite and unassuming. And they always waved to him in passing and kept their yard neat. On Jan. 6 and 7, a team of local, state and federal law enforcement officials busted a large narcotics operation based in Salem, the Wendy Street home included. More than one dozen search warrants were executed and 19 arrests were made. Nine people have been named in a federal indictment. Federal officials said the bust stemmed from a threeyear investigation, but they revealed few other details about the ongoing case. Anderson's surprise notwithstanding, sophisticated drug networks continue to operate in Salem, law enforcement officials said. The international enterprises have flourished in the absence of small-time meth labs, which tough enforcement and new state laws have had some success in shutting down. "A lot of people think that drug dealing is just sort of one-person-to-one-person

SUNDAY

January 13, 2008

$1.50

Officials: Eliminating drugs will take community effort

Police busted a large narcotics operation last week

Forest Anderson couldn't believe that his next-door neighbors were wanted by federal agents on cocaine and methamphetamine traffickthing," said Anna Peterson, founder of No METH -- Not in MY Neighborhood. "Most people don't think of our community as having organized crime networks, but we certainly do." Experts and civic leaders contend that eliminating drugs in the Salem area will require an effort that digs

See Drugs, 6A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

BIG GULP FOR A FROG

Bullfrogs devouring Oregon's native amphibians

One small leap into a pond is one

BY HENRY MILLER

W

Oriental weatherfish

Statesman Journal

hen it comes to dining etiquette, the American bullfrog has only two rules:

Dinner has to be alive, and it

has to fit in the frog's mouth.

"A bullfrog will eat anything that moves that's smaller than it is," said Chris Rombough, a consulting herpetologist and frog researcher. The non-native invasive bullfrog's indiscriminate tastes have made the amphibian the scourge of native red-legged and tree frogs and amphibians such as juvenile western pond turtles. Once they reach adult size, there's not much in the pond that's larger than an adult Rana catesbeiana. "The creature goes from an almost microscopic larvae to a frog that may weigh 2 pounds or more," Rombough said. And there's millions of them in Oregon ponds and Inside today sloughs that humans have AQUARIUM AFTERMATH: made much more comfortDumping non-native able for bullfrogs than for aquatic pets multiplies native frogs and turtles. problem, Page 5A The bass-note choruses of PET SHOP SWEEPS: State the males fill the warm air visits ensure invasives with a cacophony of "houm, aren't sold, Page 5A houm" during their midsumNATURAL CONTROL: mer mating rituals. Scientists study frogBecause their gullets are dragonfly-bluegill links so big, scientists use the for control methods, Page 3A graphically descriptive phrase "gape-limited" as to TOO BIG FOR BULLFROGS: what defines bite-sized to a Zoo program raises and releases western bullfrog. pond turtles, In other words, anything Page 4A that fits in their sizable mouths can be swallowed.

See Bullfrog, 3A

Herpetologist Chris Rombough holds a juvenile bullfrog -- an invasive species that eats native species, such as western pond turtles, and just about anything else it can get into its large mouth.

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Aquatic vertebrates Today is the fifth installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on bullfrogs, an established invasive species, and the illegal aquarium pet Oriental weatherfish that the state hopes to eliminate.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive aquatic vertebrates, go to the Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries on specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

Database

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

The Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Inside

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A Gannett newspaper © 2008 Printed on recycled paper. 1 Vol. 156, No. 294

Neftaly Garcia Mendez, the father of Alma Garcia-Martinez, speaks Saturday at McNary High School at the celebration of life for Alma. The McNary freshman died Tuesday from injuries she suffered in a car crash the previous day in Salem. To read more about the memorial, see Page 1C.

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Bullfrog

Continued from 1A

"Because they eat anything that moves, I've taken everything from insects to mice from the stomachs of bullfrogs, with a few reptiles, amphibians and fish thrown in there, too," Rombough said. "Other unusual prey items recorded for bullfrogs include blackbirds, crayfish, scorpions ... and even the western rattlesnake." Rombough, who lives in St. Helens, is a researcher in his company Rombough Biological. As an independent consultant, he has collected data on bullfrogs for state, federal and academic research in the Pacific Northwest for one and a half decades. Because of their broad dining habits, bullfrogs literally are eating native frogs and turtles out of house and home. "Bullfrogs and pond turtles -- not a good mix," said Dr. David Shepherdson, Oregon Zoo's conservation program scientist. "Until we started controlling bullfrog numbers, it looked like all of the (turtle) hatchlings would be eaten. "Not all of them were eaten by bullfrogs, obviously but a large pro, portion of them were." One of the zoo's projects is to raise western pond turtles and release them at a size that's large enough that they won't fit in an adult bullfrog's mouth (see related story, Page 4A).

A bullfrog in the midst of the metamorphosis from tadpole to mature frog is measured.

rants," said Michael Adams, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher at Oregon State University Adams has . studied the interaction of dragonflies, bullfrogs and bluegills. "There was a commercial froghunting market, kind of like market hunting for ducks," Rombough added. "They literally harvested hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, literally millions of pounds across their range. "And basically they virtually extirpated the California red-legged frog. Not wiped them out, but to the point where they were no longer economical." Canny speculators had an idea: frog farms using bullfrogs. They knew a lot about the booming frog-leg market but squat about biology Rombough said. , "It doesn't work because not only do they grow slowly, but (bullfrogs) only eat live food, and they're cannibalistic," he said with a chuckle. "So the only ones making any money were the breeders in the East. "And once they found out it wasn't going to work, they released all their animals."

CHRIS ROMBOUGH | Special to the Statesman Journal

lations, they were classified as a game fish," said Gary Galovich, a warmwater fish biologist in Corvallis with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "But, of course, now they're classified as a nongame animal, and there's no restrictions on their harvest." With that kind of early encouragement, it's no wonder bullfrogs are so widespread in Oregon, Rombough said. "They were desirable, so they were brought in and had help dispersing," he said. "And they were protected for a number of years." Ironically, some people still want to move bullfrogs around, Galovicy said. "With bullfrogs, I still get requests occasionally from folks who realize they're good eating, and maybe they're not familiar with the impacts on native wildlife," he said. "And they say, `Hey, maybe it's a good idea if maybe I bring some into my pond.' "Actually, they are considered a controlled amphibian in the state. That means you can't import, purchase, sell, barter or exchange bullfrogs."

Oregon arrival

Early invader

Bullfrogs have been in the West for so long that most Oregonians don't realize they aren't natives. "Most people have no idea," Rombough said. "Heck, most people think bullfrogs are native to Oregon. When I was growing up, I thought that, too." Bullfrogs came west in the wake of the California gold rush in the mid-1800s. "The story in California was that bullfrogs were brought out to replace native frogs in restau-

Rana catesbeiana got to Oregon in one of those classic "it seemed like a good idea at the time" tales similar to the frog farm California bullfrog boondoggle. The invaders were given the keys to the state and even chauffeured around, according to "The Coming of the Pond Fishes," a highly respected 1946 history of the introduction of non-native fish in Oregon by the late journalist Ben Hur Lampman. Oregon fishery officials not only brought the adult bullfrogs in from Idaho, but set up a captive breeding program for bullfrogs in the 1920s at

the McKenzie River Hatchery . And from there the offspring were outplanted and spread throughout the state in the 1930s and 1940s. "One of the misconceptions about bullfrogs is that they're some amazing super amphibian that's way more aggressive and way more adaptable than our natives, and that nothing has a chance to stand up in the face of them," Rombough said. "The truth is that they had a lot of help getting established in Oregon. "And if you look -- and I actually have stocking records as far back as 1936 -- and they were stocking bullfrogs." They were classified as a game species for decades, and a fishing license was required through 2000 to pursue bullfrogs in the state, according to that year's edition of the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. "For many years within our regu-

Sometimes a scapegoat

"In some situations bullfrogs take the heat for the introductions of a lot of other stuff," Rombough said about other predatory and opportunistic non-native invasives. "Things caused by bass ... bass are extremely efficient predators. But nobody's going to pick on bass because they're a favored game fish." Native yellow-legged frogs and Umpqua chub have been almost wiped out by bass on the Umpqua River, according to his surveys that he did for one study . But there are places where bullfrogs are definitely a factor in the decline of native amphibians, he said. "I've seen cases of, for example, breeding ponds of Pacific tree frogs where bullfrogs, once they become active in the spring, will probably

See Bullfrog, 4A

A tale of 3 species: How one invader helps another

Bluegills eat dragonfly nymphs, which could wipe out bullfrog larvae

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Don't look for this anytime soon at a nearby megaplex, but when it comes to bullfrogs, it's a case of alien versus predator. Versus another alien, as it turns out. In the 1990s, Earl Werner, a researcher in the biology department at the University of Michigan, had done a study about the interrelationships among bluegills, dragonflies and bullfrogs. All three are native to the area where Werner did his research. Michael Adams, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center at Oregon State University in Corvallis, decided to see if Werner's findings held true. In Oregon, two of the three species -- bullfrogs and bluegills -- are non-native invasive species. It turned out that the interactions were similar in Oregon to what Werner recorded among native populations. And Adams' findings offered a tempting possibility for a biological bullfrog control. Here's what happened during Adams' study: Dragonfly nymphs love to eat bullfrog larvae. So much so, the researchers found during the three-year study, that if those were the only two players, the voracious dragonfly nymphs would wipe out the bullfrog larvae. But when bluegills are added to the mix, they eat the dragonfly nymphs. That provides an opening for bullfrog survival. "I think it's a bit of a leap to go from knowing that relationship exists to saying that if we got rid of bluegill, that would have a measurable effect on bullfrogs," Adams cautioned. "We'd really like to test that, because there's always other complications that interfere with these things.

Scientists have studied the relationship between bullfrogs, bluegill and dragonflies, such as this red dragonfly at Cow Creek in Clackamas, in hopes of finding a natural control for bullfrogs. Dragonfly nymphs love eating bullfrog larvae.

"But that's what we'd like to think. I mean: There seems to be some evidence that would be true, that getting rid of bluegill would help with the bullfrog problem." It's a big leap from a controlled experimental environment to the habitat and complex biological diversity of a pond in the wild. But the possibilities are as intriguing as the results were dramatic, Adams said. "I was surprised," he said. "I never expected (dragonflies) to be so thorough. "We had zero survival of bullfrogs with odenate (dragonfly) larvae in that experiment. They ate or killed every single one of them." And when the findings first were published in 2003 in "Ecology Letters," it piqued a lot of interest. "I get calls all the time, calls and e-mails from everywhere, all over the world, from agencies and groups that are interested in doing something about bullfrog problems," Adams said. The rub is getting research money to match the concern. "There doesn't really seem to be a lot of funds available, despite the interest," he said. "It doesn't seem to rise to the level of some of these other noxious invaders that have really clear, substantial economic impacts." And then there's the social angle: There are probably a lot more advocates for keeping bluegill as a sport fish than there are for controlling bullfrogs.

[email protected] or (503) 399-6725

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

Glossary

Here are some definitions to help decipher the sometimesconfusing terminology related to invasive species: AMPHIBIAN: From the Greek meaning "double-life." Coldblooded vertebrates such as frogs, toads and salamanders having gilled aquatic larvae -- tadpoles in the case of frogs -- and air-breathing adults BIOLOGICAL CONTROL: The use of a

specially chosen living organism to control a particular pest. This chosen organism might be a predator, parasite or disease that will attack the organism that you are trying to control. EXTIRPATE: To eliminate, as in to wipe out a population. Extirpation of all populations of a species is called extinction. GAPE: In biology, the width of the space between the open jaws of a vertebrate INVASIVE: A species that is non-native, able to establish on

many sites, grow quickly and spread to the point of disrupting ecosystems. It also is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health. METAMORPHOSIS: A change in form. In frogs, the change from a tadpole into a frog, with all of the accompanying physiological changes such as the absorption of the tail, growth of legs, the loss of gills and growth of lungs, as well as changes in diet and lifestyle such as the transition

from aquatic as a tadpole to being able to live on land as a frog. NATIVE, INDIGENOUS: A species that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. Species native to North America generally are recognized as those occurring on the continent prior to European settlement. NON-NATIVE, NONINDIGENOUS, FOREIGN, ALIEN, EXOTIC, INTRODUCED: A species typically

added with human help (intentionally or accidentally) to a new place or new type of habitat where it was not previously found OPPORTUNISTIC SPECIES: A plant or animal able to spread quickly in a previously unexploited habitat. Opportunistic species, such as non-native invasives, can take over certain natural communities and decrease the number of other species in the habitat. SELF-SUSTAINING (POPULATIONS): A group of a species that has a

sufficient number of individuals to replace itself through time without artificial help VERTEBRATES: Animals with an internal skeleton made of bone. Those include humans, monkeys, amphibians (such as frogs and salamanders), reptiles, birds and fish.

SOURCES: Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Department of Agriculture, President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order on invasive species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

"Red-legged frogs need a forested marsh that they can escape into. They don't spend a lot of time in the pond itself." Along with habitat changes as well as lack of predators, diseases and parasites that are found in their native range, bullfrogs have several other natural advantages.

Stop the Spread

Oregonians play a crucial role in spotting potential invasive species. Two Oregonians received the "Eagle Eye" award in 2006 from the Oregon Invasive Species Council for their discovery of live insects in wood crating from China. If you spot a potential invasive species in Oregon, call the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-INVADER (1-866-468-2337). This number is tollfree. You also may call this number if you have a question regarding a specific invasive pest. For the 100 most dangerous Invaders list from the Oregon Invasive Species Council, go to ww.InvasiveSpecies ofOregon.com and click on "Links."

A huge menu

Here's a list of the wide variety of things that Chris Rombough, a bullfrog researcher from St. Helens, has seen or read about finding in bullfrog's stomachs: TOXIC ROUGH-SKINNED NEWTS: "Roughskinned newts manufacture and store tetrodotoxin in their tissues, making them one of the deadliest creatures known to man -- if consumed, anyway," Rombough said. "Yet I have removed newts in varying stages of digestion from the stomachs of apparently healthy bullfrogs on quite a few occasions." PREY FOUND IN BULLFROGS: "Blackbirds, crayfish (these are actually quite frequent), scorpions, small cottonmouth water mocassins and even the western rattlesnake." BIGGEST THING?: A large mouse, the average adult crayfish, or about a week-old duckling. OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE: "I've taken everything from insects to mice from the stomachs of bullfrogs, with a few reptiles, amphibians, and fish thrown in there, too! Typically, insects and other invertebrates (spiders, centipedes, worms, slugs, etc.) are the main diet."

Prolific egg factories

Chris Rombough, who collects data on bullfrogs, holds a juvenile bullfrog during a recent outing.

CHRIS ROMBOUGH| Special to the Statesman Journal

Bullfrog

Continued from 3A

clean out the entire breeding population," Rombough said. "I've opened up bullfrogs that are just packed with Pacific tree frogs." But a lot of the bullfrog's success in Oregon, and the attendant problems that has caused, have to do with the way that humans have changed the environment that help the non-natives, he added.

Ecology interwoven

Bullfrogs are the antithesis of the canary in the coal mine. A chirping bird indicates the air is safe to breathe. The bullfrog's booming call indicates environmental changes that are detrimental to native species such as frogs and turtles. Bullfrogs in their native range on the East Coast and from east of the Rockies south into northern Mexico, thrive in warm, year-round, dead-water ponds and lakes with lots of water plants. In Oregon that perfectly

describes a farm pond, ornamental backyard water feature, gravel borrow or backwater slough, particularly if they are choked with nonnative invasive weeds. None of those situations is the historic natural Oregon environment west of the Cascade Range. Native frogs and turtles thrive in the streams, rivers and seasonal pools and ponds with streamside trees and bushes. "In a lot of places where you see bullfrogs, it's not because they have successfully outcompeted the natives or wiped out an area, but it's because the habitat's been degraded, and the bullfrogs are better able to tolerate it," Rombough said. Requirements to replace wetland lost during a construction project are a classic example of the kinds of changes that favor the invaders ahead of the natives, he added. "They make a mitigation wetland, and it basically just ends up being a duck pond," he said. "It's just a permanent pond sitting out there in the middle of a field, and it's quickly colonized by bullfrogs, which can tolerate the lack of cover because they're very aquatic.

Fortune favors the fecund. And no native amphibian produces more eggs than a female bullfrog. "For an example, our most fecund native frog would be either the Oregon spotted frog or the northern red-legged frog," Rombough said. "And they'll produce a huge egg mass, maybe 5,000 eggs. "But a small bullfrog just starting out will lay 6,000, 7,000 eggs. And a big bullfrog will lay up over 20,000. And sometimes they'll doubleclutch (lay twice in the same year)." The tiny, pinpoint eggs that are laid in a glossy layer on the surface of the water hatch rapidly, most in less than a week, Rombough said. And because they are on the water surface and exchange oxygen with the atmosphere, the eggs can survive in ponds in which dissolved oxygen levels are almost non-existent, typical of a water body choked with non-native invasive weeds. The bullfrog's astronomical egg numbers ensures its survival because under normal conditions in Oregon it takes two years to metamorphose from larvae through large, thumb-sized tadpoles to frogs. And for most of that time they are a food item for everything from native herons, mink and otters, to non-native species such as bass and bigger bullfrogs. "Just about everything eats bullfrogs," Rombough said. "So it's just a numbers game. "You put enough out into the environment, some of them are going to make it. You figure that maybe 4 (percent) to 5 percent of what's getting laid as eggs is actually making it to metamorphosis. Everything else is getting hammered." But back to that gape-limited diet.

Once they metamorphose from tadpoles to frogs, there's no native frog that can eat a bullfrog, and the tables are turned. And that's where another advantage enjoyed by bullfrogs kicks in. If they make it to adult size, they're around for a long time, as much as seven years to nine years in the wild.

Potential disease carriers

ITEMS ROMBOUGH'S FOUND

A 6-inch (body length) frog that ate a 15-inch garter snake. A frog that ate a 10-inch and a 12-inch garter snakes A frog that ate two large bullfrog tadpoles, an adult rough-skinned newt, and an assortment of insects, including several backswimmers, diving beetles and water boatmen. "A frog that ate two smaller frogs, three giant water bugs. These are called `toe biters,' and they are impressive in both size and bite, several giant diving beetles, and about 30 smaller insects, including waterstriders, backswimmers (another species with an impressive bite), and a water scorpion (yep, another biter)." "A 4-inch bullfrog that ate a 5-inch (total length) crayfish ­ ouch!"

Another biological advantage for bullfrogs, and one that could be far worse for native amphibians in the long run than environmental changes or their rapacious appetite, is the arrival of a deadly chytrid fungus, chytridiomycosis. It's been blamed for decimating, and in some cases wiping out, populations of frogs worldwide. "What we've realized is a big factor in some of the amphibian declines around the world is this disease," Adams said. "And what seems to be emerging is that bullfrogs carry the disease. They carry the pathogen, but they are not, at least in some cases, as sensitive to it as the natives." Adams said that a preliminary study that he did was inconclusive on the bullfrog-as-carrier hypothesis. "But it's something that needs to be looked at," he said. "It's something we're concerned about."

That research is continuing, he added.

[email protected] or (503) 399-6725

Raising turtles in captivity may help restore numbers

Zoo officials say it lets turtles grow too big to fit in bullfrogs' mouths

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

About the series

The Statesman Journal spent seven months researching invasive species in Oregon. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month from now until June will focus on a different type of invasive species and their impact. This month's focus is aquatic vertebrates. Each month will feature an in-depth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

Bullfrogs love baby western pond turtles to death ... as an appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert. So much so that the native turtles are listed as a species of concern in Oregon and are on Washington state's Endangered Species List. So officials with both the Oregon Zoo in Portland and the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle came up with a plan. They collect native turtle hatchlings in the wild, raise them for a year until they're about 4 inches, which by gape-and-gullet standards is too big to fit in a bullfrog's mouth. Then they release them into the wild. "They went from less than 100 to more than 1,500," said Dr. David Shepherdson about pond turtles at the three release sites in the Columbia Gorge. Shepherdson is the conservation program scientist at the Oregon Zoo, which raises 50 to 60 pond turtles each year in a program called "head-starting." "In terms of cost, the program costs us about $15,000 a year," Shepherdson said. "So it works out to roughly $200 to $250 a turtle. "Which isn't too bad, but we can't keep doing that forever. Really, head-starting is just to get us back over this hump to where the turtle numbers are at the level at which they can produce a lot of offspring in the wild." Because the turtles don't hibernate, but grow year-round at the zoo, they achieve the size of 2-yearolds during the nine to 11 months that they are raised from hatchlings. A bonus is that having the turtles at the zoo provides a great teaching moment, he added. "People love to look at them," Shepherdson said. "And it's great for us because it's a great way to tell people the story about invasive species." But just turning turtles loose once they've outgrown being on a bullfrog's menu isn't enough. Because the chance of those turtles' hatchlings making it to adulthood in the presence of bullfrogs are slim to none, he said. So the second half of the effort is to keep frog numbers in check. "There has to be some form of bullfrog control," Shepherdson said. "Once turtle numbers are up to their historic levels -- then a bit of good bullfrog control will allow them to become self-sustaining populations." There's several ways to crimp the non-native invasive bullfrogs. "You can gig for the adults," he

Online extras: www.InvasiveSpecies ofOregon.com

A western pond turtle is released into a pond in Skamania County, Wash.

said about spearing them. "Although that's pretty time-consuming." A more effective alternative is to remove the eggs, which are laid on the surface of ponds in the late spring. "And then there's probably the most effective strategy in the longterm, to manage the water levels in the wetlands to the disadvantage of bullfrogs," Shepherdson said. Bullfrogs normally take two years to change from tadpoles to frogs, which makes them vulnerable to water fluctuations when they're in the middle of their development, unlike native frogs that take a year to make the transition. And ironically, manipulating water levels mimics what historically happened naturally before man changed the environment, Shepherdson said. "You know we have that time in September or October when it doesn't rain at all, so our wetlands get pretty dry at that time," he said. "And if you drain a pond for a time in the late summer, you'll kill a lot of the bullfrog tadpoles before they have a chance to metamorphose." In re-establishing western pond turtle populations using head-started offspring, both bullfrog controls -- collecting and destroying eggs

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

Western pond turtles are vulnerable to being eaten by bullfrogs.

and dropping water levels -- are being used. "It's a very effective technique for increasing the number of turtles," he said about head-starting. "But you do have to keep up with the habitat restoration, which in this case is the removal of the bullfrogs, or a reduction in their numbers at any rate." Late last summer, the latest batch of 50 turtles raised for 10 months at the Oregon Zoo were released at a site at Pierce National Wildlife Refuge near Ridgefield, Wash.

Special to the Statesman Journal

It was the final release at the third site in Washington. Next year, they'll start releasing the turtles at a new site, the last scheduled in the series for the head-starting program. "Once you set up four breeding populations of turtles, that's the goal," Shepherdson said. "We have three, and we need to establish one more. "So I'm thinking, I'm hoping, that we'll be done with the captive-rearing program in four or five years."

Readers can find online extras every month for this series at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com. This month, visitors will find: VIDEOS: Video stories about a program helping western pond turtles overcome the effects of invasive species; how invasive bullfrogs and oriental weatherfish are affecting local habitats; and a video following a wildlife official's sweep of area pet shops to prevent the spread of invasive species PHOTOS: Photo galleries of endangered western pond turtles, invasive bullfrogs and oriental weatherfish DATABASE: A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive aquatic vertebrates. It includes basic information, such as how they got here, their effects and if the public should report them. TEACHING AIDS: Delve deeper into the invasive species topics with teaching guides that include glossaries and puzzles HOW TO: Documents detailing how to look out for aquatic invaders and how to prevent spreading aquatic invasive species

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Unwanted aquarium pets pose problems

Even goldfish can threaten native species, because of their varied dietary habits

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Alert

To see the notice for the amur goby presence in Washington, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com.

The G-rated animated children's adventure film "Finding Nemo" has some adults cringing. Most of them are biologists and others who deal in non-native invasive species. It's tough to confront messages such as those from the Disney blockbuster that raked in $864.6 million worldwide about fish in an aquarium trying to escape to an ocean "home." "There's definitely some mixed messages out there in the popular culture that releasing these things out into the wild is a good thing for them and the environment," said Paul Heimowitz. "... It certainly added a challenge to us getting our message out there." Heimowitz is the aquatic invasive species and research coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region office in Portland. With depressing regularity and increasing frequency, state and federal biologists who sample aquatic populations in Oregon's streams, ponds, creeks, sloughs and rivers are turning up species from the aquarium trade that have set up shop in the wild. "Species like Oriental weatherfish," said Danette Ehlers, an assistant district fisheries biologist in Clackamas with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We're finding them more and more," she said. "They're an aquarium species that's native to Japan and China, I believe. "We've seen them up in the Scappoose area; I've heard reports in Johnson Creek, of course, which is sort of a hotbed for all sorts of fun stuff," Ehlers said, referring to aquarium dumps in urban areas. If you look up on the Internet the aquarium fish that turn up in sampling nets, you'll find that many are opportunists when it comes to diet, eating plants, insects, zooplankton and, in some cases, fish eggs, Ehlers said. "When I did some research on (weatherfish), when they're out in the wild they're eating mostly aquatic insects and snails and whatnot," Ehlers said. "But I did see on one of the aquarium Web sites that in aquariums they'll eat small fish eggs and stuff."

Exit strategies

THE SITUATION: You're moving, or your fish have grown too big for your tank, or you're tired of them. WORST THING YOU CAN DO: Release them into a river, lake, stream, pond or slough. That's a recipe for a disaster if non-native invasives get established in the wild. PET PURCHASES: Be a responsible consumer. Find out if the pet or aquarium store has a policy to take back fish or other aquatic critters BEFORE you buy them. Many do. If they don't, shop elsewhere, and tell them why you're doing it. BUY LOCAL: Experts say that out-of-state and private-party Internet purchases have the potential of bringing not only prohibited species into Oregon, but hitchhikers such as invasive aquatic weeds, parasites and other critters and diseases with them. THE FINAL OPTION: Biologists say that the best way to euthanize fish is to put them in water in a plastic bag in the freezer. Being cold-blooded, they basically go to sleep.

Banded killifish

Special to the Statesman Journal

Amur goby

Special to the Statesman Journal

Fish spotter

THE SITUATION: You see some weird fish in the wild. YOU SHOULD: Catch it if you can or get pictures that will help identify it. Jot down the location where you saw it. WHO YOU SHOULD CALL: Jim Gores, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's invasive species coordinator at Salem headquarters, (503) 947-6308. HOTLINES: Oregon's Invasive Species Hotline is 1 (866) INVADER (468-2337). There's also a national reporting line, 1 (877) STOP ANS (786-9567), sponsored by the US. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey.

Danette Ehlers (back) with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife uses a electro shocker, which puts a current into the water to bring fish to the surface, in hopes of catching the invasive Oriental weatherfish. Christie Scott assists her .

established, they're going to stay there." And just because a lot of fish that need warm water can't make it now, that doesn't mean they couldn't in the future, Heimowitz added. "One other thing that we have to think about, particularly in the pet industry, is the aspect of global warming," he said. "A lot of these are warmwater species, and we think that a lot of them will struggle in our current climate. "But with a couple of degrees change in our water temperatures, we have to look at the risk of those species increasing if they happen to escape." For the native species that already have a tough time competing, it's a crapshoot when someone releases a fish or other aquatic pet into the wild, the biologists agreed. "It would be nice to have better information on abundance and ecological impacts, but at the same time our experience is that if you wait for that to take action, it's too late," Heimowitz said. "We know that with a lot of invasive non-native species, that can change very quickly ."

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

Surviving the wild

There's a laundry list of pet fish that have turned up in Oregon bodies of water, from an occasional piranha and its seed-eating cousin, the paku, along with invasive nonnative aquatic vertebrates such as red-eared slider turtles and even the fish-eating snapping turtle. Most of the species that require aquarium heaters probably won't make through the winter in the wild. "For a lot of the tropical species, they're doomed because of the water temperature here," said Thom Whittier, who is with the U.S. Geological Survey at Oregon State University "But not all of them. . "A couple that have gotten out of tanks are a lot more adaptable, such as Oriental weatherfish," said Whittier, who studied non-native fish in 12 western states. "And once they get

Fear of unknown

It's a scary proposition for those thinking about potential consequences for juvenile native fish such as salmon and steelhead and native reptiles such as the western pond turtle. "We really don't know a lot about them, and that's one of the biggest problems right now," Ehlers said about the potpourri of non-

native species that turn up. "But we do know that we're seeing more and more of them." One invasive non-native that has become well-established is the banded killifish. Native to the eastern United States, they are a popular aquarium species. "We find a lot of killifish, and they have been known to be around for quite some time," Fiedler said. Or take the amur goby as an example. Chuti Fiedler, a U.S. Forest Service fish and wildlife biologist, had the distinction of finding the second amur goby in a Columbia River backwater during a net seine fish-sampling outing in August. It was pulled out of a pool on the east channel of the Sandy River Delta near Troutdale. "There was only one goby," she said. "But I don't know if they're so benthic (deep-living) that we didn't get to them because of the thick weeds," Fiedler said. When the first one was discovered, Washington officials were quick to react, posting an alert that the amur goby "has been found in spawning condition in the East Fork Lewis River," a tributary to the Columbia. The effects of the goby soon may become apparent. Native to Asia and the Philippines, the popular aquarium fish can grow to about 4 inches, and in its native range, populations can double in about 14 months. And its natural diet of aquatic plankton puts the goby on a collision course to compete with native fish such as juvenile salmon, steelhead and trout. "That's what we're afraid of right now, the goby," Ehlers said. "They're in low numbers, but they're probably going to spread, and they're an aggressive little fish."

Surprise offender

If you wanted to have a poster child for accidental or intentional pet fish releases, it would be the lowly goldfish.

Those get loose as escapees while being illegally used as bait, washed out of ornamental ponds during high water or siphoned down a storm drain during cleaning, or get dumped by someone who is tired of them as pets. Once in a lake, pond, river, stream or slough, their bottom-feeding habits and wide diet make them a very real threat to native species. They're probably the most widespread non-native invasive fish in Oregon waters, the biologists agreed. "Goldfish, that's a big one. They're everywhere now," Ehlers said. "And I don't know if it's out of sight, out of mind, and people just hope that if they release it, the little goldfish is . going to survive and they're going to be happy "And they don't realize that they do survive, really and that's a big problem." , Which brings us back to the the "Finding Nemo" hurdle in public education about nonnative invasives. "It's hard to think of that innocent little goldfish as something that could drive another fish to extinction," Heimowitz said. "But we need to realize if they're in the wrong place, they can be a lot scarier than we envisioned them when they were in that little fishbowl."

[email protected] or (503) 399-6725

State checks pet shops for illegal plants and animals

Prohibited fish, reptiles, other species are pulled from shelves

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

Got an unwanted species?

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife classifies species in several different categories, including prohibited, controlled and noncontrolled. Some of these species can be found in pet shops, but all of them should not be released into the environment. Below is a list of species sometimes found in pet shops, and what people can do if they no longer want their pet. For the full list of regulations, see this story at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Behind the glass in aquarium shops, elegant fish, endearing turtles and swaying green plants lure people to buy them. But Jim Gores isn't sold. Gores, the invasive species coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, is there to ensure that certain species aren't sold to aquarium hobbyists. Sure, the critters and plants are great additions to a home aquarium. But those same critters and plants can cause big problems outside the tank. "Invasive species aren't a problem until people get bored with their pets and want to release them in the wild," said Gores. It seems like the more humane thing to do -- put Goldy the goldfish and the other contents of Goldy's tank in the nearby pond instead of the freezer or the garbage. But Goldy's new life could mean the death of native fish who can't compete with an invasive species, experts say . Gores is on the front lines of defending Oregon's streams, ponds and other waterbodies from what are commonly called "aquarium dumps." He checks pet shops. If a pet shop is selling a prohibited fish, reptile, crustacean or plant, Gores asks the owner or manager to pull it from the shelves. This way, he catches invasives before they are sold -- preventing any possibility of an Oregonian unwittingly starting an infestation. Past sweeps in the Portland area have netted prohibited fire-bellied toads and red-eared slider turtles. "We have more red-eared sliders than we know what to do with," Gores said. "Redeared sliders live for 50 or 60 years -- that is a long commitment. We want people to realize that there are some neat pets out there that they will be just as happy having." During a check in Salem in July Gores ran , into very few illegal species.

PROHIBITED SPECIES

EXAMPLES: Tiger salamander, ide, round goby, Oriental weatherfish, silver dollars (piranha) and red-bellied pacu. WHAT TO DO: It is illegal to release these species into the environment. Turn over your prohibited pets to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information, contact Jim Gores at the agency at (503) 947-6308.

CONTROLLED

There are individual special restrictions for controlled species. EXAMPLES: Bullfrog. Restrictions include: "No one may import, purchase, sell, barter or exchange live bullfrogs. Individual bullfrogs may be collected from the wild and held indoors in an escape-proof aquarium." WHAT TO DO: It is illegal to release these species into the environment. Turn over your controlled pets to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information, contact Jim Gores at the agency at (503) 947-6308.

Jim Gores, the invasive species coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, looks over rows of aquariums at a local pet store during an educational sweep for invasive species.

At Petco in Keizer Station, signs throughout the aquarium area highlight the company's participation in Habitatitude, a national initiative developed by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. The initiative tells Petco shoppers that they should not release fish and aquatic plants that they no longer want. "We will take back an animal if you can't care for it," said store manager Katie Beckner. Petsmart on Lancaster Drive NE was carrying the prohibited silver dollars and red-bellied pacu fish, but after the state informed them of the regulations, the store removed the offending species. The biggest problem, though, is unwitting customers looking to buy prohibited species.

TIMOTHY J. GONZALEZ | Statesman Journal

Video

Go to www.Invasive SpeciesofOregon.com to watch a video about Jim Gores' check of pet shops in the Salem area.

NONCONTROLLED

EXAMPLES: Iguana, red-bellied piranha, gerbils, rats, parrots and most box turtles. WHAT TO DO: It is illegal to release these species into the environment because these species will not survive an Oregon winter. Contact the Willamette Humane Society about a particular species or specific species club (for example, some areas have a local reptile club) for help. Although releasing noncontrolled species into the environment may not result in them becoming invasive species, many of these noncontrolled species will not survive in the wild. "It is just not humane," Gores said. SOURCE: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

For example, several owners told Gores that they have gotten requests for ide and bluechannel catfish. "Basically, the pet shop owners are confirming my fears that people are asking for invasive species," Gores said. "At least (the stores) aren't selling them."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

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February 10, 2008

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Salem faces deficit; all department budgets to shrink

Shortfall could reach $4.5 million as revenues drop; some cuts to be `painful'

BY MICHAEL ROSE Budget cuts are on the horizon for Salem's city government. The 2008-09 city budget likely will include some serious funding cuts, city officials warn, to cope with a deficit that could be as large as $4.5 million. "For the size of this decrease, every department will need to make some reductions or some savings," said Linda Norris, Salem's interim city manager. Some of the budget cuts "will be painful," she said. Norris declined to be specific about what areas might get less money because it's early in the planning process. In April, Norris is expected to make her recommendations to the city's budget committee. Salem already has instituted a hiring freeze for many positions and told department heads to trim costs in preparation for leaner times. Unlike recent budget cycles, there are few resources to reduce the repercussions of cost-cutting. The city had expected a shortfall in the fiscal 2008-09 budget, but the amount caught officials by surprise: The city's five-year budget forecast report -- based primarily on information gathered in October and November -- projected a

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Mussels top the list of Oregon's

They can devastate ecosystems and economies

LEAST WANTED

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Mud snail

I

n this case, being No. 1 is no honor. When it comes to aquatic non-native invasive species, it's almost unanimous that there is none more evil, wicked, mean, bad and

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Aquatic Invertebrates

Today is the sixth installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series on the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on quagga and zebra mussels, which the state holds as a top priority to keep out of Oregon's water, and mud snails, an established invasive species.

nasty or more feared than quagga mussels and their better-known cousins, zebra mussels.

Neither has been found in Oregon ... yet. But analysts -- from biologists to bean counters -- say the costs if and when they do get here would be astronomical. And never-ending, because once they become established, the only realistic approach is control, not eradication. "We did a paper on that, looking at the potential impacts to just the hydro power facilities in the Columbia Basin," said Mark Sytsma, the director of the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University . "It was something like $23 million a year, and that's just for maintaining the hydro facilities." If that sounds alarmist, consider this, said Sam Chan, an aquatic ecosystem health educator with Oregon State University's Sea Grant Extension Program: "The Southern California Metropolitan Water Authority spent $6 million just this past spring cleaning their two freshwater aqueducts of quagga mussels," Chan said. "And they actually had to shut the aqueduct down to do it. "I don't think that they've even come up with a true cost of keeping those canals and gates open." The first recorded sighting of quaggas west of the Continental Divide was by a diver on Jan. 6, 2007, in Lake Mead on the Colorado River east of Las Vegas on the Nevada-Arizona border.

See Mussels, 5A

Inside today

MUD SNAILS: They're here and control is crucial. Page 4A TEACHING MOMENT: Classrooms take care not to release invasives. Page 4A CONSTANT WATCH: Oregon scientists are on lookout for larvae of invasive quagga. Page 5A OPINION: Oregon's defenses are weak against invading mussels. Page 10C

Invasive quagga mussels have no problem attaching to many surfaces. This shoe was submerged in quaggainfested Lake Mead in Nevada for four months to illustrate how they are able to set up shop on rubber and nylon.

KOBBI R. BLAIR | Statesman Journal

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive aquatic invertebrates, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries about specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

INSIDE TODAY

Economic forecast projects less money

Friday's economic forecast suddenly changed the political landscape as the Oregon Legislature completed its first week of its "test drive" of annual sessions. Although lawmakers won't have to make any immediate cuts in the budget, money matters have re-emerged to join an array of policy issues in both chambers.

Obama wins three states; Huckabee prevails in two

Sen. Barack Obama swept the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Washington and Nebraska on Saturday night, slicing into Sen. Hillary Clinton's slender delegate lead in their historic race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The Illinois senator also won caucuses in the Virgin Islands. The Republican race moved into a new, post-Super Tuesday phase. Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee-inwaiting, lost Kansas caucuses to Mike Huckabee. Huckabee also edged ahead of McCain in Louisiana's primary. However, McCain was declared the winner Saturday of the caucuses in Washington. But most delegates will not be awarded immediately.

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Attack of the clones dates back to 1980s or earlier

New Zealand mud snails are so tiny, they're hard to notice, but they clone by the billions

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Despite the fact that there are billions and billions of them, and those are producing billions and billions more, this aquatic invader isn't into sex. But then again, every New Zealand mud snail in the Pacific Northwest is more alike than an identical twin. "It's interesting because they're a clone. They're all genetically identical to each other," said researcher Val Brenneis. Brenneis is working on her doctorate, studying the tiny, prolific gastropod Potamopyrgus antipodarum in the brackish waters of Youngs Bay near the mouth of the Columbia River in the Astoria area. No one knows for sure how long New Zealand mud snails have been in North America. They first reached noticeable numbers around the mid-1980s in the Snake River in Idaho. And since have spread to 10 Western states. "You know, they're so tiny and inconspicuous, it's really hard to put a date on it," said Mark Sytsma, the director of the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University "They might have been around for a . while, and we weren't aware and weren't looking for them." At about an eighth of an inch long -- about the length of Franklin Roosevelt's nose on a dime -- with a conical, spiral-shaped gray to black shell, one of them is about as obtrusive as a fingernail clipping on a white bath towel. But with recorded densities of about 750,000 per square meter -- imagine that many clippings on the same towel -- they really stand out. And that's how thick they have been seen in some areas of Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming. In Oregon, the snails have been found from freshwater rivers such as the lower Deschutes to Youngs Bay which is about half , as saline as the ocean. "They're able to live in these very very dif, fering environments, from spring-fed streams in Yellowstone to the estuary in Youngs Bay ," Brenneis said. "They're all genetically identical. But they have this very side range of tolerance, which makes them a very good invader." Mud snails present two major environmental and ecological problems. Because they are so prolific, they are almost a living carpet, scouring rocks of food that natives snails and other tiny critters need. "The thing with mud snails is they come in and eat up all the algae," Brenneis said. "They out-compete the native invertebrate species." So far, with another year of sampling to go, Brenneis hasn't documented that happening in her Youngs Bay study. The other problem is that despite the astronomical numbers, New Zealand mud snails don't provide a food source to replace the natives. "Fish, like salmon for an example, can't break down the shells of these snails," she said. "And they're so tiny that they just pass through the gut and come out alive." Mud snails have a little hatch, like garden snails, called an operculum. When disturbed, they tuck back into their shell, pull the hatch closed behind them and pass right through the fish, with most of those consumed emerging alive and unscathed on the other end. Studies by Michael Liu, an Oregon State University graduate student at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, have shown that there are a couple of Oregon native species that can eat mud snails. The American signal crayfish can use its tight pincers armed with small, interlocking teeth to crack the shells. And sculpin, a native fish, also can successfully feed on the invasive mud snails, said

Ecology graduate student Val Brenneis collects invasive New Zealand mud snails in Youngs Bay near Astoria to study their effect on the local food chain. The tiny snails cling to rocks and burrow under the mud.

Sam Chan, an aquatic ecosystem health educator with Oregon State's Sea Grant Extension Program. But given the huge numbers and the small size, native species probably are not going to make much of a dent in the snail populations. "One of these things is that they're not the most palatable food source because you have to break the shells to get to them," Chan said. "And being that they're only an eighth of an inch, with the shell, there's not a lot of nutrients in them. "I don't think anyone's ever calculated, you know, how many calories would it expend in the process of eating one."

THOMAS PATTERSON | Statesman Journal

Advancing invader

Since they first were discovered in the Snak e River in Idaho in the 1980s, Ne w Zealand mud snails have spr ead to 10 W estern states and continue to be found in more lakes, rivers and estuaries.

Wash.

Mont. Idaho Wyo. Utah Ariz. Colo. N.M.

Wash. Ore. Idaho Nev.

Mont. Wyo. Utah Ariz. Colo. N.M.

Ore.

Calif.

Nev.

Calif.

How they got to Oregon

How New Zealand mud snails got here from their native and namesake country is a matter of best-guess speculation. Theories range from arrival of the snails in contaminated water in fish eggs or ballast water to an angler bringing some back in wet waders or other gear after visiting New Zealand. Once established, it's through fishing gear -- wader and tire treads, contaminated boats, gear such as anchors and ropes, and the nooks and crannies on boat trailers -- that move the snails around. "We have a lot of anglers who fish the Columbia," Sytsma said. "Then they drive down to a coastal lake -- that happens a lot at Coffenbury Lake (in Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria) -- and they back their boat down the boat ramp and start their motor to flush the salt water out of the cooling system." Flushing engines and contaminated trailers is probably how mud snails have hopscotched to a lot of coastal lakes, including Devil's Lake in Lincoln City . Because they are so tiny New Zealand mud , snails can be trapped in boot or wader treads or other tiny spaces. And they also can survive for several weeks out of water if humidity is high enough and temperatures are low enough. Worse, because they reproduce by shedding clones, you don't need a pair. It only takes one to start a new infestation. In perhaps the ultimate irony, it's those who are most involved with protecting Oregon's environment who have unwittingly helped spread New Zealand mud snails, said

1995

2007

KA WORTHINGTON Statesman Journal Y

Paul Heimowitz, the aquatic invasive species and research coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland. Water-quality samplers, people who do stream surveys or work on in-stream or bankside habitat projects, have been documented to have helped move the invasive snails around watersheds and between water bodies, he said. "You hear stories that are almost heartbreaking in the sense that it's the individuals who probably have some of the deepest passions about keeping aquatic habitats healthy who are inadvertently moving things around," Heimowitz said. "It's very ironic." The upside is that when those people find out, they tend to want payback, big-time, he said. "As with everything, there is a silver lining," Heimowitz said. "It has been an opportunity to build awareness and education with natural resource sorts of folks or watershed council volunteers who are out there. "And as soon as they become aware of that risk, they're some of the greatest advocates ... they can really enhance our early detection capacity as we can get them tuned in and , interested in watching out for things like mud snails."

Message clearer to boaters

The arrival of the New Zealand mud snail in Oregon also had another benefit: It eliminated all of the mixed messages to recreational boaters, anglers and others who stay and play around the water. "We used to say if you boat only in salt water, don't worry about putting it in fresh, because things can't live there," said Randy Henry, the representative on the Oregon Invasive Species Council from the Oregon State Marine Board. "And we used to tell boaters in freshwater the same thing about salt water. "Now the message is the same: Never launch a dirty boat." Ditto for cleaning everything from the trailer and motor to fishing gear, landing nets, buckets, anchors and ropes, anything else that goes into the water. "That's the bottom line if you're talking about a lot of things from aquatic plants to mud snails to zebra or quagga mussels," Henry said. "If you just make sure your boat's really clean when you launch it, you're going to solve those problems. "Plus your boat's going to be in better shape and last longer and have a higher resale value."

Students learn to keep classroom animals in school

Releasing them into the wild once was considered humane

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

In the classroom

Invasive species experts recommend that teachers and students do not release any live animals or plants that have been studied in the classroom into the wild. Sam Chan of Oregon State University recommends that teachers use the opportunity to teach students about invasive species and their consequences in Oregon. See this story at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com for information about how to deal with in-class species after a curriculum unit is complete.

Special to the Statesman Journal

Salem-Keizer teacher survey

Two years ago, teacher Jon Yoder took his high school biology students to Mill Creek to look for rusty crayfish, an invasive species. For six weeks, they searched but found only native crayfish. It was a good sign -- rusty crayfish were not pushing out Oregon's species. But scientists know that in some streams, rusty crayfish exist. With Yoder's help, the Statesman Journal sent a survey to 120 teachers in the Salem-Keizer School District to gauge their use of live animals in the classroom and their understanding of invasive species, and 100 teachers responded. Here are some of the results (full results online): Have you ever used live animals or plants in the classroom as a teaching tool? Yes: 91 No: 9 Have you ever completed the study of live animals or plants by releasing them with the students into a nearby creek or pond? Yes: 22 No: 77 N/A: 1 Are you aware of how invasive species can impact native species and Oregon's natural environment? Yes: 89 No: 6 Somewhat: 5 Have you ever discussed invasive species and their effects with your students? Yes: 57 No: 40 Somewhat: 3 If so, briefly explain what you studied. (Sample response) "Yes. A few years ago on a trip to the tide pools in Newport, we found an invasive species of frog. The park ranger was very concerned. We took a picture and found out that it was a species from Japan coming over on the ships. We did research about this frog and how it was changing the tide pool life and killing off the native frog species."

It's the perfect hands-on learning experience: live crayfish in the classroom, where students can study their behavior and anatomy . But when the particular study unit is complete, where do the crayfish end up? In some cases, teachers extend the unit to include a field trip and a "release" party at a nearby stream. The students see the event as a way to set the crustaceans free. Oregon wildlife experts cringe at the idea. Crayfish and other animals and plants used for school projects come from biological supply houses across the country . They select the best species for studying in a classroom -- big, hardy specimens that won't die during transport or in less-than-ideal classroom aquariums. These same species can thrive in Oregon streams and push out smaller native species. By releasing them, "people are thinking they are doing something good for the animal," said Thea Hayes, a science teacher at Binnsmead Middle School in southeast Portland. "It doesn't work in the best interest of the animal. And it definitely doesn't work in the best interest of the ecosystem." Renee Gatchet's fourth-grade class in Corvallis learned first-hand about the invasive crayfish they were studying in class. "We knew we couldn't release them," she said. "We could see the havoc they would

Rusty crayfish are bigger than natives.

wreak. Rusty crayfish are quite a bit bigger -- they would fight for food, and our crayfish would lose the battle." So Gatchet took the curriculum one step further. Her students studied invasive species issues. When it came time to decide what to do with the crayfish, the class decision was unanimous: Do not release the crustaceans into a stream. The alternatives were not as easy to figure out. "They had become their pets," Gatchet said. "They named them. They became part of the class." Still, some students suggested boiling them and eating them. Others suggested freezing them -- the most humane way of euthanizing the animals. The consensus, however, was to give them to a scientist who could use them in studies or experiments.

Eight rusty crayfish were given to Sam Chan, an aquatic invasive species specialist and assistant professor at Oregon State University's Sea Grant College Program and Extension Service. Chan has been working for the past two years to educate teachers and students about the dangers of releasing species into the Oregon environment. A widely distributed brochure and poster initially got the word out, but now Chan is hoping to partner with the biological supply houses and curriculum developers to extend the learning to include the consequences of invasive species and alternatives for dealing with the critters. "We like to use this as a teachable moment," Chan said. "It's not just a case of students learning about crayfish and habitats, but they are also able to learn about organisms that can be released and cause harm. We want the students to do the research and learn it themselves."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Mussels

Continued from 1A

OPB broadcast

Watch "Quagga Saga," an episode of the Oregon Public Broadcasting television series "Oregon Field Guide." You'll find a link to the OPB video at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com. "Oregon Field Guide" is featuring a yearlong campaign to engage Oregonians in the battle against all types of invasive species. The series will culminate at 8 p.m. April 22 with an hourlong show called "The Silent Invasion: An Oregon Field Guide Special."

Surveys sparked by the confirmation of the invasion showed the mussels were widespread and probably had been in Mead for three to four years. From there, surveys and samples followed the flow of water out of Mead. Quagga larvae, known as veligers, were moved by the billions into California through the Colorado River Aquaduct, infesting the entire 242 miles of the system from the river to Lake Murray Reservoir in San Diego County according to surveys. ,

Source of the grief

Ground zero for the arrival of the invasive mussels is the Great Lakes, where zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, were first recorded in 1988, and quaggas, Dreissena bugensis, were first documented a year later. Both arrived in ballast water in ships from Eastern Europe -- zebra mussels from the Black and Caspian sea drainages and quaggas from the Dnieper River drainages in the Ukraine. Both often are collectively referred to as "zebra mussels" because of the distinctive striping on the shell. But each is a separate species, and each has distinct characteristics. The slightly larger quaggas have a wider and lower range of temperature tolerance, can live deeper in the water and can attach and grow on soft as well as the hard surfaces that zebras prefer. "Look at the quaggas on the laces," Chan said about a mussel-encrusted tennis shoe that was put in Lake Mead for four months as an experiment to illustrate how the invasive bivalves would set up shop even on rubber and nylon. Most scientists think quaggas arrived in Lake Mead on the hulls of pleasure boats from the Midwest, where they are endemic throughout the Missouri and Mississippi river drainages and a host of lakes. The critters travel well. Once a quagga or zebra mussel closes its shell, it can live up to a month out of water if the humidity and temperatures are within its tolerances. And in a battle among the noxious invaders, in waters where both are found, studies indicate that quaggas out-compete and push out zebra mussels. Growing by the millions in colonies that can reach more than a foot thick, the mussels clog and block intake pipes from municipal, industrial and agricultural water supplies to outflow pipes from sewer systems and storm drains. They encrust and choke structures such as fish ladders and fish screens, make valves and canal locks hard or impossible to operate, can foul boat motors, propellers, intakes and jets, and have grown thick enough to sink channel-marker buoys in the Great Lakes.

Dried, dead quagga mussels (left) sit in a pile. The mussels are no bigger than a penny (above).

to be very effective," Heimowitz said. "Right now we've got a small percentage of folks trying to get everything perfect. But we also need to work on getting everybody to just do the basic: Inspect, clean and dry ."

Oregon on defense

KOBBI R. BLAIR | Statesman Journal

Online extras: www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Readers can find online extras every month for this series at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com. This month, visitors will find: VIDEOS: Jim Gores, the invasive species coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, demonstrates how to inspect and clean your boat to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. A second video features a current study of New Zealand mud snails and what effect they are having on the food chain in Youngs Bay near Astoria. PHOTOS: Photo galleries of mud snails and showing the differences and similarities between quagga and zebra mussels. DATABASE: A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive aquatic invertebrates. It includes basic information, such as how they got here, their effects and if the public should report them. MAPS: Showing the spread of quagga and zebra mussels and mud snails in the United States. IDENTIFY: How to identify and prevent the spread of New Zealand mud snails and what to do if you think you spot an invasive species. INTERACTIVE CALCULATOR: How long can a zebra mussel live out of water? Pick the month and the location and this tells quaratine times for boats. ONLINE CHAT ON TUESDAY: Randy Henry, of the Oregon Marine Board will answer questions from online readers about aquatic invasive species at noon Tuesday. Go to StatesmanJournal.com to submit questions in advance.

Costly threat

As far as the wallets of consumers and taxpayers, based on the experience around the Great Lakes and the emerging situation in California, the consequences of the mussels becoming established in Oregon would be higher costs for everything water-related, from food and electricity to water and sewers, according to the experts. "There has been some examination of the costs to the hydro power system," said Paul Heimowitz, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about the Columbia River dams study, "because that's one of the kind of obvious targets of concern." Heimowitz serves as the aquatic invasive species and research coordinator at Fish and Wildlife's Portland office. "But with all of our agriculture and all of the miles and miles and miles of pipes and all of the investments that have been put into fish screens in the past decades," he said, "the potential for mussels to colonize those is probably a much higher cost." It gets worse, Sytsma said. There are huge potential consequences for salmon, steelhead and other native species. "If, for example, they get into fish ladders, they have really sharp shells, so they can descale salmon going up fish ladders, which can lead to diseases," Sytsma said. Added Chan: "And even from the human

recreation perspective, you can imagine how our beaches are lined or even the water was just lined with them, you can't walk on them barefoot anymore." But the worst long-term consequences is probably what they do to the ecosystem, Sytsma said. "They're pretty massive at filtering," he said. "They really take a lot of stuff out of the water." "They filter algae out of the water, and people say, `Gee, that's great. Look how clean the water is.' But what they're doing, it's a pretty major impact on the ecosystem." Quagga and zebra mussels literally suck the life out of the water, filtering life-sustaining algae from the water and depositing it as a layer of waste on the bottom. "Previously the food web was more of what , we called pelagic," Sytsma said about life-sustaining systems throughout the water in a healthy lake or river. "It's based on algae production. "And then the zooplankton eat the algae, and the small fish eat the zooplankton, and the bigger fish eat the smaller fish." Quagga and zebra mussels turn that balanced ecosystem on its head, he said. The change from that healthy mix of lifesustaining algae and algae-dependent organisms in the water to almost sterile water above and a suffocating organic layer on the bottom has been recorded by scientists studying Lake Erie, Sytsma said. "If that happened, say in the Columbia Riv, er, or if they became established in the Pacific Northwest, that's the sort of impact I worry about most," he added. "Because juvenile salmon are going to be impacted by that. "So if you look at all of the impacts on the adults, on the fish ladders, plus the impacts on streams for juveniles and passage issues, a lot of the efforts that we have made for salmon recovery would be jeopardized. That's probably my biggest concern." And there's one last nasty chapter in the quagga chronicles, Chan said. The mussels have the ability to feed discriminately and eject toxic blue-green algae. So the toxin-producing organisms are returned to the water, while benign and beneficial algae are being consumed and digested by invasive mussels.

"We really don't know the process, but they're actually able to spit out the algae itself," Chan said, adding, "the (toxic algae) that they do manage to digest, they package it into what's called pseudofeces, so when it comes out, it's pretty concentrated. "The fact that they can concentrate it is pretty nasty ."

Ramping up

Through the Oregon Invasive Species Council, with representatives from state, federal and county agencies, Native American tribes and environmental and conservation groups, the state has been mobilizing for host of potential non-native invaders. But the efforts aimed at zebra and quagga mussels took on a real sense of urgency with the Lake Mead discovery . "We've trained people at all of the Oregon Department of Transportation ports of entry," said Randy Henry, the Oregon State Marine Board's representative on the council. "So Jim Gores (the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's invasive species coordinator) and I have visited the ones in Ashland, Klamath Falls, Farewell Bend, Umatilla, Cascade Locks and Woodburn." Those inspectors at weight and check stations on major highways into the state are watching for evidence of mussels or other invasive species on commercially hauled boats, Henry said. And in the education push, sessions and seminars have been held for Oregon Department of Transportation environmental crews, Oregon State Police, Fish and Wildlife staff and the members U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas, anyone who comes into contact with recreational boaters, Henry added. "We try to reach all registered boaters through our annual newsletter, and we address the issue there," he said. And there are extensive public-education outreach efforts at events such as boat and sports shows, Henry added. The message for anyone who plays in around the water is the same, and it's pretty basic, said both Henry and Heimowitz. "What we're preaching is that if you are inspecting and cleaning using just good old elbow grease and hot water, it might not be 100 percent effective every time, but it's going

On the enforcement end, proposals are in the discussion stages to get legislation passed during the 2009 session that would give agencies such as state police more authority for screening incoming boats. "We need something like Washington has where we set up check stations and require you to come in and have your boat inspected," Henry said. "You would not be cited if they found something; you would only be cited if you tried to avoid the check stations. "But you would be required to allow a trained inspector to check your boat for invasive species. And if they find it, you clean your boat, and then you're on your way ." Oregon got a graphic illustration of the need for inspection authority in May, when Gores' phone rang. A field biologist told Gores about a boat that was being towed from Missouri through Oregon on Interstate 5 en route to Vancouver, British Columbia, with small zebra mussels on the hull. The biologist, who spotted the mussels and called Gores, had talked to the driver and got the name, license plate numbers and other identifying information. At the time, Oregon had no authority to stop the boat. "If they had planned to launch in Oregon, then the scenario would have been a whole lot different, Gores said. "(Oregon State Police) would have been called in and everything else. "But because it was going to Canada, and I knew that Washington had better stopping authority than we did. So I just called and said, `Hey this is coming up your way , .'" The rig was stopped, inspected and held at the Ridgeway, Wash., weigh station until the water holding tanks were cleaned with bleach solution. Because the boat had been out of the water since February, the mussels first noticed on the hull were long dead. Watching as new red dots are added to the map as infested sites are discovered is sort of a race between a shrinking world and public education about prices to be paid, Chan said. "I think connection, speed of communication, transportation -- that's all going to continue to improve," he said. "And that's just part of human society, and invasive species are just one of the consequences of that. "But maybe invasive species, that's where the education process comes in. Because if we're going to have those kinds of technologies improve our lives, then we want to make sure that associated with those technologies that the negative aspects don't overwhelm us." While it can be pretty discouraging, issues such as invasive species offer a chance for united action, Heimowitz added. "They have maps that sort of look like those old nuclear war-games maps where you see one part of the country light up, and then it starts to light up the whole world," he said. "I think it illustrates, like with all invasive species, you can't just think of it as someone else's problem. "Just by showing up anywhere in the United States, it automatically becomes every state's problem, because you know how quickly things can move." Most officials agree that someday, somehow, non-native invasive mussels such as the quagga and the zebra probably are going to get to Oregon, Henry said. "I like to say that death is inevitable," he said. "But if we can put it off 20 or 30 or 40 years, we're happy ."

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Mussels may be in water from Nevada in Columbia

Scientists on lookout for larvae of invasive quagga

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Stop the Spread

Oregonians play a crucial role in spotting potential invasive species. The Oregon Invasive Species Council hands out the "Eagle Eye" award for citizens who have helped spot invasive species. If you spot a potential invasive species in Oregon, call the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-INVADER (1-866-468-2337). This number is toll-free. You also may call this number if you have a question regarding a specific invasive pest. For the 100-most-dangerous-invaders list from the Oregon Invasive Species Council, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com and click on "Links."

Fight invasive species

The basic rule for anyone who stays and plays in and around lakes, rivers, streams and bays is "inspect, clean and dry" anything that goes into the water. Here, from several sources, is a checklist for boaters. It also applies for anyone who rafts, canoes, kayaks, uses a float tube or pontoon boat or just wades or swims in lakes, rivers, streams or estuaries. EDUCATION IS KEY: Know about potential invasives by reading signs posted around the bodies of water or at the boat ramp. Also, look online for current information before you head out. KEEP IT CLEAN: After visiting the water, clean your watercraft and gear thoroughly. THAT MEANS EVERYTHING: Dive gear, boats, trailers and motors, fishing tackle, and gear such as landing nets, ropes, buckets, anchors and ropes should be inspected by sight and feel. LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT: Plants or other potential invasives, mud, sand or other possible hiding places for unwanted plants or animals need to be removed and left at the site where you picked them up or discarded in a waste can. DRAIN AND FLUSH: The bilge, livewell, bait buckets and any other compartments that hold water. The same goes for water at the bottom of rafts or other water craft as well as in boots and waders. EXTRA PRECAUTIONS: If you recently boated in infested waters, flush areas of standing water with hot water (140 degrees or more), or use a solution of 1 cup bleach to a gallon of water. Never allow the water with bleach to run back into the water. CLEAN? NOW DRY: After washing, all equipment, boats and trailers should be allowed to remain dry for at least 24 hours before being used again. If a thorough washing isn't available, clean as best you can and allow items to air dry for at least five days with all compartments open. AWAY FROM THE WATER: If you can't wash your boat on-site, do it at a commercial car wash or at home on a lawn or gravel area where the rinsing water won't go into a street drain.

It's almost as if the calvary threw poison down the homesteaders' well. In April and May 2006, more than 34,000 trout from Nevada's Lake Mead Hatchery were planted in northwestern Nevada's Wildhorse Reservoir. And along with the trout, hundreds of gallons of water -- potentially contaminated with microscopic quagga mussel larvae known as veligers -- were added to the reservoir. Wildhorse is the headwater of the Owyhee River, which feeds into the Snake River, which runs into the Columbia River. "We knew that boaters were going to transport (water). We knew that boaters were moving," said Mark Sytsma, the director of the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State University "But we just never had any . idea that there would be massive transfers of water from Lake Mead to the Columbia Basin." Quaggas and their cousin the zebra mussel are two of the most-feared invasive species in the Pacific Northwest, said Sam Chan, an aquatic ecosystem health educator with Oregon State University's Sea Grant Extension Program in Corvallis. "It's the plankton (larvae) we're mainly concerned about, because it becomes part of that water column, so whichever way the water's moved by winds or currents, that's

where they end up," Chan said. As soon as officials in Oregon found out about the potential for contamination, extensive monitoring was set up at the reservoir and downriver. "We've sampled Wildhorse for the juveniles. And we've looked all over for the adults, and so far we haven't found anything," Sytsma said. But because quaggas were in Lake Mead for several years before those were detected, sampling and surveys will continue. "Now that one season of monitoring is completed, and nothing's been detected, I think we can breathe a little bit easier," said Paul Heimowitz, the aquatic invasive species and research coordinator for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland. "But it's going

to take monitoring over a number of years. ... Just like cancer, you can't just assume that once you think you're safe that you can stop checking. You just have to be very vigilant and watching and constantly checking and ready to act quickly if something shows up." Sytsma said states downstream from Wildhorse may have caught a break because of standard hatchery precautions used in moving and stocking fish.

"They do take some precautions when they transport fish," he said. "Like for an example, they add salt to the water. So there's some reason to be optimistic that if there were quaggas in the water that they were transporting the fish in, they died." Sytsma paused. "At least that's a thin thread of hopeful thinking that we're hanging on to," he said.

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Sunday: Daylight Savings Time began at 2 a.m. today. Did you set your clocks one hour ahead?

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1983 Salem homicide case still active

Today is 25th anniversary of discovery of bodies of woman, 32, and daughter, 9

BY DENNIS THOMPSON JR.

Statesman Journal

Obama wins Wyoming caucuses

Sen. Barack Obama captured the Wyoming Democratic caucuses Saturday, seizing a bit of momentum in a close race with Sen. Hillary Clinton. Obama had 61 percent, or 5,378 votes, to Clinton's 38 percent, or 3,312 votes, with all 23 Wyoming counties reporting. Obama won seven delegates and Clinton won five. In the overall race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama led 1,578-1,468, according to the latest tally by The Associated Press. It will take 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. Full story, Page 6A

Online

To read a story published at the time of the homicides, see this story at StatesmanJournal.com.

A quarter-century ago today, police found the bodies of a mother and her 9-year-old daughter lying face down on a

bed in their South Salem home. Laurel Wilson, 32, and daughter Erika Payne both died from gunshot wounds to the head, victims of a brutal

double homicide that shocked the community . The 1983 case remains open to this day .

Salem police think they know who killed Wilson and Payne. The man has been a suspect since near the beginning of the case. There's never been enough evidence to bring charges against him. The investigation has passed down from detective to

See Unsolved Case, 8A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

State's forests, agriculture face

Great Lakes virus fatal to fish

Disease infects 110 types of plants

UNSEEN I KILLER

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

f you were writing a botanical murder mystery this is just ,

the kind of silent, patient, secretive killer that would make for a perfect plot.

Phytophthora ramorum, as it formally is known, even has one of those nicknames right out of a plot from a Joel and Ethan Coen movie: Sudden oak death, or SOD for short. In the wild, it spreads by invisible spores carried on the wind-driven rain or washed down streams and rivers. If the going gets tough, the spores hunker down, dormant in the detritus on the forest floor or in the soil for years, until conditions improve for its survival and spread. Since 1995, when California officials discovered the first infestation in the United States in Mill Valley, Marin County, it has spread to 13 other counInside today ties in the state. LIFE CYCLE: How In Sonoma County alone, sudden oak death SOD has infested more than spreads, Page 10A 75,000 acres. EFFECT ON ECONOMY: And according to the latest Financial impacts to report issued in February nurseries could be from the California Oak devastating, Page 11A Mortality Task Force, the FISH-KILLING VIRUS: pathogen has killed a million Officials are looking to trees and infected another halt VHS in fresh waters, Page 11A million in the state. Phytophthora ramorum has changed the ecological character of much of the landscape, the report says, and in Napa and

See Disease, 10A

The sudden oak death pathogen is capable of killing large tanoak trees in a relatively short time, hence the name "sudden oak death."

Special to the Statesman Journal

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Microorganisms Today is the seventh installment of the Statesman

Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on an established invasive species -- Phytophthora ramorum, which causes sudden oak death -- and an invasive virus that officials hope to keep out of the state.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive species, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries on specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Inside

Bridge .................4E Business ............13A Classified .............1E Comics...........Insert Crossword .......6,7D Editorials............12C Horoscope..........7D Lottery.................1C Mid-Valley Today..2C Nation .................3A Obituaries ...........8C Sudoku................3D TV ..................Insert World.................12A

Council to discuss bond for roads

BY MICHAEL ROSE

Statesman Journal

Weather

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Salem City Council will gauge voters' receptiveness to paying higher property taxes in exchange for better and safer roads. Councilors might get an earful of opinions from taxpayers at their Monday meeting. At a public hearing, residents will have a chance to voice their views about a proposed general obligation bond for streets and bridges. If approved by the council, the bond measure will be on the November ballot. The bond would fund $96.7 million

Road bond

The total bonding authority would be $98.6 million, which includes the $1.9 million cost of issuing bonds and capital program administration. SOURCE: City of Salem

INSIDE

For more about council's upcoming meeting Monday, see Page 1C.

in transportation projects, such as improvements to relieve traffic congestion, repairs for roads and bridges, and upgrades for pedestrian safety city officials said. , Total indebtedness

from the bond would equal 80 cents per $1,000 of tax-assessed property value. Because the city also is retiring debt, however, the increase in property tax bills would be less -- about 26 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, city officials said. For example, the owner of a house with a taxassessed value of $200,000 would pay an additional $53 per year. The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers, Vern Miller Civic Center, 555 Liberty St. SE.

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10A Statesman Journal

Sunday March 9, 2008 ,

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Disease

Continued from 1A

Stop the Spread

Oregonians play a crucial role in spotting potential invasive species. If you spot a potential invasive species in Oregon, call the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-INVADER (1-866-4682337). This number is toll-free. You also may call this number if you have a question regarding a specific invasive pest. For the 100 most dangerous Invaders list from the Oregon Invasive Species Council, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com and click on "Links."

Sonoma counties, falling infested trees have knocked down power lines and started fires. In 2001, sudden oak death was discovered in small, isolated patches of forest in Curry County in the southwest corner of Oregon. It's potential for economic devastation is possibly as destructive, both in the timber and forestland greenery industries, but with the devastation that it could wreak to the state's nearly $1 billion annual nursery production, the state's richest agricultural crop.

The shaded areas show the locations in the wild that have been infested with Phytophthora ramorum, the fungas that causes sudden oak dea th. Brookings

Sudden oak death

ORE GON

CA L I F O R N I A

these little flagella (hair-like moving appendages) on them that let them swim in water." Those are formed in little packets called sporangia that break off from the infested plant or tree and are blown around by wind-driven rain. Even the sporangia are so tiny that they are visible only when looking through a lowpower dissecting microscope. But when things get tough for the moisture-loving fungus, it can form hardened spores that can survive for several years in the soil or layer of leaves and other organic material on the forest floor until conditions improve. "The fungus can also form these thick-walled resistant spores called clamydospores, and they're basically sort of ... I guess you could call it the fungus' fail-safe," Osterbauer said. "Those spores lie dormant. "So they can be dormant in the plant tissue, or they can be dormant in the soil."

Origin is mystery

The first discoveries of the organism were in 1993 in Germany and The Netherlands, where it was found on ornamental rhododendrons. It since has spread in Europe to Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. "They had the pathogen in Europe," said Alan Kanaskie, a forest pathologist with the Oregon Department of Forestry "They didn't know . what it was; they didn't know where it came from." How it got to the United States is anybody's guess, but researchers are looking far and wide in areas with plants that act as hosts to the fungus. "There's been a number of people who have been looking," Kanaskie said. "There's been expeditions going over to China and Nepal looking for it there, because there's a lot of rhododendron and other species that are good hosts for it over there. "But they've never been able to find it over there, either. So we don't know where it came from, but I think most experts probably speculate that it was brought in on some kind of potted plant or something like that by a plant collector. "And it got away ." After the initial discovery, California plant pathologists were as puzzled as their European counterparts by a pathogen that causes oaks to weep sap from boil-like cankers on the bark as the leaves turn brown and the trees die. "It was considered exotic to Europe when they found it," Kanaskie said about its arrival in ornamental plants. "And it was in California probably since the early to mid-1990s, and they didn't know where it came from then, but it clearly was not from here."

Small bark chips from suspect trees are placed onto a selective nutrient medium that allows the pathogen to grow out of the bark for identification by pathologists.

Special to the Statesman Journal

San Francisco

Probable life cycle of Phytophthora ramorum

This shows the life cycle of the fungus Phy tophthora ramorum, the organism that causes sudden oak death. It also can stay dormant when conditions ar en't Sporangium ideal for developing. It spreads b y wind-borne spores and the movement of plants that can act as hosts for the organism. Monterey When it's wet and windy, the sporangium breaks off and is spread in flowing water and through winddriven rain. When it lands on a wet, suitable host plant, the spor angium opens, releasing zoospores, which can s wim using little hair-like appendages called flagella. Flagella

Free screenings

The organism

"It's what's called a water mold; it's in what's called the Oomycetes," said Nancy Osterbauer, a plant health program manager with the Oregon Department of Forestry "They're more . closely related to algae, primitive algae, than they are to fungi. "But they also look a lot like a fungi, so we like to call them fungus with a little `f ' instead of a big `F.'" The Phytophthora ramorum in Oregon and California reproduce asexually, so all are -- with tiny genetic differences -- fundamentally clones, she said. "Which is a good thing," Osterbauer said. "Because once you get populations reproducing sexually, you can get recombinations (of genes) and new races and fungicide-resistant, all kinds of depressing things. "But we're fortunate in that we're dealing with essentially a clonal population." That may be changing, according to findings in Northern California. In 2006 and 2007, both the European and California Phytophthora strains of ramorum, were found during sampling of a stream in Humboldt County on the Northern California coast, the first verification of the strain from across the Atlantic in the wilds of North America. And that, according to scientists, could lead to recombination of the genes if the two strains mix. The organism that causes sudden oak death spreads by producing spores that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. "The fungus forms two kind of spores," Osterbauer said. "One kind is called a zoospore, which are actually these little spores that have

"There has to be some connection of the spore to a moist surface such as a leaf," said Ellen Goheen, a U.S. Forest Service plant pathologist in southwestern Oregon who has studied the infestation of a tree called tanoak in Curry County "And then the spore . germinates and gets into the tissue of the plant. "And as the pathogen uses the food of the host, it causes the host cells to die, and then that area that is affected, if it becomes large enough on the (trunk), it can girdle (encircle) the tree." Since the spores are invisible, and the infection starts under the bark, it's hard to know a plant or tree has sudden oak death until the organism is well-established, Kanaskie said. "They can actually penetrate the trunk of the tree, go through the bark," he said about the spores. "And then they kill the inner bark of the tree and then eventually go into the wood itself. "And when they do this, as it gets bigger and bigger, it eventually cuts off the water to the top of the tree, and the tree dies." Opportunistic invaders also sometimes help speed the death of a sick and dying tree, Goheen said. "There are other organisms that seem to take advantage of a tree that's weakened by Phytophthora ramorum, and we have secondary bark beetles called ambrosia beetles that are often found in association with infected trees," she said. "And perhaps they offer a kind of coup de grâce."

The biggest frustration for those battling infestations is the number of hosts that carry the microorganism. "It's only got 110 hosts. So don't be so negative," Osterbauer said only half-jokingly . A wide range of plants can serve as carriers of Phytophthora ramorum. Some such as tanoak in Oregon or black oak and coast live oak in California can sicken and die within months or several years of infection. Others such as rhododendron, California bay laurel -- better known here as Oregon myrtle -- Douglas fir, bigleaf maple and even coastal redwoods can show symptoms from leaf spots to branch-tip die-back, but the infestations are not lethal. "The symptoms on a number of hosts are not that dramatic," Goheen said. "In fact, they're quite subtle. "And the trees themselves might be infected for six months and up to two years before they turn red and we can spot them from the air or across the valley ." During that time, the infected plants and trees carry the fungus that produces and sheds spores. In Oregon, the big-three of

How it kills

When it's wet, the fungus forms stalks called sporangiophhores with little pods or p ackets called sporangium filled with spores. The fungus grows on the leaf

Zoospore

Zoospore

Statesman Journal Join Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Statesman Journal and Chemeketa Community College for screenings of OPB's "The Silent Invasion -- An Oregon Field Guide Special" and the Statesman Journal's "Tackling Invasive Species of Oregon." The OPB program documents the economic, social and environmental impact of a variety of invasive species of plants and animals. It also highlights success stories and points viewers toward action they can take.

KAY WORTHINGTON

When times are tough, the fungus forms a thick -walled spore called a Chlamydospore that can live for years in the leaf litt er or soil on the forest floor. Infected tree

Infected leaf

On a wet plant surface such as a leaf or the bark of a tree or bush of a host plant, the zoospores penetrate the plant and spread, setting up shop for the next round of spore production.

The screening, hosted by OPB's Jeff Douglas, is free and open to the public. The Statesman Journal video rounds up the tactics used to combat invasive species, based on the paper's 10-month series. WHEN: April 16, doors open at 6 p.m., screening at 6:30 p.m. WHERE: Chemeketa Community College Salem Campus Auditorium (Building 6) COST: Free, seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. CALL: For more information on the Salem screening, call (503) 589-6930. OPB also will be screening "The Silent Invasion" around the state, including April 9, CH2MHill Alumni Center, OSU, Corvallis; April 10, Tower Theater, Bend; and April 17, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport. For more information, go to www.opb.org/ community/calendar

KAY WORTHINGTON Statesman Journal

About the series

The Statesman Journal spent seven months researching invasive species in Oregon. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month from now until June will focus on a different type of invasive species and its effect. Each month will feature an in-depth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

Online extras: www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Readers can find online extras every month for this series at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com. This month, visitors will find: VIDEOS: Video story PHOTOS: Photo galleries DATABASE: A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive mammals. It includes basic information, such as how they got here, their effects and if the public should report them. DOCUMENTS: Chronology of instances of sudden oak death in the United States TEACHING TOOLS: Puzzles and glossary are among the educational materials available.

Hosts not just oaks

infested plants, in order, are, "tanoak, rhododendrons next, evergreen huckleberry after that, and then very rarely will we find it on other species," Osterbauer said. "Something that's important to remember about sudden oak death is that it's really one pathogen that causes three separate diseases," she said. The same pathogen that is lethal to species such as tanoak or California black oak infects but doesn't kill other plants that can be carriers. "You also have something like rhododendron where not everything gets killed by it, and maybe you'll get some leaf spots and some tip dieback, maybe a little bit of branch die-back," to show that the plant is infected, Osterbauer said. Then there are plants that can be infected but show

almost no symptoms at all. "And you have hosts like Oregon myrtle, where all you get is a little leaf spot, and that's all that ever gets infected," Osterbauer said. "The wood never gets infected. "So it all depends on the host species what the pathogen does." And it gets more complicated, she said, because the disease acts differently on plants in California than in Oregon. "I don't know if it's the environment or the genetics of the hosts up here, but we really don't see Oregon myrtle getting" infected, Osterbauer said. "Whereas down in California, that's a big `typhoid plant' (carrier). It's what's basically driving their whole epidemic. "But here, though, the problem that we have is tanoaks. That's kind of our big typhoid plant down in the forest. It's the first plant infected, and it's the one that has the most spores on it."

Oregon battle

Oregon's goal since Phytophthora ramorum arrived is eradication. "Let's see. The numbers we are using now are that since 2001 in Oregon we have found more than 600 tanoaks infected on about 178 acres," Goheen said. The plan of attack is a scorched-earth policy: Monitoring, flagging and quarantining an infested site, encircling it with a non-infected buffer zone, cutting everything down inside that area

and burning it. But because Curry County is wet and windy most of the year, keeping ahead of the spread of spores is an ongoing battle. "Early detection is a real challenge," Goheen said. "We think we're doing better at it because of the baiting system. "It's a very low-tech setup, but we basically have little mesh bags with rhododendron leaves and tanoak leaves floating in creeks at about 65 sites throughout the affected area and surrounding tanoak forests." About every two weeks, crews collect the leaves and replace the bags, then look at the leaves for evidence of spores or infestation. "And then we actually go upstream from the leaves, from the bait site and actually try to find the source," she said about infections of the bait leaves. "What's really fantastic is that we've actually been able to find some sites that were very, very early in terms of disease progression." Each time an infestation escapes the margins of a treated quarantine site, officials adjust the buffer and then attack it again, applying what they've learned from the escape of the organism from the treated site as they develop the eradication strategy Goheen said. , "It's been a truly adaptive management approach," she said. And while the eradication

effort in Oregon seems to be a slow-go, the amount of infected acreage ranges from static to showing a slight increase, which is a far cry from Humboldt County in northwestern California. There, the first documented Phytophthora ramorum infestation was seen in 2001, the same year as Oregon. "While ours is about 178 infested acres, theirs is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 right now," Goheen said. "So while it's troubling that our numbers have been going up over the past couple of years, it's relatively flat compared to going from 2 acres to 5,000 in the same time period." If there is a bright spot in the Oregon infestation, it's that the bulk of the infected sites are on private land, Kanaskie said. "That's actually been to our benefit to do the eradication treatments, because the landowners have been extremely cooperative and have gone out of their way to do almost more than we've asked them to do to try and get rid of this thing," he said. That probably wouldn't be the case if it was on federal lands, Kanaskie added. "It would have been real tough because you have a lot of other uses that have a higher legal standing than fighting invasive species," he said. "They have to protect endangered species and waterways, and there's laws about that. "But there's no law for invasive species that says we can go out there and attack these things on federal land no matter what. The feds have to go through the whole NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process wherever there are major treatments applied."

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CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK 11A

Sunday March 9, 2008 ,

Statesman Journal 11A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Deadly fish virus lurks off Oregon Coast

Great Lakes show devastation of its freshwater strain

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

Officials in the Pacific Northwest are worried that a fish virus that causes fish kills in the Great Lakes could get here. In a sense, it's already here and has been for quite awhile. Viral hemorrhagic septicemia, better known as VHS, has been found in ocean fish from Coos Bay north to the Gulf of Alaska. The seagoing strain of the virus, which does not affect humans, has devastated herring schools in Puget Sound near Seattle and Prince William Sound. And an apparently new mutated freshwater strain has done the same in the Great Lakes, killing fish from minnows to muskies. "What seems to be the case is these marine strains don't seem to come ashore very readily And they've had plen. ty of opportunity with migrating salmon," said Jim Winton, the chief of the Fish Health Section of the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle. "We occasionally find the marine strain of VHS in a spawning salmon, mostly coho," he added. "But it doesn't seem to have spread to freshwater species." Not so with Isolate IVb, the virus moving through the Great Lakes that first showed up in 2003 in muskellunge in Lake St. Clair. From there it spread with recorded die-offs beginning in 2005 in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. And in May, it showed up in Lake Winnebago, the largest inland lake in Wisconsin. "It's connected, but not by any fish-passable barriers, to Lake Michigan," said Mike Staggs, director of the Bureau of Fisheries Management for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. While Wisconsin officials saw a certain inevitability about the arrival of viral hemorrhagic septicemia as it advanced across the Great Lakes, the speed caught them somewhat off-guard. And it proved costly . "We have a very extensive lake sturgeon restoration program going on," Staggs said. "And unfortunately, we were raising about four or five strains of lake sturgeon at the same facility where we were raising Great Lakes

Viral hemorrhagic septicimia has devastated species and the fish that feed on them in the Great Lakes.

Chinook salmon, and so there was the potential for cross contamination. "So we ended up, you know, destroying the fish and not stocking them out." The list of fish that it infects is long and includes muskellunge, gizzard shad, northern pike, freshwater drum, white bass, round goby (ironically, itself an invasive non-native from the aquarium trade) and a variety of suckers. The species that VHS infects that are shared by the Great Lakes and the Pacific Northwest include yellow perch, smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill, crappie, lake trout, steelhead and Chinook salmon. It takes a week to 15 days of incubation in infected fish. Symptoms can range from no outward appearance to pale gills, bulging eyes, bleeding around the eyes, fins and sides of the head and behavioral changes such as swimming in a spiral. Internally, the liver, spleen and intestines can be clotted with bleeding sores, the signs of which can include a bloated-looking, fluid-filled abdomen. It kills in days. And fish that survive become viral carriers for the rest of their lives. Stress is one factor that can trigger outbreaks, which is why hatchery, net-pen and fish-transport crowding can accelerate the spread. And that's also one of the reasons that it seems to slam concentrations of fish such as minnows and herring. Because they swim in tight schools, it mimics the crowding in artificial confinement. The virus is secreted in urine and feces, or in body fluids while spawning, so the closer the contact, the higher the probability of infection. For a virus with a reputation as a stone killer -- headlines after the initial fish dieoffs in the Great Lakes called it "Ebola-like" -- the VHS virus is fairly frail, Winton said. "If you have it in pure water that's filtered with some protein in it to stabilize it, if it was on ice, the virus would be stable for a couple of weeks," he said. "But for the most part, the decay rate at normal temperatures, and in normal kinds of water ... is not particularly good. "It's a little bit like the herpes virus where you don't get it from toilet seats; you get them from something more direct ... it's not terribly stable in its environment outside of its host." So the odds of the virus arriving intact in a frozen package of Uncle Norm's secret sturgeon bait from the Great Lakes are theoretically and biologically possible, but it's a long shot, officials said. But there are other potential pathways that have fisheries officials here concerned, especially because of virtually unregulated, unmonitored commerce via the Internet. "You don't hear it discussed much, but I can go on Google right now and find virtually anything from someplace in the world that somebody will ship me something that is either dangerous or harmful, or even illegal." Jim Gores, the invasive species coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, has been thinking about a similar scenario. "The thing that got my attention was I was doing a pond shop check down in Grants Pass last year," he said. "And a guy who was running a koi pond shop down there said he was having a hard time finding sources of koi (ornamental

Special to the Statesman Journal

goldfish) that could be certified as being VHS-free. "And so that told me right then and there that he cares about that. But what about some guy who's just out for a buck, who says `Who cares? So they've got a little disease in them, so what? I'll make money off of them so that even if half of them die' ... and boom, we've got it." Virus strains that wipe out host populations are themselves almost always doomed to extinction, said Paul Reno, a just-retired professor of microbiology in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University . "I think one of the keys here is that a disease that kills off a high percentage of the population very rapidly will die out," he said. "Whereas a disease that either doesn't kill anything, or kills at a very slow rate, is going to be around a lot longer, and it's going to be successful a lot longer." But even if the lethal Great Lakes strain peters out, or fish develop immunity, the big question for those dealing with issues such as salmon and herring in the Pacific Northwest and minnows and muskies in the Great Lakes fish populations is the longterm consequences after it's done. Because the virus hits hardest at the most dense concentrations of fish -- baitfish and minnows -- it is killing off the main food source for a those highly prized game fish. For Winton, it's an intimate question. "I have personal knowledge, because I can't catch a salmon in Puget Sound because I can't find the herring," he said. "And you know the forage base has really been hammered. "And then, of course, a lot of the top predators aren't where they used to be. Or they aren't in the numbers that they used to be." And for Staggs, now six months into the discovery of VHS in Lake Winnebago, it's a question of how many dominos are going to knock each other over. And how many can be picked up. "Gizzard shad are a big forage species in Lake Winnebago that has sturgeon, walleye, and we're trying to restore some Great Lakes spotted muskie strains," he said. "And all of those depend on gizzard shad. "So if we had a giant population problem with them, it would have system effects, no question."

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One year after the eradication treatment, young conifer trees are growing in mesh cages to protect them from animal damage on private land in Curry County.

Special to the Statesman Journal

Rare plants, animals vulnerable to SOD

Species unique to Oregon depend on area forests, shrubs

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

You could say that Frank Burris thinks big. Burris is a watershed extension agent for Oregon State University and the staff chairman of the Curry County extension office in Gold Beach. And he's thinking far beyond the effects that sudden oak death could cause in the little piece of heaven that he calls home if it ever spreads from the isolated patches in the rugged Coast Range. Burris' worries go far beyond the potential economic losses for the nursery and timber industries. "I can tell you that I've thought an awful lot about it," he said. "And one of the big problems is that the birds that use habitats in this Kalmiopsis/Siskiyou area, the species that are most affected by sudden oak death, make up a lot of the structure of the mid- and high-shrub lowtree kind of forest structure in those habitats. "And it's going to change if all those end up dying out, or a large proportion gets out, escapes, it's going to change that forest structure amazingly ." You just need to leaf through the Atlas of Oregon Wildlife to see the potential

effects of ecosystem changes that sudden oak death has the potential to cause, Burris said. The wet coastal forest of southwest Oregon and the northwestern corner of California are almost a miniGalapagos Island because of the unique species that inhabit it, he said. "The neat thing about that book is it's got a species on every page," Burris began. "And in the corner of that page it's got a range map with the range outlined in blue, and then the rest of the state outlined in green. "If you just thumb through that atlas, you'll see that just about a third of the species that are significant in Oregon exist almost entirely within the Kalmiopsis/Siskiyou area, and only there." "It's really a very biologically diverse area. And there are organisms that exist there that exist nowhere else in the world." The spread of sudden oak death could pose a threat to the plants, birds, animals and other creatures that inhabit those unique habitats, Burris said. "And I think if we're not careful, and if the forest structure changes in that area, we could end up really affecting a lot of species that make up the Kalmiopsis their home," he said. "So that's my big concern."

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SOD is threat to Oregon's $1 billion nursery industry Travel tips

State has spent millions to survey, destroy infections

BY HENRY MILLER

Statesman Journal

In March 2004, camellias at a nursery in Azusa, Calif., near Los Angeles, were discovered to have Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes sudden oak death. Almost immediately Florida banned shipments of all nursery stock from California. Georgia, Mississippi, Delaware, Tennessee and Utah followed suit, along with all of Canada, banning shipments from California of all species such as camellia, rhododendron, viburnum and lilac that were known to be potential hosts for the organism. An initial estimate was that California's $2.3 billion nursery industry could take a hit of as much as $100 million. The organism that causes sudden oak death was found in the wild in 2001 in Curry County in Oregon, which sparked a quarantine of plants and plant materials from the infected area. And officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture began surveying nurseries and testing for the organism in 2001. Testing was negative that year and in 2002 statewide, with the first positive tests in 2003 in nurseries in Clacka-

An infected tree bark with the sudden oak death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, which destroys the inner bark of tanoaks and penetrates into the outer layers of wood is photographed in the steep forests of Brookings.

mas, Jackson and Washington counties. The organism was found in camellia, pieris (andromeda), rhododendron and viburnum. The nurseries were quarantined and the plants destroyed. The site was treated and surveyed for three months. In 2004 after Phytophthora ramorum was detected at 23 Oregon nurseries, U.S. Department of Agriculture protocols were initiated for dealing with quarantine, destruction and surveys. And in 2005 after the camellia incident in California and the positive tests in Oregon, a USDA federal order went into effect regulating the shipment of nursery stock from Oregon, California and Washington, where Phytophthora ramorum also had been found in nursery stock. The regulations require annual inspections and certification for nurseries in all three states. "We're providing certification for Oregon nurseries that they're free of the disease so they can ship out of state ... there's a federal reg that requires that we do this certification," said Gary McAninch, supervisor of the Nursery and Christmas Tree Program for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The regulations cut both ways, McAninch said.

Special to the Statesman Journal

"The other part of the Phytophthora ramorum thing that we do is that we have a rule for people who import woody plant material to notify us when they receive a plant shipment from out of state," he said. "And then we'll look for what we consider high-risk plant materials coming in from out of state. So we'll do inspections on those also." The stakes for Oregon growers and nurseries if ramorum Phytophthora spreads are high, he said. "The nursery industry has been the No. 1 ag commodity in the state for a number of years," McAninch said. "The last figures I saw were just under $1 billion in gross ." sales, so it's a huge industry Oregon has spent about $2.5 million since 2001 for eradication efforts in Curry County, said Alan Kanaskie, a forest pathologist for the Oregon Department of Forestry And a similar amount . has been spent on the monitoring, research and testing of nursery stock, he added. That amount is dwarfed by what California has spent dealing with sudden oak death. According to a February report from the California Oak Mortality Task Force, our southern neighbor has spent more than $88.3 million -- all from the feds since 2003 -- to deal with Phytophthora ramorum since it was discovered in 2001. According to a nursery chronology timeline produced

by the California task force, the latest positive tests in Oregon were in April 2007, when there were two nurseries confirmed to have Phytophthora ramorum. That compares with 13 in 2006 and 15 in 2005, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. During the same years, the task force found there were 12 detections in 2006 and 15 in 2005 at Washington nurseries, and 28 in 2006 and 55 in 2005 in California. "It's been in a very small percentage of nurseries, and in a small percentage of plants at the nurseries that we do find it at all," McAninch said about positive tests in Oregon. Because of the inspectionand-certification protocols, the best defense for home gardeners is to buy locally produced plants at certified nurseries, experts said. And the worst? "I think maybe like the CraigsList thing ... Internet plant sales," McAninch said. "You can never be sure of the source of the material, and buying through the mail like that can be a little bit risky ." And don't bring plants or plant materials such as leaves, bark, cones, fern boughs, even firewood, from your visit to California. Oregon has posted quarantine warnings around the infested sites in the wild in Curry County . But the spread of sudden oak death in California -- especially in the counties sur-

Here are the recommendations from the California Oak Mortality Task Force for recreational forest visitors. They are written for those who travel in or near infested areas, but offer the most cautious approach for anyone taking to the woods to avoid spreading Phytophthora ramorum: KNOW the symptoms of infected plants and trees. STAY on trails, and respect quarantine warning signs and trail closures. DON'T collect and move plants, wood (including firewood), acorns, leaves, soil or water from streams, lakes or rivers. CARRY cleaning supplies to use before you leave the area. Include a screwdriver and/or a stiff brush and towel for cleaning boot or shoe treads. If going in or near an infected area, you may want to pack disinfectant spray such as Lysol, or a 10 percent bleach solution. CLEAN tents, poles, camping gear, anything that collects mud and debris before packing it away. Ditto for tire treads on ATVs or off-road bicycles or motorcycles.

U.S. chronology

To read a chronology of instances and the effect of Phytophthora ramorum on United States nurseries, see this story at Invasive SpeciesofOregon.com

rounding the San Francisco Bay area -- is so extensive that it's virtually impossible to avoid a contaminated site.

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9 $136.0 es

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INSIDE

Sprague graduate and doctor to run in U.S. trials

Sports, 5B

Longtime conductor to make `Sentimental Journey' with Oregon Pops

Life, 1D

Norman Leyden

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Victoria Woolner 4, , of Dallas tries to catch snowflakes on her tongue while on the shoulders of her grandfather Vaughn Lewis in Salem on Saturday while participating in an MS walk.

Statesman Journal

SERVING SALEM, KEIZER A N D T H E M I D -VA L L E Y

BY EUNICE KIM

Statesman Journal KOBBI R. BLAIR | Statesman Journal

SUNDAY

April 20, 2008

$1.50

Wacky weather expected to continue

Kathy Sawyer, 61, is used to unpredictable weather in Oregon: the rain, the sun, and then the rain again. But the South Salem resident was surprised to find ice on her car Saturday morning. "The snow and ice is a bit much," said Sawyer, who sported snow boots and a scarf as she shopped with friends downtown. Unseasonably cold weather, with snow flurries, hail and rain, hit the Salem area Saturday and is expected to last through the weekend. Residents could wake up to snow again this morning, but it isn't expected to accumulate, said Rodger Nelson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "It's way colder than normal," he said. "It's 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year." Temperatures on Saturday

See Weather 5A ,

Forecast

TODAY: Mostly cloudy with rain and snow showers (but little or no accumulation), becoming all rain after 11 a.m. Thunder is possible; high in the upper 40s. TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy and showers; low in the lower 30s MONDAY: Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of showers; high near 50 SOURCE: National Weather Service

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Gypsy moth

Gypsy moths hitchhike across U.S.

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

SLIMY I SCOURGE

in Mid-Valley gardens, landscapes

Non-native slugs and snails are a

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

t's not just the slime. Oregonians despise slugs and snails for all sorts of reasons.

I

SUBLIMITY -- Sandy Sandoval checks her map and her logbook before pulling alongside a group of three young birch trees. In a spot hidden from roadside view hangs a green paper triangle -- Sandoval's target. She dons thick gardener's gloves and peers inside. Trapped in the glue at the bottom is a moth. "Eew," she says. "I hate bugs." Even so, she repeats this routine throughout Marion County between 40 and 60 times each day for more than four months straight. An interesting job for someone who hates all things creepy and crawly -- but it's fitting.

See Moths, 11A

The gray garden slug, Derocerus reticulatum, leaves its mark as it eats a leaf in a garden. The gray garden slug is a major pest throughout the Willamette Valley.

ROBIN ROSETTA | Special to the Statesman Journal

In a single evening, they can chomp an entire bed of precious vegetable plants, a row of flowering perennials or thousands of dollars worth of grass seed in a farmer's field. "I step on every one I see. Or I pet them with scissors," West Salem gardener Patricia Robbins said, laughing, about dealing with slugs. "They will just eat all of your nice greens and your lilies and your flowers. They are pretty destructive." The slugs and snails that cause problems Inside today aren't from here. They STOP THE SPREAD: most likely came to OreHow you can learn gon decades ago from more and help fight Europe. They could have invasive species, been trapped in soil used Page 10A as ballast in ocean-going DEALING: Ways to ships or in dirt surroundprevent gypsy moths ing plants moved around from entering Oregon, the world. Page 11A Experts think at least 16 slug species have invaded the Pacific Northwest. Almost 30 terrestrial mollusk species have been introduced. Gray garden slugs, a common invasive species in gardens through Western Oregon, probably arrived with settlers moving plant material to their new homes.

See Slugs, 10A

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Terrestrial invertebrates Today is the eighth installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on slugs and snails -- established invasive species -- and gypsy moths, which officials have been successful so far in keeping out of the state.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive species, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries about specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Inside

Bridge................10C Business ............13A Classified .............1E Comics...........Insert Crossword .......6,7D Editorials............12C Horoscope..........7D Lottery.................1C Mid-Valley Today..2C Nation .................3A Obituaries ...........5C Sudoku................3D TV ..................Insert World ..................8A

Weather

Today the Salem Film Festival concludes -- but there's still a lot to enjoy during the last day. Highlights include the showing of Oscar-nominated shorts and two panel discussions.

SALEM FILM FESTIVAL

"Drain," Salem Cinema *2:30 p.m.: "Trust Me," plus "Whirling Dervish," Elsinore 3 p.m.: Panel Discussion: The Marriage of Art & Industry, Hallie Ford *4:45 p.m.: "Say I Do," plus "Mr. Thornton," Salem Cinema 5 p.m.: "The Edge of Heaven," Elsinore *7:15 p.m.: "August Evening," Salem Cinema 7:30 p.m.: "Man in the Chair," Elsinore

44° 31°

Rain or snow shower this morning. Full report, 8B

A Gannett newspaper © 2008 Printed on recycled paper. 1 Vol. 157, No. 27

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

* denotes a Q&A with filmmakers and/or actors is scheduled after the film 10 a.m.: "A Man Named Pearl," Elsinore 10:15 a.m.: "The Things We Do for Love" (mixed shorts), Salem Cinema 12:15 p.m.: Oscar-nominated animated shorts, Elsinore *12:15 p.m.: "Skills Like This," Salem Cinema 1 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Art & Craft of Post-Production, Hallie Ford 2:30 p.m.: "Shotgun Stories," plus

READ MORE

PANELS: Filmgoers meet the filmmakers, Page 1C ONLINE: For reporter Ron Cowan's festival film reviews, schedule and additional stories, go to Statesman Journal.com/salemfilmfestival.

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10A Statesman Journal

Sunday April 20, 2008 ,

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Slugs

Continued from 1A

The price for allowing their population to grow? Between $3 million and $5 million in damage every year to the grass-seed industry alone. Estimates of their damage to other industries aren't determined -- people have been dealing with slugs for so long that their economic destruction is seen as something to deal with rather than something to quantify . Established populations aren't the only threat. New slugs and snails arrive frequently Their flexi. ble bodies can squeeze into tiny spaces, allowing them to hitch rides from country to country undetected. Snails' shells help them avoid temporary undesirable temperatures and weather conditions. And even when they are found, some can't be identified. Some nurseries are losing money by having shipments rejected because of a new arrival, called the amber snail, yet experts still haven't determined the species. Oregon never will be completely rid of invasive slugs and snails, but holding the ground against new invaders would save the state millions of dollars and acres of nursery plants and agricultural fields. Some species hitch rides from the Mediterranean on pallets of tile and marble. Others bury deep in the soil of plants shipped around the world. Still others find their way into cracks on shipping containers, in crevasses in military hardwear and supplies and aquarium between layers of wood products. Between 1993 and 1998, federal inspectors intercepted 4,900 hitchhiking slugs or snails from more than 100 countries. Thousands more likely were missed. "Our customs inspectors don't have time to inspect every single container," said Mark Hitchcox, pest survey specialist for U.S. Department of Agriculture. And when they crawl out wherever they land, a population easily can grow. A female slug, for example, can lay 400 to 500 eggs in her lifetime, as long as 12 months. Booming populations of invasive slugs and snails have become major pests in Oregon. The gray garden slug, Derocerus reticulatum, can be found in most gardens in the Mid-Willamette Valley Some . gardens also have the black or chocolate arion, Arion rufus species. And the giant garden slug, Limax maximus, also takes up residence among vegetables and flowers. In Portland and along the Oregon Coast, the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum, destroys gardens and lawns. It is a major problem for nurseries, which must certify they don't have the brown garden snail when shipping to other states. Not all of Oregon's slugs and snails are pests. Native slugs generally are adapted to wooded areas. The banana slug, for example, feeds on mushrooms and decomposing leaves, said Robin Rosetta, an OSU extension educator. Also, most of Oregon's native forest species don't eat green vegetation, said Nancy Duncan of the Bureau of Land Management in Roseburg. "They browse surfaces for microorganisms," she said. Two native species actually help people fight the exotics. Haplotrema Vancouverense and Ancotrema sportella are called lancetooth snails

because they throw a "lance," made of calcium carbonate, at another slug or snail, then follow the slime until their prey dies.

Exotic slugs

Slimy stowaways

Farmers and nursery owners wish they had millions of the native predators to keep the invasive slugs away . Oregon's invasive slugs have rasping mouth parts that shred leaf tissue. In the 450,000 acres of grass seed in the Willamette Valley, more than 15 percent, or about 70,000 acres, deal with economic damage from slugs. On farmland in the Willamette Valley, there can be as many as 10 slugs per square foot -- or as much as 4,801 pounds of slugs per acre, estimated Oregon State University Extension Service entomologist Glenn Fisher. While a grass-seed field is a perfect home for a slug, a nursery is their Shangri-La. Tomato plants. Daffodils. Basil. Hostas. It's a buffet for slugs. Nurseries can't afford a slug problem. A bite on one leaf can be enough for a consumer to reject a whole plant. "We cannot sell anything that has been chewed on by slugs and snails," said Martha Sleeper, a quality resource technician at Hines Horticulture in Forest Grove. "If there are two daffodils and one is chewed on and one is perfect, which one will you pick?" At Fisher Farms in Gaston, two tons of slug bait is applied every year. "I see damage from the common gray garden slug," said Michael McMahan, horticulturalist at Fisher Farms. "I grow three acres of herbaceous perennials and they seem to be the ones most heavily hit, especially hostas." McMahan puts out slug bait in the fall when the adults are out trying to lay eggs. The idea is to prevent a population explosion in the spring. "If the gray garden slug were left uncontrolled, the populations would skyrocket at an exponential rate and there would be complete devastation to our herbaceous perennial program," McMahan said. McMahan also employs scouters who look at plants and pots throughout the nursery for pests. "If you've ever put hostas in your landscape or lettuce in your garden, you've seen the damage that these slugs can do to your plant material," he said. At Monrovia Nursery in Dayton, all nursery workers are trained to look for unhealthy plants and various pests. They meet once per week to understand the pests likely to be on plants at the time and learn to identify the pests. "Scouting is a very important part of what we do because we want to apply pesticides or do non-pesticide treatment only where needed," said Walt Suttle of Monrovia. Farmers' changing practices also are benefitting the slugs. No-till is the new environmentally friendly way to farm -- to prevent erosion and reduce the use of diesel. But tilling soil kills slugs and disrupts their habitat. "The old pests are reemerging as pests, and slugs are one of the worst," Fisher said. "We are breeding a great environment for them," said Willamette Valley grass-seed farmer Kerwin Koos. "The people who have good fertile ground have more trouble with slugs."

Fisher Farms in Gaston has an aggressive program in place to prevent invasive species such as snails and slugs from taking up residence at their nursery.

LORI CAIN |Statesman Journal

Oregonians play a crucial role in spotting potential invasive species. If you spot a potential invasive species in Oregon, call the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-866-INVADER (1-866-4682337). This number is toll-free. You also may call this number if you have a question regarding a specific invasive pest. For the 100 most dangerous invaders list from Oregon Invasive Species Council, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com and click on "Links."

Oregon's exotics

There are dozens of non-native species of slugs and snails in Oregon. In a federal survey of high-risk import areas, such as ports, scientists found 11 non-native species in Oregon. Not all of them are known to be invasive here.

About the series

The Statesman Journal spent seven months researching invasive species in Oregon. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month from now until June will focus on a different type of invasive species and its effect. Each month will feature an in-depth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

INVASIVE

BROWN GARDEN SNAIL: Cornu aspersum (a.k.a. Helix aspersa, or Chryptomphalus aspersus) THREEBAND GARDEN SLUG: Lehmannia valentiana GREY GARDEN SLUG: Derocerus reticulatum GIANT GARDEN SLUG: Limax maximus BLACK OR CHOCOLATE ARION: Arion rufus

INVASIVENESS NOT YET DETERMINED

JAPANESE MYSTERY SNAIL: Cipangopaludina japonica YELLOW GARDEN SLUG: Limacus flavus GARLIC GLASS-SNAIL: Oxychilus alliarius CELLAR GLASS-SNAIL: Oxychilus cellarius DARK-BODIED GLASS-SNAIL: Oxychilus draparnaudi EARSHELL SLUG: Testacella haliotidae WRINKLED DUNE SNAIL: Candidula intersecta

An invasive species of slug, Arion rufus, eats its way across green vegetation.

ROBIN ROSETTA | Special to the Statesman Journal

Online extras www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Readers can find online extras every month for this series at www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com. This month, visitors will find: VIDEOS: Video stories about slug and snail problems in nurseries; the various methods gardeners use to tackle slugs; and gypsy moth battles in Oregon. PHOTOS: Photo galleries of slugs and snails around Western Oregon, gypsy moths trapped in Oregon and damage back East. DATABASE: A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive terrestrial invertebrates. It includes basic information, such as how they got here, their effects and if the public should report them.

Gastropod gala

For information about slugs and snails, visit Robin Rosetta's Web page at http://oregonstate.edu /dept/nurspest/mollusks.htm or e-mail Nancy Duncan, an expert in native snails, at [email protected]

Foreign snails

A teeny-tiny snail, smaller than your pinky fingernail, is the new bane of nursery owners in Oregon. Coined the "amber snail," the species has been found on the outside of some plant pots at Fisher Farms. It doesn't eat the plants at Fisher Farms, only the algae coating the bottom of the pots. Snail experts haven't determined the exact species of this snail -- all they know is that it is in the Succineidae family . But that doesn't matter to inspectors. Wary of helping the spread of invasive species, inspectors have rejected two plant shipments from Fisher Farms because of this snail. The shipments -- one to Canada and one within the United States -- each were worth $5,000. "It's forced me to take pretty extraordinary actions," McMahan said. He has to consider the use of chemical sprays on the entire crop. The slug bait -- pellets that are just put on the ground around the plants -- won't control the amber snails. Inspectors certainly have reason to be wary of snail

species, even if they are not yet fully identified. The brown garden snail, for one, has caused major headaches where it was introduced. It was brought to California in the 1850s as a source for escargot. It causes extensive damage in orchards by feeding on ripe and ripening fruit leaves of young trees and in nurseries by feeding on young tree bark. Snails can cause severe problems in citrus orchards. At a Monrovia nursery near Los Angeles, owners put up a 1-foot-high copper fence around the entire 400-acres to keep out the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum. "The fence continually needed maintenance. Within the nursery we always had to , do scouting for them," said Walt Suttle, technical services manager for Monrovia Nursery in Dayton. "We had to be certified snail-free. It was a tremendous effort." For Oregon's nursery industry, the brown garden snail has created some difficulty Eight states, mostly in . the south, require Oregon nurseries to be certified free of the brown garden snail before they will accept any plant shipments. "We have small pockets of

European brown garden snail," said Gary McAninch, the nursery and Christmas tree program manager for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. "It impacts (nurseries') ability to ship to some states. We have to do inspections on every shipment that goes to those states." If an Oregon nursery becomes infested with the brown garden snail, the state wants it eradicated. "We work with them to eradicate the snail," McAninch said. "But it can be quite expensive for nurseries to eradicate snails."

Numbers unknown

The difficulty in dealing with slugs and snails is partly as result of lack of information. Scientists don't know exactly how many species of slimy critters inhabit the state. They aren't easy to find, easy to count or easy to kill. In the summer, for example, only 5 percent to 10 percent of a slug population is above ground. The rest? Underground, where it is moist. To determine population levels in fields in the Willamette Valley, Oregon State University entomolo-

gists have been putting out small 18-inch-by-18-inch blankets that trap moisture and draw slugs out of the ground. On Kerwin Koos' fields in the Mid-Willamette Valley the , blankets have trapped hundreds and hundreds of slugs. Even with this local data, experts still don't have a handle on the numbers of invasive slugs and snails in the state. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Hitchcox said 11 non-native slugs and snails were found during an exotic- terrestrial-mollusk survey in Oregon. "Just by reviewing the import records and the types of species we were encountering at ports of entry in Portland -- that was enough of an interest to see if anything has gotten past the ports," Hitchcox said. The survey, started three years ago, found a species never before seen in Oregon -- the wrinkled dune snail. But, similar to the other issues in dealing with these pests, nothing is easy Experts . still aren't sure of the effect the wrinkled dune snail could have in Oregon. Native to Northern Europe, the snail has the potential to damage major crops in Oregon, such as grapes and some field crops. It has been found at 32 sites in Curry and Coos counties. The effects of these exotic species aren't all related to agriculture. The environment suffers, too. "You can bring these (exotics) in and they can eat rare plants and displace native species," said Robin Rosetta, OSU extension educator. "They can change the whole ecological structure."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

Glossary

Here are definitions for words that are included in the articles concerning terrestrial invertebrates: BAIT: Something (such as food) used to lure, especially to a hook or trap; a poisonous material placed where it will be eaten by harmful or objectionable animals CONIFER: Any of an order (Coniferales) of mostly evergreen trees and shrubs having usually needle-shaped or scalelike leaves and including cones DECIDUOUS: Falling off or shed seasonally or at a certain stage of development in the life cycle DEFOLIATE: To deprive of leaves, especially prematurely ENTOMOLOGY: A branch of zoology that deals with insects ERADICATION: To root out; to wipe out, destroy completely ESCARGOT: A snail prepared for use as food ESTABLISHED: To make stable; set (to establish a habitat) FRASS: Debris or excrement produced by insects FUMIGATE: To apply smoke, vapor or gas especially for the purpose of disinfecting or destroying pests INFEST: To spread or swarm in or over in a troublesome manner; to live in or on as a parasite INVASIVE: A species that is non-native and able to establish on many sites, grow quickly and spread to the point of disrupting ecosystems. It also is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health LARVAE: The immature, wingless and often wormlike feeding form that hatches from the egg of many insects, alters chiefly in size while passing through several molts and finally is transformed into a pupa or chrysalis from which the adult emerges MOLLUSK: Any of a large phylum (Mollusca) of invertebrate animals (such as snails, clams and squids) with a soft unsegmented body usually enclosed in a calcareous shell NATIVE, INDIGENOUS: A species that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem; species native to North America generally are recognized as those occurring on the continent prior to European settlement NON-NATIVE, NONINDIGENOUS, FOREIGN, ALIEN, EXOTIC, INTRODUCED: A species typically added with human help (intentionally or accidentally) to a place or type of habitat where it was not found previously QUARANTINE: A restraint upon the activities or communication of people or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests SLIME: A mucous or mucoid secretion of various animals (as slugs and catfishes) TILL: To work by plowing, sowing and raising crops SOURCES: Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Department of Agriculture, President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order on invasive species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary

Sunday April 20, 2008 ,

Statesman Journal 11A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Moths

Continued from 1A

Help keep out gypsy moths

Oregonians can help keep gypsy moths from ruining the state's forests and urban trees. Encourage anyone you know who has moved here recently from the Northeast to contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture at (503) 986-4636 for a free inspection of outdoor household articles and recreational vehicles. Cooperate with Oregon Department of Agriculture seasonal survey staff when they request permission to place traps on your property during the summer. Observe quarantine regulations by not moving wood products, firewood, plant material, outdoor household articles or recreational vehicles out of gypsy moth infested areas without certification. Be especially alert for and report to the invasive species hotline at (866) INVADER any suspected egg masses and pupae, which can travel to the United States on cargo, containers and conveyances from Europe, Russia, China, and other infested areas. SOURCE: Oregon Department of Agriculture

Oregon officials, just like Sandoval, don't want to find bugs in the more than 16,000 traps placed throughout the state. The traps act as early detection for invasive gypsy moths, which have left millions of acres of trees leafless in the Eastern and Southern United States as they munch their way into new territories. In 1981, gypsy moths defoliated a record 12.9 million acres of trees nationwide -- an area larger than Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. A total of 75 million acres have been defoliated by gypsy moths since 1970. "They literally sound like they are crunching on potato chips when they are up in the trees," Sandoval said. Luckily, Sandoval's trap in the birch tree held a harmless moth. For now, Oregon has kept gypsy moths from eating through the state's oaks, alders and aspen.

Getting to Oregon

In the late 1860s, amateur entomologist Etienne Leopold Trouvelot returned to Massachusetts from a trip to France with some gypsy moth egg masses -- perhaps to investigate their potential in silk production. Escapees quickly took to their new environment and, within two decades, government officials were trying to eradicate the species. To be fair, Trouvelot apparently understood the potential magnitude of the escaped larvae and notified local entomologists just after he realized some larvae escaped. No immediate action was taken. Since then, European gypsy moths steadily have crawled across the Northeast and found their way into the Midwest, as well. From the mid-1960s until 1989, scientists estimated that the moths marched across the country at a rate of about 13 miles per year. They are notorious hitchhikers, catching a ride on anything that people move across the country -- patio fur niture, b i r d houses, f i rewo o d and even vehicles. Infested items moved from the Northeast are the main source of gypsy moth infestations in Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In 2006, an infestation in Bend was traced to a 1967 Chevy purchased on eBay and shipped from Connecticut in January 2005. In 2007, an infestation in Shady Cove was traced to a trailer taken to parks and campgrounds in Pennsylvania. For decades, Oregon was prepared to fight European gypsy moths from the East. But state officials had to rethink their action plan when an Asian gypsy moth was found in Portland in 1991. Asian gypsy moths can spread through Oregon from the West. They have an easy way to get to Oregon -- they hitch rides on goods carried by ocean-going ships. Inspectors can miss the tiny egg masses hidden in corners of containers or under pallets. And the damage that can be done by Asian gypsy moths -- native to eastern Russia and Asia -- is even more extensive than the European variation. Unlike its European counterparts, female Asian gypsy moths can fly, develop more quickly and feed on a wider range -- perhaps as many as 600 species -- of trees and shrubs. When just one Asian gypsy moth was found in St. Helens in 2006, 640 acres were sprayed last April and May with a pesticide designed to kill caterpillars of moths and butterflies.

Btk, a pesticide that can be sprayed from the air. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has sprayed more than 460,000 acres since 1977. The state's largest infestation of gypsy moths was found in 1984 in Lane County . The following year, 225,000 acres were sprayed. So far, the state's efforts have paid off. Since 1987, gypsy moths caught in the thousands of traps hung around the state have numbered less than 100 each year. Only 12 moths were caught in traps in 2007. Half of those were found in Shady Cove in Jackson County Experts . think those moths are part of a breeding population, so the state will spray about 330 acres this April and May . Last year, the state spent $816,172 on gypsy moth survey and eradication efforts. "Spending $800,000 or $1 million to keep these guys out sounds like a lot," said Helmuth Rogg, program manager of the Oregon Department of Agriculture's insect pest prevention and management division. "But when you consider the costbenefit analysis, this is basically cheap." Kathleen Johnson, former supervisor of the Oregon Department of Agriculture's insect pest prevention and management division, said, "We know what gypsy moths can do in Oregon. We know that gypsy moths in the wild in Oregon can have a big impact." The evidence comes from the Eastern states, which have spent many more years dealing with the caterpillars and their damage.

Leafless forests

In the East, European gypsy moths chomp the leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs. A single caterpillar can eat 1 square meter of foliage as it grows. The moth doesn't have a refined palate -- it feeds on

for this ... we wanted to get them a nice vacation, not a circle of hell." Closing the park also reduced the risk that gypsy moths would catch a ride with a camper and spread to a new spot in the state or beyond. In Pennsylvania, the outbreak in 2007 was the worst in decades, said Don Eggen, the forest health manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Nearly 700,000 acres of trees were defoliated. "Leafless, as far as the eye can see," Eggen said about areas hit particularly hard. "In June, it looks like the wintertime. Not a leaf anywhere. ... "On Memorial Day weekend, forget about going to a park," he added. "With the frass coming down and the caterpillars full size, you can't be outside. It is wall-to-wall defoliation. It is disgusting."

Sandy Sandoval, Oregon Department of Agriculture insect survey technician, checks a gypsy moth trap in Sublimity.

ANDREA J. WRIGHT | Statesman Journal

Gypsy moth

The Statesman Journal isn't the only news organization that has witnessed the increase of exotic plants and animals are showing up in places where they don't belong. "Oregon Field Guide" team at Oregon Public Broadcasting started calling it the silent invasion because slowly landscapes were being lost, wildlife was being driven away, and everyone from ranchers to fishermen to wildlife managers were getting nervous. OPB has created "Silent Invasion," which documents the economic, social and environmental effect of a variety of invasive species of plants and animals. It also highlights success stories and points viewers toward action they can take. On Tuesday, watch the "Silent Invasion" on Oregon Public Broadcasting and then join to Stop the Invasion and Protect Oregon Against Invasive Species. NAME: Lymantria dispar NATIVE TO: Europe, Asia and North Africa. In its native range, gypsy moths can be found from the frigid Russian Steppes to the subtropical shores of the Mediterranean. OUTBREAKS: Gypsy moth infestations alternate between years when trees experience little visible defoliation (gypsy moth population numbers are sparse) followed by two to four years when trees are visibly defoliated (gypsy moth population numbers are dense). LIFE CYCLE: The gypsy moth passes through four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult (moth stage). Only the larvae damage trees and shrubs. EGG MASSES: Gypsy moth egg masses are laid on branches and trunks of trees, but egg masses may be found in any sheltered location. Egg masses are buff-colored when first laid but may bleach out over the winter months when exposed to direct sunlight and weathering. HATCHING: The hatching of gypsy moth eggs coincides with the budding of most hardwood trees. Larvae emerge from egg masses from early spring through mid-May. DISPERSAL: Larvae are dispersed in two ways. Natural dispersal occurs when newly hatched larvae hanging from host trees on silken threads are carried by the wind for a distance of about 1 mile. Larvae can be carried for longer distances. Artificial dispersal occurs when people transport gypsy moth eggs thousands of miles from infested areas on cars and recreational vehicles, firewood, household goods, and other personal possessions. HOSTS: Gypsy moth larvae prefer hardwoods but may feed on several hundred different species of trees and shrubs. In the East, the gypsy moth prefers oaks, apple, sweetgum, speckled alder, basswood, gray and white birch, poplar, willow, and hawthorn, although other species also are affected. The list of hosts undoubtedly will expand as the insect spreads south and west. SOURCE: U.S. Forest Service

State response

Since 1977, Oregon has placed traps and monitored -- with technicians such as Sandoval -- for gypsy moths each year. Particularly bad infestations are scheduled for eradication with bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki, or

more than 250 species of trees and shrubs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While the tree is bare, it is more susceptible to storms affecting its branches and trunk. Rains more easily wash away soil around the tree and the lack of shade can raise water temperatures in nearby streams. Tons of frass -- waste from a caterpillar -- can fall into streams, lowering the amount of dissolved oxygen, said John Kyhl, an entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service in St. Paul, Minn. "With no leaves in the forest, the soil beneath those trees dries out," he said. "It makes things harder for the trees themselves -- the thing the trees really need after its leaves are stripped off is water." The ecological damage done by gypsy moths is hardly their only effect. During a gypsy moth outbreak, people suffer, too. "It's the yuk factor," Kyhl said. "Picnic tables are covered with dead caterpillars and fecal material and leaf debris. It limits the amount of outdoor enjoyment you can have." The state of Wisconsin closed Rocky Arbor State Park for 10 days last year after gypsy moths stripped its oaks clean. People with campground reservations were moved to a nearby state park. "There were caterpillars everywhere and caterpillar dung everywhere," said Andrea Disstorrance, the gypsy moth and invasive forest insect program coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "People had paid good money

A male gypsy moth was caught in a gypsy moth trap that had been placed in a pine tree last summer . Paying for prevention

KERRI SCHWARZ | Special to the Statesman Journal

Oregon officials don't want to see the state's parks, natural areas and residents suffer at the wings of the gypsy moth. The money spent to prevent the species from establishing in the state is far less than what it would cost if gypsy moth took over in Oregon. For example, Wisconsin lost more than $13,000 just for closing their gypsy-moth infested state park for 10 days. "Rocky Arbor State Park -- thank God -- is a small park," Disstorrance said. "If this had hit Devil's Lake, which is five times the size, it would be hugely devastating." Oregon's tourism industry ranks fourth in the nation in the number of visitors to state parks and natural recreation areas -- in 2007, tourism to Oregon was a $7.9 billion industry . Native hardwood species that are good hosts for gypsy moths contribute significantly to the scenic beauty of Oregon. If the gypsy moth became established in Oregon and defoliated trees, visitors to the state would lose full use of parks and campgrounds, according to an analysis done by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. And a significant proportion of visitors to Oregon come from states that also are concerned about the gypsy moth. An established gypsy moth population in Oregon likely would mean other states would impose serious

limitations on recreational vehicles from Oregon, the analysis concluded. Pennsylvania officials estimate that the state's program to limit gypsy moth defoliation and suppress the populations in 2008 will cost $8 million. For states with established populations of gypsy moths, controlling the pest isn't the only cost. Economic losses caused by the gypsy moth have averaged $30 million per year for the last 20 years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Most of the loss is because of quarantines imposed on timber and agricultural products. Federal quarantine restrictions mean exporters of certain products must certify their products as safe. Those products are the backbone of Oregon's economy -- Christmas trees, nursery stock, logs, pulp wood, bark and bark products and mobile homes. "One of the reasons we have a $10 million Christmas tree industry to Mexico is that, unlike Eastern states, we do not have one of the major pests of concern -- the gypsy moth," said Mitch Nelson, Oregon's plant health director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Would we lose that market or would it cost more to treat and certify the trees to Mexico making the market unacceptable?" Christmas tree growers in Lane County suffered huge losses after a gypsy moth infestation was found there in the mid-1980s. Some growers claimed losses as high as 80 percent to the fumigation process. Some loss claims were as high as $200,000. For the forestry industry as a whole, gypsy moths would cause serious problems. Gypsy moth infestations in Oregon would decrease the economic potential of hardwoods that presently cover 2 million to 3 million acres in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said. Recognizing the huge costs related to gypsy moth outbreaks, the federal government launched the Slow the Spread program in 2000. Ten states along the leading edge of gypsy moth populations work to reduce the rate of gypsy moth spread. "Primarily, it buys a lot of time and it avoids a lot of expense," the Forest Service's Kyhl said. "It is much

better to have time to develop a gypsy moth management plan so you can accommodate it than have it run over you as quickly at it can." Foresters can prepare for gypsy moths by removing unhealthy trees from a stand. Damaged or stressed trees can allow gypsy moths to gain a foothold in an area and build up their populations so that they then can attack healthy trees. The Slow the Spread program has helped to avoid $22 million annually in damage and management costs. The program has reduced the gypsy moth spread by more than 70 percent, from 13 miles per year to 3 miles per year -- preventing the infestation of more than 150 million acres during the next 20 years. Slowing the spread of the European gypsy moth is one thing, but even more critical is keeping the Asian gypsy moth out of the United States, experts said. "The Asian gypsy moth will make our European gypsy moth look like a wimp," said Eggen of Pennsylvania. "The Asian gypsy moth feeds on conifers also and the female moth flies. The European moth doesn't fly, and that's why it has taken from 1869 until recently to get to Wisconsin." The Asian gypsy moth can fly up to 20 miles, making it harder for officials to know how far it has spread and eradicate it with spray programs. It also will feed on conifer trees -- mostly trees with needles, such as Douglas fir and cedars. Conifer trees, which are plentiful in Oregon, are less resistant to multiple infestations. And after the stress of losing needles, trees are vulnerable to pathogens and insects. "Broad-leafed trees are used to losing their leaves every fall," said Iral Ragenovich, regional entomologist for the U.S. Forest Service in Portland. "Certainly (defolia, tion) deprives them from generating food for the whole summer ... and it loses energy from having to refoliate. "But conifers only put on buds at the end of branch tips and they live off old needles. If the gypsy moth ate off the old needles, then the only thing (the trees) would ever have is new buds. If those got eaten off, they would have nothing at all." Needles usually remain on

Threat from West

trees for four or more years. Gypsy moths feeding on needles for a couple of years would kill the tree, Ragenovich said. The Asian gypsy moth and European gypsy moth are similar enough that they likely would interbreed, experts said. No one is sure what hybrid gypsy moths would do to the woods in North America, but no one wants to find out, either. "Because of the Asian gypsy moth, it is critical that the Oregon Department of Agriculture and California and Washington and British Columbia continue with the monitoring program," Eggen of Pennsylvania said. "We would be very unhappy if the Asian gypsy moth got established and bred with our European gypsy moth," said Wisconsin's Disstorrance. "Who knows what would happen."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK 1A

INDY 500

Owner tries to stop Mount Bachelor ski area from going downhill

Local, 1C

Changes fuel optimism for today's race

Sports, 6B

Musketeers

3

PLAYING AT WOSC

Life, 1D

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SERVING SALEM, KEIZER A N D T H E M I D -VA L L E Y

SUNDAY

May 25, 2008

$1.50

Time may shift Oregon political landscape

Tide may not turn state totally blue by November election

BY PETER WONG

Statesman Journal

Inside

RESULTS: For final election numbers from Tuesday's vote, see Page 10C. MISSTEPS: Hillary Clinton might be feeling the effects of a long campaign, Page 9A. STRATEGY: Barack Obama's campaign team faces a new challenge, Page 9A. ANALYSIS: GOP Sen. Gordon Smith's fight to keep his seat might be more challenging this election, Page 9C.

The courtship may cool off only a little by this autumn. For Oregon this year, there appears to be only one answer from national politicians to the voters' question posed in the century-old

song, "Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May?" OK, so the general election is Nov. 4. Oregon voters have favored the Democrat over the Republican in each of the past five presidential elections, but the flurry of candidate visits here before last week's primary suggests that both this year's presidential nominees soon will be making return trips.

Last week's presidential contest between Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was the most competitive in at least 40 years, setting a modern record for participation by Democrats. Each candidate made three swings through the state, including Salem and other communities that have not

ANALYSIS

seen a serious major-party contender for years. When stops by former President Bill Clinton -- who carried Oregon in his 1992 and 1996 bids -- and daughter Chelsea Clinton are counted, the Clinton family visited almost 30 Oregon cities. Although the Republican race was quiet, Sen. John McCain chose to make his first Oregon stop an effort to separate his own candidacy

from his party's unpopular incumbent and to show that he is a different kind of Republican. The quest for Oregon's seven electoral votes will share the national political spotlight with two other high-profile races, although given what happened in the primary , political analysts disagree about just how prominent the races will be at this point. Republican Gordon Smith

See Election, 3A

ONLINE

For more Oregon and national election coverage, go to the Elections page at Statesman Journal.com.

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

English ivy smothers all other plant life in its clutches

C OCEAN OF IVY C

Left alone, landscape will turn into nothing but an

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

arolyn Johnson uncovers all kinds of treasures in parks and along creeks in Silverton.

Engulfed in a sea of English ivy, Carolyn Johnson points out areas where she had cleared of ivy two years ago. Johnson has been doing her part to eradicate English ivy in Silverton, but it is an ongoing battle.

LORI CAIN |Statesman Journal

The footing for an old mill turbine. Native Oregon grape sprouts. Dentures. Wild strawberries. Pennies. An old curved rock wall. All were hidden until Johnson cut, dug and pulled back a thick carpet of English ivy . She has yanked out tons of it along Silver Creek and acres of it in Coolidge-McClaine Park. "If you don't do something, it is only going to get worse, and you are going to continue to lose the native plants. Then you lose the native animals; then you lose the birds," Inside today Johnson said. "But the slugs will like it and the rats will like it." NURSERIES: Don't Indeed. accidentally buy English ivy has few native fans. invasives for your garden, Page 13A. Experts consider it one of the worst invasive weeds in Western WHAT TO PLANT: Oregon. These alternatives to invasives are And yet English ivy continues to better for the adorn the yards, fences and walls environment, of Oregon residents. It flows out of Page 13A. hanging baskets on porches. From there, it has made its way into the state's natural areas, where it kills the trees it climbs. But for such a widespread invasive species, there's a lot of hope: Ivy pulls are common volunteer opportunities; trees in parks across the state are being freed of English ivy and folks such as Johnson are inspiring others to take on ivy .

See Ivy, 12A

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Terrestrial plants Today and Monday are the ninth installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on an established invasive species -- English ivy, a familiar sight in Oregon -- and garlic mustard, which state officials hope to keep contained.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive species, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries on specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Silverton senior wins long jump

TRACK AND FIELD

BOYS: Silverton's Derek Newsom has Oregon's longest jump this year at 23 feet, 83/4 inches to win the 5A state title, Page 1B. GIRLS: South Salem's Rebecca Rhodes wins the Class 6A 100 hurdles, plus results, Page 4B. OTHER GIRLS HIGHLIGHTS: Stayton's Alisha Buss wins the 100 hurdles championship, Page 4B.

Inside

Bridge .................3E Business.............11C Classified .............1E Comics...........Insert Crossword .......6,7D Editorials............12C Horoscope..........6D Lottery.................1C Mid-Valley Today..2C Nation .................4A Obituaries ...........5C Sudoku................7D TV ..................Insert World.................10A

INSIDE TODAY

Two tornado victims found

A car in which a man and a woman were found dead Saturday was blown 150 yards off a highway by a powerful storm that hit Kansas a day earlier with more than a dozen other tornadoes.

Page 4A

Weather

68° 52°

Clouds and sun today with showers. Full report, 8B

A Gannett newspaper © 2008 Printed on recycled paper. 1 Vol. 157, No. 62

Salem cab driver shot

A Salem taxi driver suffers a non-lifethreatening gunshot wound to the head during a robbery attempt by a man he had picked up.

Page 1C

Insults do injury at work

Business columnist Andrea Kay finds that most people don't take kindly to insults in the workplace.

0

40901 07402

ONLINE

Go to StatesmanJournal.com for state track photo galleries.

Subscriber services: (800) 452-2511 Classified ads: (503) 399-6789

Page 11C

12A Statesman Journal

Sunday May 25, 2008 ,

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Ivy

Continued from 1A

Ivy roots

Colonial settlers brought English ivy to North America because they considered it a pretty evergreen plant that covers the ground. It spread from there -- by way of birds eating the seeds and dropping them in fecal matter, gardeners sharing runners, and the plant's natural ability to spread wildly . Pioneers likely brought it to Oregon as a reminder of home. Then they shared it. Sharing plant cuttings is a gardener's time-honored tradition, but in the case of English ivy it is nature's night, mare. "Much harm is done by person-to-person plant exchanges, so folks should really consider not giving ivy to their neighbors or friends," said Vern Holm, coordinator for the Northwest Weed Management Partnership, an informal network of individuals and organizations concerned with invasive weeds. "Most of it happens when Aunt Mayme gives cousin Bertha her ivy start because it came across on the 1948 wagon train. It's a favor or a sentimental thing."

English ivy had overtaken this tree in Silverton. Carolyn Johnson and others cut back the ivy and killed it, freeing the tree from the suffocating flora.

LORI CAIN |Statesman Journal

Oregonians play a crucial role in spotting potential invasive species. Here's how to help: If you spot a potential invasive species in Oregon, call the Invasive Species Hotline tollfree at (866) INVADER (866468-2337). You also may call this number if you have a question regarding an invasive pest. Or report it online at http://oregon invasiveshotline.org, where you can describe the species and upload a photo. An invasive species expert will respond. For the 100 most dangerous Invaders list from the Oregon Invasive Species Council, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com and click on "Links." For noxious weed lists from the state and Marion County, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesof Oregon.com and click on "Links." For a database with photos of Oregon's noxious and invasive weeks, go to www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon. com and click on "Database."

Ivy choke

Invasive ivy covers much of Western Oregon, where wet conditions keep it growing steadily . "It was planted in a lot of gardens, so initially you already had this source for it -- large quantities," said Mandy Tu, The Nature Conservancy's invasive species ecologist. "I don't think of it having great dispersal abilities. ... It is just that we have planted it in so many places. Once it has been planted somewhere then it spreads from there. "Broken stem fragments can resprout. Then people dump them in compost, dump them on the side of the road, a lot of people plant it in urban parks, and it escapes." And it thrives. The ivy covers the ground and climbs anything in its way It can thrive in full sun . or full shade. The vines grow thick -- some as big as a foot in diameter. "It does have a pretty fast growth rate, and it can spread vegetatively," said Sarah Reichard, professor in the college of forest resources at the University of Washington. "It can withstand disturbance, like a flood or pulling -- it can regenerate." When it covers the ground, it forms a dense mat, leaving other plants starving for sunlight. And even though it covers the ground, it doesn't hold in the soil. The roots don't go in deep enough to be good erosion control. Trees suffer the most under ivy . When ivy climbs a tree, it surrounds the trunk and branches, blocking sunlight to the tree's leaves. It grows thicker and thicker, adding more and more weight to the tree. It eventually cripples the tree, unless a wind storm quickens the process. "It acts as a weight and a sail," Holm said. "Normally wind blows through the tree branches, but with ivy, the ivy catches the wind and those trees blow over." Once ivy is in a tree, it has matured to its reproductive stage, producing flowers and fruit. This is the stage most people don't recognize -- the leaves are more round, instead of having three lobes with points. This is when ivy is at its most dangerous because it creates seeds to spread more ivy . The seeds are grown in blackberries, which offer birds a tasty treat. And the fruit comes at a time when native plants don't have fruit: spring. When most other plants are flowering, hungry birds can eat the ivy fruit, which is exactly what the ivy needs to spread to new faraway places. Birds that take the fruit tend to be invasive themselves, such as starlings. Not much else eats ivy . "I have mountain beavers on my property," University of Washington's Reichard said. "They eat everything I try to grow. ... But they will not eat the ivy Insects don't . eat it. Nothing is keeping it in check." Reichard's interest in inva-

Keep English ivy under control English ivy

NAME: Hedera helix NATIVE TO? England, Ireland, the Mediterranean region and northern Europe west to the Caucasus Mountains. HOW DID IT ARRIVE HERE? It was introduced as an ornamental plant in early colonial times. It has continued to be sold as an ornamental, and it was also planted as erosion control. HOW DOES IT SPREAD? It spreads by growing vegetatively along the ground or up fences and trees, and its seeds are eaten by birds and spread when they defecate. SOURCE: California Invasive Plant Council Thinking of removing English ivy from your yard? Here are some tips to assist you:

SAVE THE TREES FIRST

Why? Ivy weighs a lot and can help take a tree down in strong winds. Also, ivy only seeds when it has climbed up trees. Be sure to cut a 3-foot gap in the vines -- ivy has an amazing ability to grow back together. After you have cut the vine, try to clear ivy at least 6 feet away from the tree so it doesn't readily climb it again.

ON THE GROUND

The easiest method is to start at the terminal end (farthest away from the roots) and pull and dig the vines out of the ground from where they've taken root. A small sturdy rake or potato fork works well to help get at vines that are buried deep.

Ivy vines can get very large, requiring saws and even chainsaws to cut through them.

Invasive Species of Oregon

About the series

The Statesman Journal spent seven months researching invasive species in Oregon, before the start of the series. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month until June will focus on a different type of invasive species and its effect. Each month will feature an in-depth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

Online extras

Readers can find extras at InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com every month for this series. This month, visitors will find:

How `invasive' is this series?

The Statesman Journal has been running a once-amonth series since September. Next month concludes our 10-month series, and we need your help in understanding how the stories about invasive species have influenced actions in your yard, favorite natural area or when shopping. Do you now notice invasive species when you are out at your local park or driving in the country? Have you reported any potential invasive species to the state? Have you changed habits, such as regular boat inspections or checking fishing gear? Are you planning an eradication project to rid an area of a certain weed?

DISPOSING OF IVY

Once you have pulled and dug the ivy, put it in a burn pile or dispose of it in the trash. Do not compost it or pile it anywhere it can reroot.

VIDEOS

To see video stories of invasive species, including these four newly added videos, go to Invasive SpeciesofOregon.com. Dave Hess singlehandedly eradicated Scotch broom from the Salishan Spit. English ivy tries to take over Silverton parks and creeks, but resident Carolyn Johnson does her part to stop it. Garlic mustard has superweed status and threatens one of the most scenic areas of the state -- the Columbia River Gorge. Local and state officials are working to contain it, but

they need the public's help. Salem resident Beth Taylor gets rid of Himalayan blackberry that's smothering a hillside.

FOLLOW-UP

Keep digging up the roots as new plants emerge or wait until the following year when the vines are easier to see.

PHOTOS

Photo galleries of English ivy, Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberries and garlic mustard.

LEARN MORE

For detailed instructions for controlling English ivy, see this story at InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com. SOURCE: Vern Holm, Coordinator, Northwest Weed Management Partnership

· · · ·

DATABASE

A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive species, including terrestrial plants. It includes the basics, such as how they got here, their effects, alternatives and if the public should report them.

Glossary

ERADICATION: To tear up by the roots; to eliminate completely. ERODE: To wear away by the action of water, wind or glacial ice; to cause to deteriorate or disappear as if by eating or wearing away. INVASIVE: A species that is nonnative, able to establish on many sites, grow quickly and spread to the point of disrupting ecosystems. It also is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health. REGENERATE: Formed or created again. RUNNER: An elongated horizontal stem arising from the base of a plant; a plant (as a strawberry) that forms or spreads by means of runners; or a twining vine. SENTIMENTAL: Marked or governed by feeling, sensibility, or emotional idealism; resulting from feeling rather than reason or thought. SMOTHER: A state of being stifled or suppressed.

SOURCES: Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Department of Agriculture, President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order on invasive species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary

DOCUMENTS

Download and print tips and instructions on removing English ivy, the state's and county's noxious weeds lists, and the state's quarantine list.

· Have you taken invasives into consideration when

planning landscaping or gardens? Let us know by sending an e-mail to [email protected] StatesmanJournal.com or calling (503) 589-6994.

sive ivy led her and several graduate students to study the forms that are invading areas in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out that the species invading natural areas in the West is not classic English ivy Hedera helix. , Hedera hibernica, known as Atlantic ivy, is more common in the wild. Both types have been sold as English ivy, and both forms of ivy are extremely invasive, she said. Chris Runyard, who has battled invasive species for the past seven years in Clackamas County said that home, owners should consider keeping it out of their yards to prevent its spread into the wild. Even homeowners who vow to keep it out of the trees aren't doing their part, Runyard said. "Yep, you might (keep the ivy controlled)," said Runyard. "And the next home owner might and the next. But someone won't, and then it is off to the races. It's an ecological rule of the Northwest; ivy moves and destroys. No natural predators or inhibitors exist. I hope ivy is

pretty enough to risk it."

Ivy dreams

No matter what kind of ivy is growing in a nearby park or wooded area, it seems inevitable that it will be there forever. "The eventuality of ivy is: ivy and nothing else," said Runyard, who is helping to restore an 89-acre wetland in Clackamas County "Forget . about diversity of plants or wildlife. Say hello to eroding stream banks and hillsides." When people band together to take it on, ivy doesn't have to be an inevitable part of a forest. For the past seven years, Runyard has been restoring Three Creeks wetland area -- ridding the ivy is only one part of that restoration. But the work has meant that there is hardly any ivy left. "If you are committed to it, you can get it pretty quick," Runyard said. "Pulling really does work. Each time there was less and less until there was none left." The really hard work comes in sustaining the

effort. "If we are there, ivy will stay out," he said. "If I go my merry way, it will fly back in with the next seed." The late Sandy Diedrich of Portland's No Ivy League knew that well. She organized ivy pulls and inspired thousands of people to free Portland's premier park, Forest Park, from the suffocating vines. "Without the No Ivy League, where would we be today?" said Fred Nilsen, who has been with Portland Parks for 22 years and who hired Diedrich. "We are actually today putting real resources into dealing with the issue." Nilsen said that because of Diedrich's efforts, English ivy came to the state's attention. "It was Sandy's effort to put this on the map," he said. "We can look to the fact that ivy is considered a weed in this state legally, and those weeds were not on the radar screen that many years ago. The only weeds on the radar screen were ones that impacted cows." But some of her most

CCTV schedule

For a CCTV schedule of programming about Invasive Species of Oregon, see this story at Statesman Journal.com.

important work came in spreading the word. "How many people have come into contact with this plant?" Nilsen asked rhetorically "How many hundreds of . thousands of children ... now understand and told Mom and Dad? This is the impact of the No Ivy League, and the impact we need to keep going." Carolyn Johnson is trying to keep idyllic Silverton from getting smothered by ivy . She not only spends her free time pulling the stuff, she's gotten wording into the city's 20-year master parks plan about addressing invasive species. The rewards for her work seem modest to most, but that hasn't dampened her enthusiasm. "In the last month or so that I have been down to Sil-

ver Creek, there are birds -- and there were never birds before," Johnson said about the area next to the footbridge in Coolidge-McClaine Park. "There were all of these different kinds of songbirds. This has always been part of my goal -- to provide for wildlife."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

Sunday May 25, 2008 ,

Statesman Journal 13A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Consumers should be vigilant when plant shopping

Lack of awareness could spread outlawed species

Statesman Journal

Online chat

WEED EXPERT ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

Got weeds? Got questions about those weeds? Readers are invited to join an online chat with Vern Holm, coordinator for the Northwest Weed Management Partnership, an informal multi-agency network of individuals and organizations concerned with rural and urban invasive-weed issues in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. Join the chat at noon Tuesday. Go to this story at StatesmanJournal.com to submit questions in advance.

State clamps down on invasive sales

In February, the Department of Agriculture, through its administrative rule process, revised its noxious weed quarantine rules. The revision included changes for English ivy, Scotch broom and butterfly bush. The revision affects what horticultural varieties can be legally sold in Oregon. A named horticultural variety, or cultivar, is a version of a species with a distinct characteristic that propagates reliably and has been given a unique name. In the past, named horticultural varieties of English ivy and butterfly bush were allowed to be sold in Oregon. But those exclusions were eliminated at the February meeting. Named horticultural varieties for Scotch broom -- a noxious weed not allowed to be sold in Oregon -- can be legally sold in Oregon until Dec. 31, 2009. Also until Dec. 31, 2009, butterfly bush plants can be imported to be grown in licensed nurseries if the plants are not be allowed to go to seed and they are not sold in Oregon. English ivy plants intended for use in topiaries or indoor/patio pots, baskets or floral arrangements also can be sold until Dec. 31, 2009. The Oregon Department of Agriculture enforces these rules. For the agency's inspectors, it comes down to the label when determining if a plant is permissible. To be permissible, it must have horticultural variety named. If the label does not have the named variety, then the Oregon Department of Agriculture could place a stop on the sale of the plant until the grower provided more information.

BY DONNA LEE

Gardeners can hardly resist buying an unusual beautiful bloom at a nursery . But sometimes those gorgeous ornamental plants turn out to be invasive -- escaping into natural areas and taking over native plants. It has happened with yellow flag iris, butterfly bush, purple loosestrife and dozens of other plants. Although nursery owners are responsible for not selling invasive plants on the state's quarantine list, sometimes those plants can be found for sale. Yellow flag iris is a quarantined noxious weed in Oregon -- illegal within the state for entry, sale, purchase, transport or propagation -- because it is an aggressive invader. An informal survey of 10 local and chain nurseries last August found the invasive iris at two nurseries in the Salem area. The nurseries were unaware that the species, which made the quarantine list in 2006, was outlawed. Lack of awareness at the nursery level trickles down to the consumer. Question: What does it mean when a plant is invasive? Answer: The plant: occurs outside its native region and readily takes over the habitat of other desirable plants, ultimately excluding those species. Q: What is a noxious weed? A: An invasive plant classified by the Oregon State Weed Board that may injure one or more of the following: public health agriculture recreation wildlife any public or private property Q: How many plants are classified as noxious weeds? A: The state has two noxious weeds lists. One contains 106 species

· ·

· · · · ·

that it classifies as noxious weeds. The other is a quarantine list, which includes 103 of the 106 noxious weeds. Species on the quarantine list are outlawed. Q: Which are problematic in Marion County? A: Tansy ragwort, yellow flag iris, purple loosestrife, and meadow and spotted knapweeds are some. Q: Who regulates noxious weeds? A: The Oregon State Weed Board acts as the decisionmaking and advisory body . Members of the board create the noxious weed list. The weed-control program conducts research for the board, makes recommendations and carries out its decisions. Weed control districts have authority on the county level for enforcement and may regulate additional species harmful to their locality . Q: What regulations apply to noxious weeds? A: Noxious weeds on the quarantine list are not allowed into the state and are prohibited from sale, purchase, transport or propagation. The quarantine also includes federally prohibited species. Q: What is the responsibility of nurseries? A: Nurseries should review the lists at least annually and check their stock for those species, according the the ODA Noxious Weed Control Program.

Get `GardenSmart'!

A new booklet, "GardenSmart Oregon: A Guide to Non-invasive Plants," is available for gardeners and landscapers creating an Oregon-friendly yard. ornamental plants commonly available in nurseries. The booklet is a project of Stop the Invasion, a campaign of Oregonians taking responsibility to protect our lands and waters against invasive species. The free booklets are available on a firstcome, first-serve basis at the Statesman Journal, 280 Church St. NE. It also can be viewed and downloaded at www.opb.org/ silentinvasion or it can be ordered for the cost of postage and handling at http://extension. oregonstate.edu/catalog.

Yellow flag iris is an invasive species that is not allowed to be sold in or imported to Oregon.

Their shelves should be free of quarantined species. Q: Why would a nursery sell noxious weeds? A: Nurseries where inspectors have found quarantined noxious weeds were unaware of the plants' status. Otherwise, plants that were not noxious weeds were mislabeled or incompletely labeled. Nurseries that have been in violation have complied readily . Q: What are the penalties for a nursery selling noxious weeds? A: The weed control program or the weed control district first attempts to educate and cooperate with the nursery . Regulators ask the nursery to remove the plant from the shelves and return the plant

Statesman Journal file

Know your weeds

Go to InvasiveSpecies ofOregon.com to find: NOXIOUS WEED LIST: Species on the state's noxious weed list MARION COUNTY LIST: Species on Marion County's noxious weed list QUARANTINE LIST: Species on the state's noxious weed quarantine list DATABASE: A database with photos of Oregon's noxious and invasive weeds

GardenSmart Oregon identifies more than 25 invasive plants threatening natural areas across Oregon and recommends noninvasive alternative plants for gardeners. It is illustrated with dozens of photos and offers tips to help gardeners select appropriate noninvasive replacement plants. Alternatives include native and

to the grower (if out of state), destroy the plant under ODA's supervision or have it destroyed (possibly at the nursery's cost). If the nursery is uncooperative, it could be subject to fines.

Q: How often do nursery inspectors encounter noxious weeds? A: Not often. Q: What about online nurseries? A: Regardless of their location, online nurseries also are subject to Oregon's laws when shipping to the state. Q: What is the responsibility of the consumer? A: The state places the onus on nurseries to supply consumers with permissible species.

They also are concerned with individuals who sell plants at events such as yard sales and plant swaps. A conscientious consumer can pay attention to the list and report to the weed control program if they see a noxious weed for sale. If you spot a noxious weed (keep in mind that variations are allowed for some species) for sale, call ODA's Noxious Weed Control Program at (503) 986-4621.

CHOOSE WISELY: A GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE PLANTS

Many invasive plants were introduced to Oregon for their beauty ­ the bright flowers on Scotch broom seemed the perfect fit for the dismal ground next to highways, English ivy turned the sides of buildings and lawns into elegant greenery and purple loosestrife bloomed into gorgeous spires of bright colors. But these plants also spread into areas where they weren't wanted and took over native plants. They kept away wildlife that relied on those natives. Gardeners play a key role in keeping out invasive ornamentals. Oregon State University horticulturalists Linda McMahan and Neil Bell offer alternatives to some common invasive ornamental plants. This is by no means a complete list. For more suggestions, go to InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com.

INSTEAD OF USING THESE INVASIVE PLANTS ...

PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE

(Lythrum salicaria)

ENGLISH IVY

(Hedera helix)

SCOTCH BROOM

(Cytisus scoparius)

BUTTERFLY BUSH

(Buddleja davidii)

YELLOW FLAG IRIS

(Iris pseudacorus)

PORTUGUESE AND ENGLISH LAUREL

(Prunus laurocerasus and P lusitanica) .

ENGLISH HOLLY

(Ilex aquifolium)

JAPANESE OR PORTUGUESE KNOTWEED

(Polygonum cuspidatum, P sachalinense) .

NORWAY MAPLE

(Acer platanoides)

MONEYWORT

(Lysimachia nummularia)

... USE THESE ALTERNATIVES

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) ·Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) ·Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) ·Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium species) ·Skunk cabbage (Lysichitum americanum) ·Ligularia wilsoniana ·Liatris, any of its many varieties

Wood sorrel (Oxalis oregano) ·Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) ·Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) ·Hardy geranium (geranium `Johnson's Blue') ·Star Jasmine (Trachelospermu m jasminoides) ·Wild strawberry (Fragaria species) ·Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) ·Daylilies (Hemerocallis species) ·Hostas ·Creeping Lily Turf (Liriope spicata)

Yellowflowered Kerria japonica ·Variegated spireas ·Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) ·Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) ·Forsythia ·Golden currant (Ribes aureum) ·Shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) ·Yellowflowering shrub roses

Mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii) ·Blue-flowered Ceanothus ·Blue elderberry (Sambucus caerulea) ·American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) ·Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) ·Bush mallow (Lavatera)

Skunk cabbage (Lysichitum americanum) ·`Pacific Coast Hybrid' iris ·Siberian or Japanese iris ·Wapato ·Cattails (dwarf varieties available commercially)

Oregon grape (Berberis or Mahonia aquifolium) ·Ceanothus `Victoria' ·Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) ·Vine maple (Acer circinnatum)

Red elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) ·Osmanthus (Osmanthus heterophyllus) ·Holly oak (Quercus ilex) ·Oregon grape (Berberis or Mahonia aquifolium) ·Pieris japonica ·Camellias

Beauty bush (Kolwitchia amabilis) ·Blue elderberry (Sambucus coerulea) ·Red elderberry (Sambucus Mexicana) ·Redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea) ·Fothergilla (Fothergilla major) ·Mock orange (Philadelphus species)

Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) ·Red maple cultivars (Acer rubrum) ·Gingko (Gingko biloba) ·Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)

Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) ·Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) ·Wood sorrel (Oxalis oregano) ·Hardy geranium (geranium `Johnson's Blue') ·Wild strawberry (Fragaria species) ·Daylilies (Hemerocallis species) ·Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia ternate) ·Crinkle leaf creeper (Rubus calcinoides) ·Prostrate Euonymus (Euonymus fortunei)

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK 1A

SALUTING MEMORIAL DAY

FOR A LIST OF MID-VALLEY EVENTS, SEE PAGE 4C

StatesmanJournal.com

Statesman Journal

SERVING SALEM, KEIZER A N D T H E M I D -VA L L E Y

Statesman Journal

Monday

May 26, 2008

50 CENTS

Small tokens of gratitude go a long way

Gift boxes remind Get involved troops overseas that WHAT: Packing party WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. June 12 service is valued WHERE: 2339 State St., Salem

BY JILLIAN DALEY It's the thank-you note that counts. That's what John Baker realized about three years ago when he formed Operation: Love Boxes for Our

INFORMATION: Call Ned Baker Real Estate toll-free at (877) 893-6797, or go to www.love boxesforourtroops.com.

Troops. The soldiers he sends care boxes want to know their service is appreciated.

Support grew after he sent a care box to a friend deployed in Iraq for nine months. His friend was so overjoyed with the gifts and thank-you note that Baker started sending boxes regularly -- to soldiers he didn't even know. With the help of volunteers, he packs 200 to 300 boxes every other month at his downtown Salem business, Ned Baker Real Estate, which

his father founded. The next packing party is scheduled for June 12. Each box includes a personal note along with goodies such as beef jerky, granola bars, toothpaste, Twinkies and more, anything that won't melt in the seven to 10 days it takes to ship. "The most valuable thing in the box is the thing that says they're appreciated, and

See Boxes, 4A

Girl Scouts Skylyn Janssen, 14, (left) and Breanna Menza, 11, pack boxes for troops Thursday.

ANDREA J. WRIGHT | Statesman Journal

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

S DEVIOUS WEED S

Hard to kill, it ducks mowers and poisons other plants

No deed is too low for garlic mustard, the state's most

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

usan Peek asked for one Christmas present last year: a backpack pesticide sprayer.

Lynn Gibbons holds garlic mustard at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in the Columbia River Gorge. That was where the invasive weed first was noticed in Oregon.

TIMOTHY J. GONZALEZ | Statesman Journal

That's how much she hates garlic mustard. This spring, she hand-pulled enough of the weed to fill 21 garbage bags. That's how determined she is to save her native Oregon plants from a garlic-mustard takeover. "We have it all over the sides of the driveway and here and there," the Corbett resident said. "Then we started pulling it. We are finding out it keeps growing and seeding. It used to be we had ferns, trilliums and bleeding hearts, and now I can see where the garlic mustard was -- there is just nothing for 20 feet around it." Garlic mustard is what experts Inside today in the Pacific Northwest are callWILDFLOWERS: Take care ing "the mother of all invasive before planting weeds." wildflower seed mixes, It's not the most scientific Page 3A term, but it is accurate. WEED CONTROL: New Garlic mustard, like most invadistrict lets county sives, spreads quickly and crehelps private ates a monoculture where it landowners contain noxious weeds, Page 3A grows. "I have this blanket of green everywhere ... just a carpet of green," Peek said. But unlike other weeds, it seems to outsmart people's efforts to eradicate it. And it has an evil side that few weeds can claim: It poisons the soil around it, making it unsuitable for other plants to take root.

See Noxious Weed, 3A

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Terrestrial plants Sunday and today are the ninth installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This month focuses on an established invasive species -- English ivy, a familiar sight in Oregon -- and garlic mustard, which state officials hope to keep contained.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive species, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the growing library of videos and photo galleries on specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appears Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and will be updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Many sing the praises of S. Salem High's influential band director

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ary Lou Boderman, believe it or not, wasn't the first choice when South Salem High School was looking for a new band director 18 years ago. Boderman came with a glowing recommendation from Karl Raschkes, the supervisor of music for Salem-Keizer School District. The two had met while judging music competitions, and Raschkes was impressed, thinking "this lady really

knows her stuff." But George Dyer, then the principal at South Salem, wasn't keen on hiring Boderman, the band director at Boderman Columbia Christian College at the time. She lacked marching-band experience, and he thought she was too soft-spoken and might have difficulty enforcing discipline at a public

high school. Besides, Dyer had another candidate in mind, a man from southern Oregon with a great deal of marching-band experience and what he considered a more-assertive teaching style. Boderman was hired only because the other candidate turned South Salem down. "She had absolutely no discipline problems," Raschkes said. "She had 250 kids out in the field and she would talk in a whisper, and everybody would

listen. She's been the greatest band director ever since. And George became her biggest fan and supporter." Dyer has no problem admitting he was wrong and his friend Raschkes was right. "I knew she was a good musician, but the way she interacted with the kids was amazing," Dyer said. "That sold me very quickly ." Boderman has a legion of fans from throughout the years. Colleagues. Students. Parents.

They all gush about the success she has brought the Saxons' music program. The band, a wind ensemble, has won six consecutive state championships -- the most recent May 10 in Corvallis -- and 10 overall during her tenure. Even Boderman, the last to toot her own horn, has to admit the streak is impressive. "It's kind of like the John

See Band, 4A

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Billionaire potato mogul Simplot dies at Idaho home

Billionaire J.R. Simplot, whose wealth from a potato empire helped create one of the world's biggest computer-chip makers, died Sunday at his Boise, Idaho, home. He was 99. Simplot's fortune was estimated at $3.2 billion.

Pentacle's latest tackles environmental dilemma

A mix of satire and realism set in an old-growth forest on the banks of the Santiam River, Pentacle Theatre's latest production is being labeled an "eco-fable." "Betty the Yeti," a comedy about balancing the needs of environmentalists and the livelihoods of loggers who depend on the timber industry, opens Friday.

Dixon dodges pitfalls for first Indy 500 victory

On a day filled with problematic cars, hot tempers and yellow flags, Scott Dixon pulled away during the final 29 laps to capture his first Indy 500 victory Sunday.

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Seed packets often hold nasty stowaways

New law can stop Online chat sales of bags that Got weeds? Got questions about Readers are contain weed seeds those weeds?an online chat with invited to join

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Statesman Journal spent seven months researching invasive species in Oregon, prior to the start of the series. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month until June will focus on a different type of invasive species and its effect. Each month will feature an indepth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

HOW `INVASIVE' IS IT?

The Statesman Journal has been running a once-amonth series since September. Next month concludes our 10-month series and we need your help in understanding how the stories about invasive species have influenced actions in your yard, favorite natural area or when shopping. Do you now notice invasive species when you are out at your local park or driving in the country? Have you reported any potential invasive species to the state?

Counties are at forefront in war on noxious weeds

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

Wildflower seed packets sometimes contain a nasty ingredient: weeds. A new Oregon law aims to help the state better regulate the contents of the bags and prevent the spread of noxious weeds. What happens is that someone spreads the wildflower seeds to create a beautiful field. A few noxious weed seeds can gain a foothold and start spreading from there. For example, the invasive Paterson's Curse, a pretty purple flower that can be toxic to horses and pigs, was found along an agricultural field in Linn County several years ago. "It turned out that the grower had planted wildflowers in the borders of his fields," said Tim Butler, manager of the noxious weed control program with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. "It was in the wildflower seed mix." A University of Washington study showed that only five of 19 wildflower seed packets accurately listed the seeds contained in the pack-

Vern Holm, coordinator for the Northwest Weed Management Partnership, an multi-agency network concerned with rural and urban invasive weed issues in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. Join the chat at noon Tuesday. Go to this story at StatesmanJournal.com to submit questions in advance.

·

·

ets. Of the 19 packets studied, all of them contained invasive weed seeds -- some that were listed as noxious weeds in at least one state or Canadian province. With the law, the Oregon Department of Agriculture now has the ability to pull weed-containing wildflower bags off shelves and require accurate seed lists on bags. "If we found yellow star thistle in anything, we would embargo it and stop the sale so we could stop the planting of this stuff prior to it getting out there," said Jim Cramer, administrator of the Oregon Department of Agriculture's commodity inspection division. The state also plans to randomly select wildflower packets and send them to the Oregon State University seed lab for identification.

· Have you changed habits, such as regular boat · · Have you taken invasives into consideration when

planning landscaping or gardens? Let us know by sending an e-mail to [email protected] StatesmanJournal.com or calling (503) 589-6994.

inspections or checking fishing gear? Are you planning an eradication project to rid an area of a certain weed?

Store owners who sell any offending wildflower packets are not held responsible. But gardeners can play an important role in keeping weeds out of wildflower seed bags: Look at the contents and compare it to Oregon's noxious weed list. Retain the package until

· ·

the flowers sprout. If a noxious weed or other prohibited seed sprouts, notify the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Officials will want the wildflower seed bag so that they can follow up with the manufacturer.

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

When a landowner called Marion County with worries that giant hogweed was growing on his property, botanist Tanya Beard was quick to check it out. Giant hogweed is a health hazard because people who come in contact with the plant's sap can develop painful, burning blisters. The plant juices also can produce red blotches that later turn into purplish or brownish scars that can last for years. "We were able to identify it as native parsnip," said Beard, Marion County's environmental specialist. "He runs both cattle and sheep, and he has children, so it was an important piece of information for him." But he wouldn't have had the county's help if it wasn't for the county's authority as a weed control district. Two years ago, Marion County became the 19th weed control district in Oregon. It was a significant moment -- weed control districts were common east of the Cascades because of invasive species' obvious impact on rangeland. "The kinds of weeds on the east side are the ones that really stand out, like yellow star thistle," Beard said. But as the effects of weeds became more noticeable in Western Oregon, counties took notice. Weed control dis-

tricts on the west side now are more common. Currently there are 22 districts out of the 36 Oregon counties, said Tim Butler of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The new designation means that the county has the authority to work with private landowners to assist them in controlling noxious weeds on their lands. Before becoming a weed control district, the county could only deal with weeds in county rights-of-way . The idea is to prevent the spread of invasive species throughout the county . "In order to preserve what we value about Oregon -- the open space, the natural environment -- then we need to pay attention to what is going to cause the most damage," he said. "Both economically and environmentally, it's invasive species that's the culprit." In the future, Beard hopes to help the Oregon Department of Transportation deal with two noxious weeds. Beard identified rush skeletonweed along Interstate 5 north of State Street and meadow knapweed along Highway 22 east of Stayton. "The problem with both of those is that they are difficult to kill and difficult to identify Beard said. ," "If you miss the opportunity to control them, they will spread like wildfire."

Noxious Weed

Continued from 1A

Glossary

ALLELOPATHY: Suppression of growth of a plant by a toxin released from a nearby plant of the same or another species. BIENNIAL: Completing its normal term of life in two years, flowering and fruiting the second year. BIOCONTROL: Short for biological control, which is the control of pests by interference with their ecological status, as by introducing a natural enemy or a pathogen into the environment. ERADICATION: To tear up by the roots; to get rid of as if by tearing up by the roots. ESTABLISHED: To make stable; set; to establish a habitat. MONOCULTURE: The use of land for growing only one type of crop.

SOURCES: Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Department of Agriculture, President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order on invasive species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary.

Right now, Corbett is ground zero for garlic mustard. State and county officials are spraying and pulling the weed to keep it contained. The price of failure is high. Out-of-control garlic mustard in the Columbia River Gorge and state parks throughout Oregon would wipe out the very beauty that draws tourists. Trillium. Bleeding heart. Vanilla leaf. Maidenhair fern. Oregon oxalis. Solomon seal. Fringecup. "One of the popular aspects of the Gorge is looking at wildflowers and going hiking," Peek said. "But with garlic mustard, you would just have this one plant everywhere. ... For a national scenic area, it is not going to be very scenic."

Garlic mustard

NAME: Alliaria petiolata NATIVE TO: Europe HOW DOES IT SPREAD: Exclusively by seed, on hiking shoes, wildlife fur, vehicle tires and road maintenance equipment. IDENTIFY IT: A biennial that forms a basal rosette of kidneyshaped scalloped leaves in the first year, with an elongated flower stalk in the second year. Leaves are alternate on stem, sharply toothed and triangular in shape. Leaves produce a distinct garlic odor when crushed. It usually flowers in April and May. Plant height ranges from 12 to 48 inches. Seeds are black, oblong in rows within a long narrow pod. REPORT: Garlic mustard has not yet been found in Marion and Polk counties. Call 866-INVADER if you suspect garlic mustard growing here.

Originally useful

Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, was first noticed in Long Island, N.Y., in 1868. It was introduced by settlers for use in food and medicine. It was appealing in the culinary world because it comes up very early in the spring, offering a green treat long before other plants are ready to be harvested. It also is high in vitamin A and tastes like garlic. For medicine, people used it to treat gangrene and ulcers. But garlic mustard seeds have a way of getting around. They spread throughout the East and into Oregon by people and animals. On hiking boots, wedged in tire treads and caught in deer fur, the seeds travel far and sprout virtually anywhere. Where it lands, garlic mustard can take over. Entire forest understories will be devoid of anything but garlic mustard once it establishes there. By 1990, 29 states had reported garlic mustard infestations. Today, garlic mustard has been discovered in more than 35 states and in western and eastern Canada. "It just covers the East from northern Canada to Atlanta, and it goes across to Minnesota," said Bernd Blossey, an associate professor and director of the ecology and management of invasive plants program at Cornell University "It has even . found its way to Alaska." In Oregon, garlic mustard was first found at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in the Columbia River Gorge. In 1987, Menucha caretaker Lynn Gibbons noticed the white flowers of garlic mustard crowding out other

plants. "We were weed-eating it and mowing it, thinking that would solve the problem," Gibbons said. "However, it kept getting worse and worse and worse, and spreading over larger areas, especially the roadways." He reported the weed's spread to the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 2004. Now he is involved in the eradication efforts at the center. It's going to be one tough battle. Garlic mustard is what could be called a super weed. Although other weeds have one, two or three traits that make them invasive, garlic mustard has them all. It spreads easily Thou. sands of seeds can be scattered several meters from one plant. The seeds also can be easily carried by hikers, deer and elk, or tires. "The seeds, when they are ripe, they just explode," Gibbons said. "And they cover the ground, and the fur of deer and elk." Once in the soil, the seeds can live for five or more years. Those seeds can either self-fertilize or be cross-pollinated by a variety of insects. And each plant is highly successful at germinating. Once it has grown, garlic mustard is determined to live. Even a piece of a root left in the soil can sprout a new plant. And the roots grow in an S-shape, making it very easy to break it when pulling it out of the ground. Garlic mustard grows almost anywhere. It favors complete shade and full sunlight. The only ground it doesn't tolerate is highly acidic. "It grows in the sun. It grows in the shade. It grows in the creek beds," said Gib-

Susan Peek of Corbett spends most of her free time tackling garlic mustard that has taken over her land, halting the growth of native species such as bleeding heart and trillium.

bons. "It will go right over the cliffs of the Gorge, and it grows right on the rocks, and in the moss." The plant is smart. After getting clipped by a mower one year, it comes back shorter the next year -- to avoid the mower blade. "Just like a dandelion, it will grow just below the mower height," said Julie DiLeone of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. "So we don't recommend mowing or weed-whacking this plant." And just pulling the plant isn't enough to prevent it from spreading. Once the flowers have opened, the plant no longer needs to be attached to the root to set seeds. That means people pulling the weed have to bag it and make sure the plants go to a landfill -- leaving the plants on the ground or putting them in compost will only spread the weed more. If that weren't enough, garlic mustard poisons its competitors. Known as allelopathy the process harms soil , fungi, which native Oregon plants need for proper growth. So typical restoration efforts, in which people plant natives after clearing the weeds, don't work as well. The natives just can't survive. It's not just native plants that are harmed. The endangered Virginia white butterfly in the East uses native wildflowers in the mustard family to lay their eggs. But eggs laid on garlic mustard never hatch. The chemicals in garlic mustard are toxic to the butterflies. It is unclear how insects in the Pacific Northwest would be affected. "I don't think we have had garlic mustard out here in the West for long enough to know how it will affect insects or other critters," said Jason Dumont, the Portland area preserves manager for The Nature Conservancy . "Because garlic mustard populations are still small, they probably aren't having the systemic effect that is being seen in the Eastern United States." Garlic mustard's superweed status is well known. It's listed as a noxious weed in Alabama, it's banned in Connecticut, and various other rules are applied in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington. In Oregon, garlic mustard is on the noxious-weed list and the quarantine list, which ensures that it is not sold or transported throughout the state or into the state from another area. "State parks are one of the biggest (ways of spreading the weed) because there are a lot of people who go and hike and bike and play disc golf," said Dumont. "A lot of people go from one state park to another." Those areas also tend to be the places that are the healthiest -- the most like 100 years ago. "We want to keep it from moving into new areas and keep it from invading some pristine areas," Dumont said. "The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area is one of the most important beautiful areas in the state." Menucha officials are trying to squelch the spread by eliminating garlic mustard on their site -- 101 acres total. Some of the areas are hard to access because they are along the cliffs in the Gorge. "Our long-term goal is to eradicate garlic mustard and convince our neighbors to do the same," said Scott Crane, program director of Menucha. "Our plan is to get rid of all the (garlic mustard) plants eventually The places . that we have had very little spotting of the plant, we have been hand pulling and have seen some gains in those areas. But in the last year we turned to spraying because there was too much of it for us to hand pull." The No. 1 priority for the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is containing garlic mustard to its current locations, said Lucas Nipp, the district's

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

3-strikes power

Containment is goal

From its start at Menucha, garlic mustard has taken advantage of everything that helps it move through Oregon. Deer running through the forest have carried seeds along small paths. Roadside mowers have spread the mustard weed along highways and roads. And innocent hikers move the seed in the exact places Oregon officials don't want it.

noxious weed management technician. "We are working on the edges of Corbett," Nipp said. "If we stay on it every year, we really can contain it to Corbett." Nipp said the efforts at Menucha will be a good test to see whether eradication is possible and how long it would take. State officials say eradication efforts at Menucha are admirable, but their hope is to keep the weed contained. "I am not saying it is impossible to eradicate, but it is pretty tough," said Tim Butler, manager of the noxious weed control program for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. "If you can catch (a weed) very early in the process, you have a higher likelihood of eradication. Once it is well established over a large area, your chances of eradication go way down." Given its growth and "superweed" status, even the effort to keep garlic mustard contained is something of an experiment, Butler said. Part of the effort likely will involve a biological control of the weed -- in this case an insect, a root crown weevil, that feeds on garlic mustard. It is still being studied, but Oregon officials hope that it can be released in the state within the next two years. "That's our best ability to keep this weed in check," Butler said. "Certainly herbicide treatments in the Corbett area and hand-pulling have a place and are necessary, but with the amount (of garlic mustard) out there, we are likely not going to stay ahead of the curve. We really feel having a biocontrol will have a role in bringing it under control."

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SERVING SALEM, KEIZER A N D T H E M I D -VA L L E Y

SUNDAY

Versatile leader's death stuns community

Bryan Johnston is remembered for his public service, humor

BY ALAN GUSTAFSON

Statesman Journal

Johnston

Bryan Johnston, a longtime Salem resident who served as a

state legislator, interim president of Willamette University and who held top positions in state government, has died, friends and family confirmed Saturday . He was 59. Johnston's wife, Anne, found him dead when she went to wake him for breakfast Saturday, said local businessman Dick With-

nell, a friend who worked with Johnston on Salem's antimethamphetamine campaign and other projects. Anne Johnston, his wife of 29 years, said late Saturday that her husband may have died from a heart attack brought on by sleep apnea, although that had not been confirmed. Funeral

arrangements had not been made, she said, but services likely would take place next week at Queen of Peace Church. "The outpouring of support and sympathy from the community has been tremendous," she said. Bryan Johnson also is survived by four children, ages 12 to 23.

Withnell said he was stunned to learn of Johnston's death, partly because the two men recently completed a 12-week fitness program that focused on exercise, diet and stress reduction. "He was doing great. He had lost a bunch of weight, exercising

See Johnston, 10A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

H

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

HORSESHOE LAKE -- Eric Coombs sinks calf-deep into the mud armed with a badminton racket and a white canvas net.

LIMIT SPREAD

of hard-to-control weeds

Insects can help

He is headed toward purple loosestrife plants covered with beetles and weevils. It's the bugs he is after. These bugs eat the leaves, seeds and roots of purple loosestrife, one of the worst wetlands invaders. Invasive purple loosestrife forms dense mats that keep out native plants needed by wildlife. It decreases water flow in irrigation canals and ditches, degrades hunting and fishing areas and reduces the quality of wetlands. It's not easy to control -- each plant creates 2 million to 3 million seeds per year and plants can spread by sprouting from cut stems or broken roots. Four kinds of insects have been deployed at more than 100 sites in Oregon to keep purple loosestrife in check. Each attacks a different part Inside today PLAY A PART: Many of the plant. ways for Oregonians The results are dramatic. On Harold Brentano's land near to help, Page 4A Horseshoe Lake in St. Paul, the view FRONT LINES: Profiles was a sea of purple four years ago. of people who fight Today, purple loosestrife is incon- invasives, Pages 4-5A spicuous in a wetland that includes NATIONAL: Federal government part of huge native lilies. Coombs, an entomologist with the fight, Page 5A Oregon Department of Agriculture, uses his badminton racket to tap the tops of the purple loosestrife plants and knock insects into his net. The insects are the only hope for ridding other out-ofcontrol populations of purple loosestrife. The insects are called biological controls, and they're

See Insects, 3A

Eric Coombs of the Oregon Department of Agriculture stands in an area near Horseshoe Lake in St. Paul where he uses insects to help control the population of purple loosestrife, an invasive plant.

LORI CAIN | Statesman Journal

About the Statesman Journal's Invasive Species of Oregon series

Biocontrols Today is the final installment of the Statesman Journal's 10-month series about the environmental and financial effects of invasive species in Oregon. This installment focuses on biological controls -- one of the last lines of defense for controlling invasive populations and an area in which Oregon leads the country -- and on effects in the fight against the species.

Online hub

To learn more and make a difference in the fight against invasive species, go to the evolving series Web site:

Multimedia

View the series' library of videos and photo galleries about specific invasive species' effects and how they affect Oregonians.

Education

The series features materials for teachers and parents. The Newspapers in Education component appeared Tuesday after monthly Sunday publication and as PDFs on the site.

Database

The comprehensive Invasive Species of Oregon database features invasives that are established and threatening the state and was updated throughout the series.

www.InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com

Inside today

GRADUATION SPECIAL SECTION: From Blanchet to Woodburn, you'll find information about all the area's high school graduation classes. CELEBRATE: More seniors from local high schools graduate Saturday, Page 1C. SUBMIT PHOTOS: Students, parents and chaperones are encouraged to share their graduation images. Submit your photos at StatesmanJournal.com/gradphotos.

Clinton shifts to support role

Hillary Clinton suspended her trailblazing bid for the presidency Saturday, setting aside her hope to return to a White House she once occupied as first lady. Instead, she summoned her supporters to use "our energy, our passion, our strength" to elect Barack Obama president in November.

Page 2A

OPINION: Executive Editor Bill Church says Hillary Clinton showed remarkable ability to stay in the game, Page 11C.

Inside

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INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Insects

Continued from 1A

QUOTES: SALEM STEPS UP

one way scientists are using nature to fight invasive species. Biological controls are a weed's natural enemies -- brought to Oregon from the weed's native lands. "Because some plants become so prolific and so widespread, the ability for us to go in and spray large areas or treat them mechanically or hand pull it is just pretty much overwhelming," Coombs said. "It becomes biologically, ecologically and economically impossible to do any more control because of the large acreages present. That is usually when biological control is brought in." Even though they are a last resort, biological controls -- commonly called biocontrols -- have been extremely successful in Oregon. One in three projects is successful -- a fairly robust rate given that researchers are working on weeds that can't be controlled in other ways. In fact, Oregon leads the nation in researching and releasing biological control agents to fight invasive species -- since 1947, 72 species of biocontrols have been introduced against 27 species of noxious weeds in the state.

I, too, have become concerned about some of the vegetation that is becoming widespread in the valley, particularly Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom and tansy ragweed. What has concerned me the most is how widespread these are in our state parks. I first became aware of it at the Gleneden Beach State Park where the Himalayan blackberry is literally taking over a small grove of trees and picnic area. At one point, I spoke with some of the workers who do the mowing and general upkeep, and they tried to tell me the berries were native. Maybe that's one place to start education. Since this time I have become aware that these species are in many of our parks.

"

The last resort

--Charleen Schmidt

LORI CAIN |Statesman Journal

Biocontrols are only considered when nothing else works. For researchers such as Coombs, it's a challenging task given the consequences. Before the insects to fight tansy ragwort were found and released, Oregon racked up $4.2 million per year in costs from cattle and horse deaths from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, at the height of the weed's population. The weed is toxic to cattle and horses, causing irreversible liver damage. Three insects -- the seed head fly the ragwort , flea beetle and the cinnabar moth -- took on tansy ragwort. Since then, cattle and horse deaths from poisoning by tansy ragwort have been rare. And ranchers are estimated to be saving more than $5 million per year. "When something has been established and there is no other economic means of controlling it and eradication is not possible, you are left with biocontrol," said Gary Brown, a plant protection and quarantine officer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's animal and plant health inspection service. "When eradication is not possible and it's not economical to do any other kinds of control, what else is there to do? You hang your hopes on biocontrol." Even if you find the perfect weed-eating insect, biocontrols are not the perfect solution. By nature, the insects are designed to control a population, not eliminate it. The insects survive by eating and reproducing on the target weed -- eradicating the plants would mean certain death for the insects. "Biocontrol is not an eradication tool because biocontrol agents will not completely eliminate their host or else they go out of existence too, and that's just not nature's way," Brown said. "What it will do is hopefully bring (the weeds) into a low-enough level in the environment to be in the background." The insect populations and their host plants tend to follow a boom-and-bust cycle. As the insect populations increase and devour the plants, the plant population dies. With their food gone, the insect population crashes. This, in turn, allows the plants to come back and the cycle starts again. The purple loosestrife near Horseshoe Lake is in the midst of another cycle. The insects are so abundant right now that Coombs can collect them and distribute them to other infested areas. "What we are trying to do here with biological control is to reunite selected natural enemies of the plant and restore a new balance of nature," Coombs said. "So what we are hoping is that these insects will start putting pressure on the plant. Because when purple loosestrife came here to the United States, it came here without its natural enemies. And so here we've brought four species of its natural enemies back here and reunited it with the plant. We are hoping they will put a lot of pressure on the plant so native species will be able to come back in." Last year, the insect population had grown so large and the purple loosestrife so scarce that the bugs were leaving the site by the millions, Coombs said. "They were trying to find other areas of purple loosestrife," he said. "Then the purple loosestrife grew back but the second generation of the beetles was really, really small. ... We hope over time that the boom-bust cycle will reduce in severity and that the periods between them will be longer." Purple loosestrife's four natural enemies are the black-margined loosestrife beetle, the golden loosestrife beetle, the loosestrife root weevil and the loosestrife seed weevil. They were found and brought to Oregon from Europe, where purple loosestrife is native. Just like the plants that they are feeding on, the foreign insects are a risk for becoming yet another pest in Oregon. "We want to make sure that when we bring these natural enemies into a new area that they will only attack the targeted weed," Coombs said. "A lot of times there are closely related species, important crops, or threatened and endangered plants, and we have to make sure that these insects -- when we test them -- would rather die than switch and feed on a non-target plant." That's why very strict protocols are in place for researching possible biocontrols. At a quarantine facility at Oregon State University, biocontrol agents are treated like prisoners. It's here that researchers spend months studying insects or pathogens as potential biocontrols. Until they are proved safe, insects and pathogens are under tight security . "Everybody that enters the facility has to wear lab coats and shoe covers, and there is a variety of precautions that are taken in the operation of the facility just to prevent anything from leaving that we don't want to leave," said Darrell Ross, director of the quarantine facility in Richardson Hall. There's a series of interlocking doors so that the door to the outside, for example, can't be

Biological controls -- the cinnabar moth larvae -- are used to fight tansy ragwort, an invasive weed. The biocontrols don't eliminate the weed population, but help keep it under control.

Glossary

AGGRESSIVE: Behavior marked by combative readiness; growing, developing or spreading rapidly; more severe, intensive or comprehensive than usual, especially in dosage or extent AUTOCLAVE: An apparatus in which special conditions (as high or low pressure or temperature) can be established for a variety of applications; especially an apparatus using superheated steam under high pressure (as for sterilizing) BIOCONTROL: The reduction in numbers or elimination of pest organisms by interference with their ecology (as by the introduction of parasites or diseases) ECOSYSTEM: The complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit ERADICATION: To tear up by the roots; to get rid of as if by tearing up by the roots; to destroy completely ESTABLISHED: To make stable; set (to establish a habitat) INVASIVE: A species that is non-native, able to establish on many sites, grow quickly and spread to the point of disrupting ecosystems. It also is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm to the economy, environment or human health. NATIVE, INDIGENOUS: A species that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. Species native to North America generally are recognized as those occurring on the continent prior to European settlement. NON-NATIVE, NONINDIGENOUS, FOREIGN, ALIEN, EXOTIC, INTRODUCED: A species typically added with human help (intentionally or accidentally) to a new place or new type of habitat where it was not previously found. PATHOGEN: A specific causative agent (as a bacterium or virus) of disease PSYLLID: Any of various plant lice (family Psyllidae) including economically important plant pests QUARANTINE: A restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests; a place in which those under quarantine are kept RELOCATE: To establish or lay out in a new place; to move to a new location THRIPS: Any of an order (Thysanoptera) of small to minute sucking insects many of which feed often destructively on plant juices WETLANDS: Land or areas (as marshes or swamps) that are covered often intermittently with shallow water or have soil saturated with moisture.

SOURCES: Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Department of Agriculture, President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order on invasive species, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Webster's Dictionary

Biocontrols are being studied for knotweed and gorse at the Oregon State University quarantine facility. The quarantine facility has very strict controls to ensure that biocontrols being studied are not released.

opened until the inside door is completely shut. And when someone opens an inner door, a fan blows a wall of air across the entrance -- blowing any insects or pathogens back into the facility Also, the lights on the other side of the door . go out, preventing insects who are attracted to light from wanting to fly out. The quarantine area has its own air-handling unit and HEPA filters on all the vents. The wastewater treatment is separate from the rest of the building and all of the water that goes down the drains in the quarantine facility is sterilized before heading to the local sewage system. "If there are any problems with the decontamination system, this alarm and light goes off and it tells people not to put any more water down the drains until it is repaired," Ross said. "That's just one of the alarms; there are many more." An autoclave heats and pressurizes any material leaving the quarantine to ensure it is not harboring any of the biocontrols outside of the quarantine facility . "There's very little chance of anything coming out of here alive," Ross said. The extra facility features are expensive and time-consuming to install. Although Richardson Hall was dedicated in 1999, the quarantine facility opened for research just last year. But it's opening has created a stir in Oregon. The facility is the only one of its kind in the state -- allowing officials to focus on problems specific to Oregon. "One of the things that's important about having a quarantine in Oregon is it allows us to work on plants that are problems here in Oregon that may not be shared by other states," Coombs said. In the quarantine facility's greenhouse, Fritzi Grevstad, a biocontrol specialist with the University of Washington's Olympic Natural Resources Center, peers into net bags holding knotweed and related species. She's checking on Aphalara itadori, a psyllid insect that sucks the sap from the knotweed plant. If all goes well, the psyllid could be Oregon's next knotweed fighter. Japanese knotweed, a problem even in Marion County spreads quickly to form dense thick, ets that take over native vegetation and alter natural ecosystems. It poses a threat to riparian areas, partly because it can survive severe floods and is able to rapidly colonize scoured shores and islands. Grevstad has put the psyllid on knotweed as . well as several other plants in the same family She leaves the adults on the plants for five days and then checks to see if any eggs are laid. If the psyllids have laid eggs, Grevstad checks back in seven weeks to see if any of the eggs have developed. So far, the psyllids are doing what they are supposed to: eating the knotweed and reproducing on the knotweed leaves and halting reproduction on the other plants. "In total we are testing 62 plants," she said. "A majority are in the knotweed family and a few are outside of the family -- particularly economically important plants, such as Douglas fir and cranberry ." Grevstad also is researching a gorse-eating insect -- the Sericothrips staphylinus, a thrips insect that feeds on the surface of leaves and stems. Gorse, an invasive species from Europe, is infamous for creating an extreme fire hazard because of its oily highly flammable foliage and , seeds. In fact, it is blamed for fueling a huge fire that burned down nearly all of the town of Bandon in 1936. "Our main purpose for our research here in the quarantine is to determine whether or not

LORI CAIN |Statesman Journal

I do think that the our governments, state and local, do not do nearly enough to try and eradicate these vicious menaces. A good example is the presence of Scotch broom EVERYWHERE. It seems that landowners should be made responsible for at least attempting to rid their land of it (and other invasives, for that matter). But how can landowners be made responsible when it's obvious just by driving down Kuebler Boulevard that whatever government is responsible for that stretch of road isn't really interested in even giving the appearance that it is serious about ridding us of this yellow beast? Why not bring in some inmate work crews to cut it out? It would at least be a start. Come on, we don't have decades to wait for beetles to make a dent in this. And I can't help but think that the beetles themselves will probably end up some sort of problem. That's how those wonderful ideas usually work.

--Peggy Davidson

I chopped out a half dozen Scotch broom plants on some vacant lots in my neighborhood on Saturday. It felt very good. I know I may need to do some follow up to make sure the plants don't come back to life quickly. But, at least they won't be reproducing/spreading now, and I'll do whatever is necessary to prevent them from coming back again. I attribute my action to SJ coverage.

--Michael Brown

This cause of invasives control is a worthy one, as these threats to the ecosystem are so extensive. I have been heartened by how seriously agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and Oregon Fish and Wildlife, along with the Oregon Invasive Species Council have taken this issue. I live on the border of Englewood Park in northeast Salem and have noticed that English ivy is spreading from the neighboring homes and into the park. I am hoping that your educational articles are getting through to my neighbors because I see the weed beginning its climb onto our majestic Douglas firs in this beautiful park. My husband and I do our best to rip it out of our yard, along with the Himalayan blackberries, and so far we are ahead of the onslaught.

--Frannie Brindle

I would have to say ivy is my arch enemy. A year ago I bought a little piece of property on Butte Creek in Scotts Mills ... so beautiful but massively overrun with ivy. First, I saved the trees (cut up to arms length and then around base of trees) ... then I just went after it from the perimeter of the property in. I am down to the bank of the creek, which is the most thickly overgrown and very steep. The last part is more like a cliff! (I have a harness for that part). The reward have been seeing the native plants emerge ... trilliums, fawn lilies, maidenhair and other ferns. It has been extremely difficult, and I often think it is impossible for one person who also works full time. I refuse to give up however! It is discouraging to see how overrun Oregon really is with these invasive plants. Ivy of course is everywhere, as is Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberry. When my property is clear I plan to "liberate" the many ivy infested trees surrounding my property, hopefully with an ally or two. We need to educate people as much as we can and make sure they know what they could be seeing instead of that vile ivy!

Future agents

the insects we want to use as biocontrol agents for knotweed and gorse are going to be safe to release into the environment," Grevstad said. "And so we want to make sure they are not going to want to feed on native plants or economically important plants that we care about."

Biocontrol problems

Testing the bugs

--K.C. Meaders

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

"

The process is long and arduous -- for good reason. Examples of biocontrol gone awry are abundant. Australia is famous for its attempt to control beetles that were destroying sugarcane crops by using an exotic species, the cane toad. At the time, biocontrol protocols were not as strict, and the cane toad was introduced before scientists realized they are ineffective beetle controls. The cane toads now are one of Australia's worst environmental disasters. Cane toads are thought to be responsible for the decline of several native species, including many frog species. "When we decide that a weed is going to be a biocontrol target, the process from identifying the weed to where we introduce an insect to where it has regional control may take anywhere from 10 to 30 years," Coombs said. "That testing is expensive. It can cost anywhere between a quarter-million dollars to half-million or more to do those tests. To make sure that when these insects feed on this weed and take it out that they are not going to feed on something else, like a crop or a native species." In Oregon, the testing is overseen by 13 government agencies and reviewed by a technical advisory group. The final step before biocontrols can be released is getting a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once released, researchers have to continue to spread the insects to where they are needed. That's where Coombs and his badminton racket come in.

--Mary Hazel

Although I was well aware of the invasive problem, I had compartmentalized it in regards to fauna not flora. Last week's "Choosing Wisely" article where Neil Bell points out suitable replacements for noxious invaders, I discovered that I have three growing nicely at my place. I already had plans to eliminate MORE of the English ivy, but the holly and laurel were surprises. They are now in danger. I have been frequently traveling to (Oregon Health & Science University) in recent months and was appalled at the extent of the ivy choking the trees along Terwilliger drive.

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK 4A

4A Statesman Journal

Sunday June 8, 2008 ,

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

What can you do?

WATCH FOR WEEDS

WHAT: Become a volunteer with the Nature Conservancy's Early DetectionRapid Response program. At the training, you will learn what species to look for in your area, and how to identify, document and report them. WHEN: Nearby trainings are July 19 in Eugene and Aug. 1 in Tillamook. CONTACT: Tania Siemens at (541) 9140701 or [email protected] INFORMATION: www.westerninvasives network.org/pages/nature_conserv.html

Meet three other super bugs

ST. JOHNSWORT BEETLE

PULL INVASIVE PLANTS

WHAT: Pick a natural area and commit to pulling the invasive weeds there or work with your local city, watershed council or county to find areas. WHEN: You set your own schedule. CONTACT: Within the city of Salem, contact Tibby Larson at (503) 589-2197. Some others have similar programs. INFORMATION: The city of Salem will help you identify hazards, such as poison oak, and understand the correct technique for removing the invasive weed. The city also provides clippers, loppers and work gloves. The St. Johnswort beetle, Chrysolina quadrigemina, eats the leaves of St. Johnswort, a weed that invades croplands, grass and rangelands and is toxic to livestock.

BECOME `GARDENSMART'

WHAT: Clean up your garden. Pick up a free "GardenSmart Oregon: A Guide to Non-Invasive Plants," which identifies harmful invasive plants and recommends safe alternatives. HOW: Pick up a free copy of the booklet at the Statesman Journal, 280 Church St. NE, or download it at http://oregon invasiveshotline.org

Beth Taylor of South Salem had 10,000 square feet of land that was covered in Himalayan blackberries. Here Taylor tackles root balls that were left after the removal of the blackberry's stems.

DIANE STEVENSON | Statesman Journal

Even small individual efforts by Oregonians can help

LEAFY SPURGE FLEA BEETLE

HELP WITH SOLV WEED PULLS

WHAT: Coordinate a local weed pull or find an invasive work party to join. HOW: Visit the nonprofit SOLV at www.solv.org to search for events near you or to coordinate a project in your area.

WIN THE WAR

against invasive plants and animals

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

VOLUNTEER AT REFUGE

WHAT: An online training for volunteers who want to work with invasive plants on national wildlife refuges. It's specifically geared for the nonprofessional who wants to get involved but doesn't know how. WHERE: National Wildlife Refuges HOW: Go to www.fws.gov/invasives/ volunteersTrainingModule

MONITOR FOR ZEBRA MUSSELS

WHAT: The Zebra Mussel Monitoring Network coordinates volunteers who have access to lakes and rivers and are provided something to hang on their docks and monitor for zebra mussel colonization. If there is a positive sighting, authorities are alerted and further steps are taken to determine the extent of colonization. HOW: Call (503) 725-9076 or go to www.clr.pdx.edu/projects/volunteer/ zm_form.php

REPORT INVASIVES

WHAT: Take note of what is not normally in the area where you live, hike or visit. Research invasive species on the database at www.Invasive SpeciesofOregon.com, then report if you see something unusual. HOW: Call 1-866-INVADER or go to http://oregoninvasiveshotline.org, where you can describe the species and upload a photo. An invasive species expert will respond.

LEARN MORE

WHAT: If you are a boater, angler, outdoor recreationist, hunter, gardener or pet owner, check out the links at www.InvasiveSpeciesof Oregon.com to find out how you can prevent invasive species spread in Oregon.

In the fight against invasive species, individual Oregonians are the major players. No matter how much money agencies throw at the problem, one Oregon resident still could introduce a new garlic mustard infestation, an explosion of nutria in a previously pristine pond or a plant pathogen to a new region. But most people don't know it. That's why the Statesman Journal launched a 10-month series in September on invasive species and their effects. The series, which wraps up today coincides , with a statewide educational campaign run by several nonprofits, Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Invasive Species Council. It's hard to know how much of an effect the campaign and the series has had so far -- measuring success in this case is inexact at best. The real measurement will be in 10 or 20 years when Oregonians can look back and see how many species were prevented from establishing in Oregon, how many wild areas were preserved as pristine and how many yards and parks were freed of invasive weeds. It only will happen if people know what they need to do and feel like they are making a difference, according to research by Oregon State University graduate student Gwenn Kubeck. Kubeck recently completed a focus-group study about invasive species among folks such as gardeners, anglers, hunters and boaters, who are familiar with invasive species and their spread. Even among this knowledgeable group, there was a sense that invasive species are spread by other people's action -- not their own actions, Kubeck said. Among the people she interviewed, Kubeck also found the perception that fighting invasive species is a losing battle, that members of the general public don't care enough to change their own behavior, and that there isn't enough information to adequately take action to prevent invasive species introduction and spread. Oregon experts are optimistic that people care enough to find out what they need to do and then do it. "All Oregonians can help keep Oregon beautiful," said Dan Hilburn of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. "By not planting invasive plants, not releasing pets or

live bait, reporting suspicious sightings that might be new invaders, and supporting survey and eradication programs." Actions don't need to be heroic or earth-shattering. Take what Holly Miles did: When Miles planted three yellow flag iris in 1997 along Glen Creek, she hoped they would grow heartily They did. . The flowers, since then declared noxious weeds by the state of Oregon, spread and started toward the creekbed. Miles tore them out this year -- about 25 plants. "After ... seeing that it was starting to get into the creek, I was glad we pulled it out," Miles said. And Mary Hazel of Keizer fights English ivy in two places. "I would have to say ivy is my arch enemy she said. "I ," have been battling it at my home in Keizer for years." Hazel bought some property in Scotts Mills a year ago, and has been removing ivy there. "First I saved the trees. Then I just went after it from the perimeter of the property in," she said. "It has been extremely difficult, and I often think it is impossible for one person who also works full time. I refuse to give up however. "It is discouraging to see how overrun Oregon really is with these invasive plants. Ivy of course is everywhere, as is Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberry When my . property is clear, I plan to `liberate' the many ivy-infested trees surrounding my property hopefully with an ally , or two." The state's goal: to have thousands of people such as Miles and Hazel involved in the battle against all types of species, not just plants. The next effort: In July, the Oregon Invasive Species Council is hosting the first-ever invasive species summit. State and federal directors, legislators and other agency leaders will develop ways to fund control efforts and implement prevention of invasive species spread. Part of their agenda will be to develop support for legislation for the 2009 session. "The time to act is now," said Mark Sytsma, chairman of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. "Other states that have lost or are losing the battle to invasive species are looking back and saying, `We wish we had done something sooner.'"

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

The leafy spurge flea beetle, Aphthona lacertosa, feeds on leaves, flowers and roots of leafy spurge, a grassland and rangeland weed that creates a milky latex poisonous to some animals.

YELLOW STARTHISTLE HAIRY WEEVIL

The yellow starthistle hairy weevil, Eustenopus villosus, feeds on the seedheads of the yellow star thistle, a very aggressive rangeland weed that is toxic to horses.

PROFILES: FIGHTING INVASIVE SPECIES

DAN HILBURN

OCCUPATION: Oregon Department of Agriculture, administrator, Plant Division CITY OF RESIDENCE: Salem HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? My professional career has focused on identifying invasive pests and keeping them out of Virginia, Bermuda and, for the past 18 years, Oregon. It is helpful to think of invasive species as a form of pollution. However, biological pollution is worse than air or water pollution because invasive species can't be cleaned up. Once they are established, they spread like ripples in a pond and we're stuck with them forever. WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? People need to understand that invasive species are one of the most serious environmental threats we face. Reporting unusual sightings of non-native wild animals or weeds needs to become second nature. Oregonians need to remember and use the 1-866-INVADER or http://oregon invasiveshotline.org reporting system. Secondly, this state desperately needs an emergency fund to address new invasions quickly, much like the fire reserve fund. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? All Oregonians can help keep Oregon beautiful by not planting invasive plants, not releasing pets or live bait, reporting suspicious sightings that might be new invaders, and supporting survey and eradication programs. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. I count formation of the Oregon Invasive Species Council as one of the most important developments in the fight against invasive species in this state. I was privileged to be one of the four people from different agencies that worked together to make it happen in 2001. The 2008 invasive species awareness campaign, of which this series in the Statesman Journal is a part, is the most important achievement of the OISC to date. I challenge readers to remember this campaign and ask themselves in 2018 whether it made a difference. With the help of all Oregonians, this is just the start of a comprehensive effort to protect this special place we call home.

ALAN KANASKIE

OCCUPATION: Forest pathologist with the Oregon Department of Forestry CITY OF RESIDENCE: Salem HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? The effect started a long time ago. When I was a youth growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, gypsy moth defoliated the hardwood hillsides. Then the state attempted aerial sprays of some sort, and we watched the mayflies die on some of our best trout streams. I remember thinking that there must be a better way of dealing with this, a thought that eventually led me to forestry school. Now I'm affected professionally by being very involved in the Oregon effort to detect and eradicate Phytophthora ramorum, the cause of sudden oak death. On a personal level, my family has a parcel of forest land, and we spend quite a bit of time beating back the Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom and thistles (all non-native invasive plants). WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? It's not easy to keep invasive species out of Oregon or the United States. Regulations are improving, but they are slow to change and often involve trade-offs between resource protection and free trade of commodities. With any of these invasive species, very early detection and rapid eradication response are essential to prevent establishment, spread and subsequent resource damage. A reasonable approach would be to treat invasive insects and pathogens like wildfires: Detect them early and extinguish them quickly before they become too large to handle. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? First and easiest is to stay informed through the various media sources. Every little bit helps. Simple actions such as choosing reputable sources for ornamental plants or cleaning your outdoor gear, in aggregate, can make a big difference. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. I consider the Oregon Sudden Oak Death project at least a partial success. The various agencies and landowners in Curry County have worked together extremely well to combat what is now considered a very challenging pathogen. The net effect thus far has been eradication on many sites, and a dramatic slowing of spread for this potentially fast-moving pathogen.

MICHAEL MCMAHAN

OCCUPATION: Professional nurseryman at Fisher Farms LLC AGE: 37 RESIDENCE: Scholls HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? Invasive species affect not only Fisher Farms, but the entire nursery industry. Fisher and the Oregon Association of Nurseries have been taking a proactive approach. We have identified plants as potentially invasive through a scientific risk assessment process, and removed them from our catalogs and plant finder. Besides plant material, we face a plethora of invaders, from exotic snails and slugs to insects and imported plant pathogens. The industry is forced to devote considerable resources to combat these and prevent their release into our streams and rivers, forests and homes. WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? One tool that we have employed is a systems approach. One of the key aspects to this is a thorough inspection process. We identify key control points. A main point of entry of invasive species is imported plant stock. This is not limited to plant material, but could be packaging or other materials. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? The general public can be on the lookout for anything that seems out of place: a weed they are not used to seeing; a plant taking over their favorite camping spot; birds, fish or other critters they are not used to seeing. Then contact the Department of Agriculture (1-866-INVADER). And, of course, picking up a copy of "GardenWise." It not only helps retail customers identify invasive plant species, but suggests suitable alternatives. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. One experience of mine, that is far from over, is battling people's perception of invasive species. People see the beautiful flowers of a butterfly bush or iris, and do not see a problem. If we address this problem early, we may not have an insurmountable battle. Look at Forest Park, the timberlands of Oregon and the highways we all travel. If people had realized the threat from English ivy, blackberry or Scotch broom before it had gotten out of control, then maybe we would not be in this situation.

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK 5A

Sunday June 8, 2008 ,

Statesman Journal 5A

INVASIVE SPECIES OF OREGON

Oregon praised for interagency council; funding criticized

BY BETH CASPER

Statesman Journal

Many states take steps to Model programs

Oregon isn't alone in its fight against invasive species. The federal government and every state in the union spend money dealing with pests that eat important crops and weeds that grow where they are not wanted. They all take on the challenge in slightly different ways. Most are criticized for not spending enough money on the issue and not having adequate regulations in place. Oregon seems to fall somewhere in the middle -- it is praised for its interagency invasive species council but criticized for its lack of regulation and funding. But it is impossible to compare states' invasive species programs. "It is not an easy issue," said Lori Williams, executive director of National Invasive Species Council. "Most states face a similar issue to the federal issue -- there are a lot of different programs that address invasive species." On the federal level, more than 30 agencies deal with invasive species. Several laws regulate the introduction and spread of invaders -- but many of them are limited in scope. A 2002 report by the Washington, D.C.-based Environ-

spread of invasive species

mental Law Institute criticized the federal government for how it deals with invasive species. "No existing federal law or combination of laws provides clear authority to prohibit or regulate the import of all classes of invasives or to regulate all vectors or pathways," according to the report. " a result, the federAs al government's ability to respond to new infestations or widespread outbreaks across the U.S. is severely limited." For example, the federal Lacey Act prohibits the importation, possession or shipment of certain species. But the species must be listed in order to be regulated -- and they often are listed only after they are established and causing damage. Under the Lacey Act, only 17 species and groups of species are listed. Another federal law, the Plant Protection Act, lists about 100 noxious weeds. "There is not a huge number of species regulated as invasive under federal law," Williams said. " And there are some gaps in terms of types of species." It's similar at the state level. " lot of states use `dirty A lists,' where they set up a list of species that are prohibited," said Read Porter, director of the invasive species program for Environmental Law Institute. "That's a big burden on agencies to identify problematic species. It is a lot more protective to use a `clean list,' which sets a rule of no importation without going through risk screening and you list the species that can be imported. That helps the agencies because they know what is coming in." Oregon operates with socalled "dirty lists," and it means that agency staff have a hard time keeping new invasive species threats out of the state. And just like in other states, funding for invasive species programs is a perpetual problem. But Oregon is ahead of a lot of states in having a legislatively created an invasive species council and a paid

MANAGE

Read Porter, director of the invasive species program for Environmental Law Institute, noted some model programs that could help Oregon in its fight against invasive species: Require ships to treat ballast water before releasing it into state waters Implement shipping-container fees to pay for invasive species response efforts -- often going to the Legislature for emergency funds to deal with new threats is too late Operate with a so-called "clean list" of species -- species that are approved for importation to Oregon. This means that species not on the list have to prove that they are not invasive before being allowed to be imported.

Oregonians need to take action now against invasive species

When invasive species arrive in Oregon, they think they've found heaven. Bullfrogs, nutria, starlings, garden slugs and English ivy all have found Oregon ideal. It has meant the decline of Oregon's natives and the changing look of the state's landscape. Ponds and lakes no longer fill with Western pond turtles, and old forests are smothered with ivy Nutria have scoured . riverbanks, and starlings have pushed native birds out. But for each of the hundreds of invasive species in Oregon, there are more that haven't found their way here. Yet. Those are the ones we need to keep out. Why? Because there is so much of Oregon to lose. Thousands of miles of river are free of invasive species. Thousands of acres of forests have never seen a Scotch broom seed or a garlic mustard flower. There are places here where invasive species haven't changed the ecology . And there's another reason: We can. We can hold off new invaders, control the ones we've got and keep much of Oregon's wildness intact. How do I know? Because Oregonians care. The day the Statesman Journal's invasive species series launched last September, Tim McFarland of Salem sent me an e-mail. He wrote, "I moved into an area next to Woodmansee Park last year, with beautiful trees, some of which are being overcome with ivy ... Today's article . inspired me to get out and remove some ivy from three trees in Woodmansee Park today I look forward to doing more, and . seeing our trees thrive." He's not alone. Teachers throughout Oregon called to find out if they could use Reporter's the videos in their classrooms to teach Perspective students about invasive species. David Craig of Willamette University wrote to say that he planned to use the series as required reading in his ecology class. Salem residents wrote to tell about their personal successes in their backyards and their frustrations at seeing invasive species in parks and along roadways. There is momentum now in Oregon to take charge of this problem. The only piece in doubt is what will happen during the next legislative session. And it is nothing short of irresponsible for legislators to do nothing. We've tackled some big environmental issues in the last session. Expanding the bottle bill. Creating electronic waste recycling. Requiring renewable energy resources. Taking on toxic pollution in rivers. We can take on invasive species. We have to if we want to continue Oregon's legacy as a forward-thinking, environmentally conscious state. It does no good to clean up the Willamette River of a bacteria problem but allow quagga mussels to invade. They would quickly leave the river lifeless. It's disingenuous to promote Oregon's wilderness and then let feral pig . populations take it away It's insincere at best to boast about Oregonians' landmark environmental heritage and then leave weed districts -- the front line warriors -- unfunded. We need laws that allow law enforcement to pull over boats suspected of carrying invasive weeds and invertebrates. We need money for weed districts. We need inspection and washing stations for drivers entering our state. We need signs in state parks and along trails that alert hikers and bikers to the potential invaders and how to keep them out. , All of it takes money and the revenue forecast isn't ideal. But waiting is no longer an option. The economic and environmental costs are higher once the species are here. Take zebra and quagga mussels. Check stations along Oregon's borders might cost $1 million per year. If the mussels get here? Between $25 million and $50 million to control them. And by then the native mussels and fish are in decline. Want Oregon to continue its reputation as a green state, strong on environmental issues? Take on invasive species. It will make a difference.

coordinator. It is only one of a handful of states that has management plans for certain invasive species. The problem facing every state is an age-old one: how do you convince people of a threat, instead of a fullfledged problem that people can see with their own eyes? "The federal government should be a leader and calling for early detection and rapid response," Williams said. "It is difficult because we are geared to respond to the crisis in our face. And that doesn't work well for invasive species."

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

BETH CASPER

Invasive Species of Oregon: About the Series

This is the final installment of the Statesman Journal's series. The Statesman Journal spent seven months before the start of the series researching invasive species in Oregon. Reporters, photojournalists, editors and interns conducted interviews, compiled information for a comprehensive database, recorded damage from invasive species and wrote stories about various species and their effects. The project launched Sept. 23. Every month of the project focused on a type of invasive species and its effect -- featuring an in-depth look at an established Oregon invasive species and a species that still can be eradicated from Oregon. The project is the brainchild of environmental reporter Beth Casper. The Invasive Species of Oregon project team leaders include Bill Church, executive editor; Michelle Maxwell, assistant managing editor and project editor; Diane Stevenson, multimedia editor; Amy Read, online editor; Melissa Kreutz Gallardo, data team leader; Kay Worthington, graphic artist; and Henry Miller, reporter.

Online extras

Readers can find extras at InvasiveSpeciesofOregon.com every month for the series. Visitors will find new this month:

STORIES

Find more profiles of people fighting invasive species and full-length versions of the profiles.

VIDEOS

To see two video stories about biocontrols, go to InvasiveSpeciesof Oregon.com: Entomologist Eric Coombs spreads biocontrols across Oregon to fight invasive weeds taking over wetlands, rangelands and farmers' fields. He talks about the role of four insects in controlling purple loosestrife, and he expresses hope for the success of two insects being studied for knotweed and gorse, two invasive weeds in Oregon. A new biocontrol quarantine facility at Oregon State University employs dozens of safety measures to ensure that foreign insects aren't released into Oregon's environment.

PHOTOS

Photo galleries of biocontrol agents, the plants they feed on and researchers in the field.

DATABASE

A comprehensive list of Oregon's established and potentially threatening invasive species. It includes the basics, such as how they got here, their effects, alternatives and if the public should report them.

DOCUMENTS

View a 2002 report by Environmental Law Institute that analyzes each state's invasive species regulations and procedures. Also find the GardenWise guide, which helps gardeners find alternatives to invasive ornamental plants.

[email protected] or (503) 589-6994

PROFILES: FIGHTING INVASIVE SPECIES

PAUL HEIMOWITZ

OCCUPATION: Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service CITY OF RESIDENCE: Oregon City HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? Personally, invasive species not only affect my wallet but also my ability to enjoy Oregon's amazing natural resources. In fact, just knowing that some of my favorite places in Central Oregon or the Oregon Coast have been invaded by certain harmful exotic species sometimes takes away some of the pleasure in visiting them. Because my job involves management of aquatic invasive species, they have a profound effect on what I do professionally. It can be depressing at times, but also very challenging and meaningful when I realize all the potential damage that I can help our state avoid through prevention and other programs. WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? We need to continue raising awareness about invasive species as an issue, and truly integrate the issue within our overall efforts to manage Oregon's natural resources. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? First, talk about it with kids. Because eradication of invasive species is a rare success, future generations are going to inherit most of our existing invasive species and any new ones we let into the state. Children have been a major force in adopting new attitudes on recycling, for example, and will likely play the same role for invasives. Second, report new sightings. Where eradication is possible, it usually depends on someone catching a new invader early and reporting it. We have the benefit of the 1-866-INVADER, but we need more eyes out there. Finally, never intentionally move plants and animals into natural areas, and before you head out on that hiking trail or put your boat into the next lake, clean yourself and your belongings to make sure you're not transporting "hitchhikers" by accident. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. Not that long ago, we learned about a science curriculum being used by Oregon schools that in some cases led to classes using a prohibited exotic crayfish and aquatic weed. At the end of the project, some classes may have released these live specimens into streams. A cooperative effort among state and federal agencies, universities and several statewide education associations led to an outreach program that helped teachers and school districts learn the dangers of using and releasing these invasive organisms, find other alternatives, and ultimately consider how to use the issue to help the students learn more about the issue of invasive species. There is now interest in addressing this problem nationwide.

RANDY HENRY

OCCUPATION: Operations Policy Analyst for the Oregon State Marine Board CITY OF RESIDENCE: Silverton HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? I was born and raised in Oregon and have been aware of invasive species since the first time I picked a bouquet of tansy ragwort for my mom (she promptly threw them in the garbage). We even had a horse die from eating tansy, and we were constantly fighting with invasive weeds, birds and even mammals like nutria on our farm in Linn County. As an Oregonian who recreates all across this state, and as a public servant who works with boaters all across this state, I have a very strong desire and a responsibility to do everything I can to help address the problem. WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? First, we need an informed public, and I think we've made great strides there. If the public is not informed about the true costs of invasive species, then nothing we or any other state agency do will be effective. As we develop and implement our outreach and education strategies, we must also look at our defensive strategies. State and federal agencies have done a great deal of rapidresponse planning, but if we don't have authority to implement, it doesn't do much good. Another huge problem is funding. Prevention costs money, but far less money than control or eradication. We have to thoroughly consider priorities across all of state government, recognize where the risks and responsibilities lie, and develop a fair and equitable system to pay for prevention and rapid response. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? From the Marine Board's point of view, "never launch a dirty boat" is the primary message. We already have many aquatic invasive species in Oregon's waters. Learning about all the threats is overwhelming. Learning how to prevent spreading these species is easy, though. Learn how to clean your boat, motor and trailer of all mud, vegetation and standing water. Visit www.boatoregon.com to get the information, then use it. Not only will you prevent infestations, but you'll improve the resale value of your boat. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. I have really enjoyed being part of the effort to prevent invasive species infestations. I've seen public interest and understanding increase tenfold in recent years. I have personally traveled all over the state to help teach hundreds of law enforcement officers, highway inspectors, forest service staff and other people about invasive species and watercraft inspection. I've seen these people take a strong interest and apply their knowledge at their local waterbody.

THEA WEISS HAYES

OCCUPATION: Public school science teacher CITY OF RESIDENCE: Portland HOW DO INVASIVES AFFECT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO? I've been interested in invasive species throughout my career as a botanist, forester, resource development coordinator and teacher. My original concerns were with fungal pathogens in forest and orchard trees, but this has expanded to include all non-indigenous invaders. I've watched the presence of invasives alter the field sites I've worked in, as well as gain importance in the public eye. As with most problems, people don't act until they are personally affected. The ecological and economic cost of human mobility and carelessness affects ALL of us; my students own the future and must use their knowledge to deal with this problem. WHAT FUTURE CHANGES ARE NEEDED TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS WITH INVASIVE SPECIES? There are several fronts that will affect the success of invasives and our battle with them. First and foremost, the topic must stay in the public eye and not disappear like the "disaster of the week." Secondly, individuals must become knowledgeable about how to deal with these problems whenever they are capable, and be motivated (through tangible and intangible incentives) to do so. Last and not least, those that have political power must be convinced that it is in their/our best interest to work toward solutions. When you think about how long it has taken to convince the world that global warming is an issue at all, then you'll understand the scope and magnitude. At this point, most people know very little. WHAT CAN ORDINARY CITIZENS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OREGON'S INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEMS? Most folks can pay a little more attention to what they see, and report plants, animals and conditions that they notice that are out of the ordinary. We all have changed our lives to accommodate our changing living conditions, and this is another thing we need to make a part of our consciousness. We also need to BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE and GET INVOLVED with organizations that have some political clout through their membership. Lastly, students should realize how much power they have in influencing the political process through their parents and personally, and lend a hand to shape their own future world. DESCRIBE ONE PERSONAL SUCCESS STORY IN FIGHTING INVASIVES. Students in my advanced science class at Binnsmead Middle School developed a teacher e-mail survey for all teachers in Portland Public Schools (several thousand) to gather information about teacher knowledge of invasive species and classroom use and dispersal of these species. This optional survey will be distributed, and the anonymous data will be utilized by Samuel Chan and Tania Siemens of the Oregon State University Sea Grant program.

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