'Invasive Species Workshop' in Anchorage October 28-30
A government-sponsored "Invasive Species Workshop" will occur www.alaskainvasives.org).in Anchorage (
Government agencies have generally ignored the invasive species 'elephant in the room', the ubiquitous dandelion.
From public rights of way, dandelion seeds attack neighborhood lawns and establish beach heads throughout our wilderness.
We plant daisies and poppies in the rights of way to meet beautification / landscaping / environmental standards for federal dollars. But the folks who make the plans don't maintain the projects.
Then, dandelions invade. The dandelions are first to pop up in May and early June. Smart maintenance managers could mow then, before yellow dandelion flowers go to seed and before delicate poppy and daisy heads pop up.
But no. Maintenance managers allow the dandelions to flower then go to seed, just as the wonderful poppies and daisies are coming up in mid to late June. The street/highway maintenance managers then send out the lawn mowers to cut down the dandelions just as they are going to seed, spreading the invasive seed, while simultaneously cutting off the heads of daisies and poppies before they can develop seeds.
Most summers there is a bumper crop of dandelions in August. Simultaneously, a few remaining daisies and poppies try again to propagate--just in time for the 2nd mowing.
At the forest edge of East Northern Lights Blvd. in Anchorage, where mowing does not occur, the daisies flourish and dandelions are sparse.
Where the miscoordinated mowing occurs, the expensively planted daisies and poppies die off for lack of progeny while the invasive dandelions multiply with help from street/highway maintenance managers.
Other government agencies also cultivate the invasive species in this way. The Anchorage School District, with its own thoughtless mowing practices, is a major cultivator of invasive dandelions whose seeds invade nearby neighborhoods throughout the city.
It seems that an "Invasive Species Workshop" goal should be to "pick the low-hanging invasive fruit". By simply changing the mowing schedules, maintenance managers could cheaply and efficiently accomplish two goals:
1. They could restrain the propagation of the most invasive of plant species, while
2. simultaneously protecting taxpayer landscape investments intended to beautify public rights of way and other government properties.