Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

Tolowa Dunes Stewards, with the help of about 22 volunteers, spent part of Earth Day Sunday eradicating Scotch broom from an area off Old Mill Road in Tolowa Dunes State Park and the Lake Earl Wildlife Area. According to the California Invasive Plants Council website, the yellow flowering plant is known
to generate thick stands that can dominate other
plant communities and is difficult to control once established.

“I would say we treated as much as three acres,” said Sandra Jerabek, “but what you have to remember is that Scotch broom is not 100 percent coverage.”

She said in the two years the stewards have been eradicating Scotch broom, they have treated about 40 acres of forest, grassland and dunes. She said those areas are now essentially free of scotch broom and will need to be maintained in years to come to prevent further blooms.

Jerabek said the treated area is surrounded by state parks and other public lands and stewards had to remove a lot of the plant in order to limit its outward spread.

“I think it was incredibly productive,” she said, noting plants were cut off and yanked from the ground, but no herbicides were used.

She said she would like to see others in the community become involved in removing the plant because it can quickly take over nature areas. However, compared to other invasive plants, it is much easier to eradicate, Jerabek said.