[PCA] NEWS:Invasive weed fire in Utah, may be missing part of story?

Craig Dremann craig at astreet.com
Sun Sep 2 09:55:50 CDT 2007

Dear Olivia and All,

That article last week from USA Today, may not be completely accurate:


Invasive weed a fuel for West's wildfires
By Patrick O'Driscoll, USA TODAY

DENVER -- Cheatgrass, a wispy Eurasian weed accidentally brought to the
USA in the late 19th century, has become a 21st century headache across
the West, fueling some of this summer's most destructive wildfires.

The largest blaze in Utah history, the 567-square-mile Milford Flat

There's a map at http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,680197390,00.html
of the fire.

When I conducted my 1997 Great Basin/Rocky Mtn. vegetation megatransect
that you can see at http://www.ecoseeds.com/megatransect.html --- my
survey went right through that area, from the tiny town of Milford
eastward along Utah 21.

What the various Milford Flat fire stories might be missing, is that the
fire might also have spread by an exotic perennial grass, that was
intentionally sown by the Utah highway department and sown on BLM lands,
the Crested Wheatgrass, which was seen during by 1997 survey.

A 2005 report done by BLM, stated that of the 3.6 million pounds of
seeds purchased that year for sowing on the public lands, 41% (or nearly
1.5 million pounds) were EXOTIC plant seeds.

There's a very strange disconnect, when the  Federal government is
sowing over a million pounds of exotic plant seeds onto public lands
every year, while at the same time, has a policy to limit the spread of
exotic plants on public lands? 

Sincerely,  Craig Dremann, Redwood City, CA (650) 325-7333

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