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Meditate on Medusahead - Positive Thoughts

Posted 9/29/2008 3:42pm by Dawnetta Hauth.

Charting a new course in the Great Basin, that is the intent of the Area-wide project.   To actually make a change in the landscape and see a reduction of invasive annual grasses that have been gaining ground since the 1800’s.  It is going to take a lot of creative thinking and research.   Much of the work to be done is in our own minds – how to look at the challenges differently, how the tools available to us can be used in new and unique ways, are there new tools to be utilized?   The word is thrown around too much but paradigm shifts of great magnitude are in order.   One of the generally accepted ways to attend to weed management is to ask ‘How do we get rid of whatever particular species is considered the problem?’   

It’s time to apply the power of positive thinking to weed management.  So instead of looking to ‘get rid’ of the weeds – How about asking ‘What do we need to do to keep weed free land free of weeds?’    Resources need to start being put to landscapes and plant communities that are not currently infested with invasive annual grasses.  Sure enough, you know it as well as the next person, medusahead and cheatgrass are not the last invasive species that are going to create havoc on the land.  The old saying could never be truer than with invasive grasses – ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’ – if the space is not filled, something will come along to fill it.  And, the next species may be worse that invasive grasses. 

We need to make this case stronger.  Our jobs might primarily consist of what to do to manage cheatgrass or medusahead.  But, it seems that the Area-wide project casts much farther than the problem.  We have the opportunity to look at what’s right with the land that is not infested and take this information to determine what makes a landscape resistant to invasion?  It all sounds positive to me.