In the upper Sandy basin this very prolific seed producer is found primarily in riparian areas where its seeds are dispersed by high water events. During recent years it has begun to colonize restoration sites where Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants had been largely controlled through previous efforts. A concerted effort to control Policeman’s Helmet is needed to prevent impairment of native plant communities in private and public land riparian areas. Currently, the problem is worst on the Salmon River, an upper tributary that is among the top three priorities for salmon habitat restoration in the Sandy Basin. Because of these reasons, our efforts this year will be focusing on retreating areas from last year to ensure the species is eradicated and focusing on new properties to treat in the Salmon River corridor.
This will be the Watershed Council’s third year working on this project in partnership with CCSWCD, and each year our progress is yielding impressive results. Hand pulling has occurred each summer from 2012-2014 and has helped reduce the spread in infested areas, with measurable reduction in the plant’s extent after multiple years of treatment. Most of the invasive plants on our sites are adjacent to water where juvenile salmon are present, representing an opportunity to restore high-value riparian habitat. Since 2014, the removal efforts have been conducted primarily by the Project YESS youth crew from Mt. Hood Community College. Other partners on this project include The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management, and local residents and volunteers. Funding to the Watershed Council comes from CCSWCD and PGE’s Habitat Fund focusing on salmonid habitat restoration.