Protect the Best - Invasive Vegetation Management Program
Portland natural area parks contain ecologically healthy habitat that supports wildlife and provides unique opportunities for people to experience nature locally. Invasive plants such as Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and English holly displace native vegetation in our natural areas, degrading scenic and ecological diversity. Once these invaders root and spread, it can take years to clean up the habitat, and many more years to re-establish the native plant community. PP&R is testing a new approach to invasive vegetation management, called the Protect the Best Invasive Vegetation Management Program (PTB), aimed at controlling invasive plants before they have a chance to damage our most pristine natural areas.
Protect the Best, initiated in 2007 as part of the Grey to Green Initiative, has the goal of preventing small patches of invasive plants from spreading in PP&R's most ecologically healthy natural areas. Our approach is to identify and treat ecologically healthy "core habitat," then create relatively invasive-free "buffer habitat" surrounding it, reducing the chance of re-infestation. Work sites are selected primarily based on the ecological health rating assigned in the PP&R vegetation survey (2003-04). PTB staff removes English ivy, English holly, Himalayan blackberry, garlic mustard, and other invasive species using hand tools, chainsaws, and herbicides. Treatments are tracked with GPS and an Arc GIS Database. Since the program began, over 3,800 acres have been treated in numerous parks including Forest Park, Powell Butte, Buttes Natural Area, Maricara Park, and Elk Rock Island. Biannual Report
For more information on the program, call Steve Lower at 503-823-1640.