Cook Forest Conservancy Kicks Off Project to Clear Japanese Knotweed

COOKSBURG, Pa. (EYT) – The Cook Forest Conservancy is coordinating efforts to keep the banks of the “Wild & Scenic” Clarion River clear of Japanese Knotweed, an invasive nonnative plant.

Japanese Knotweed spreads aggressively, degrades water quality, and provides no benefit to wildlife–while it simultaneously out-competes native plants that would filter water, limit erosion, and provide valuable habitat.

It is, however, controllable, if efforts are made before it expands into swaths of monoculture.

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MacBeth’s Cabins & Country Store in Cook Forest State Park will host three sessions on controlling Japanese Knotweed for area landowners: on 15 May, an informational session and on-boarding; in mid-summer, a demonstration of cutting to weaken the plant; and, in early fall, a herbicide spraying
demonstration. Landowners can choose whether to loan CFC backpack sprayers for herbicide application on their own property or to contract with knowledgeable licensed vegetation managers.

Treatment of Japanese Knotweed requires several continuous years of treatment and is most effective when neighbors coordinate efforts amongst contiguous parcels, and with adjacent state-owned properties. To that end, the program’s focus in 2022 is on properties downstream of the Route 36 bridge in Cooksburg – but anyone is welcome to attend the sessions and apply the advice.

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This project is expected to span several years and aims to expand annually until the Clarion River within the Cook Forest area is clear enough of Japanese Knotweed to re-establish native riverbank species.

Financial support for the Cook Forest Conservancy’s Clarion River Japanese Knotweed Project is provided by BHE GT&S, which is dedicated to the economic, physical, and social health of the communities served by BHE GT&S companies. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is administering this grant program in commitment to its core mission of conserving Pennsylvania’s diverse ecosystems through science-based strategy, leadership, and collaboration.

Current partner organizations for the Clarion River Japanese Knotweed Project include Penn State Extension, Clarion County Conservation District, the DCNR and Cook Forest State Park, and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

Details of the Japanese Knotweed Information Session

When: Sunday, May 15, at 1:00 p.m.
Where: MacBeth’s Store & Cabins at the Route 36 bridge in Cook Forest State Park
Cost: This event is free.


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