Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) March 02, 2013
When Botanic Technicians (who are COPPEA Members) go to work, everyone who visits the City of Portland's natural areas benefit.
That’s because the “Protect the Best” team made up of Steve Lower, Aulani Johnson, Jesse Schaefer and Daniel Medic (of the Parks Bureau) help keep the vegetation healthy and beautiful. They perform ecological restoration in the City's natural areas.
Botanic Techs have a unique skill set to perform their duties, such as a deep understanding of ecological principles and restoration practices. Their team has a specific set of goals and objectives, in helping to maintain and protect the ecological integrity of the best vegetation units in Forest Park and other large natural areas east of the Willamette.
“A typical day could entail working on a different site than the last, but usually we strive to focus our efforts on one particular project at a time, and we are primarily engaged in vegetation management (mostly invasive weed removal), collecting and evaluating data from the field, and providing timely updates to our crew leader,” Johnson said.
Their jobs are always interesting. Their most common task is small tree treatment. This is where they collect point data for invasive tree species and treat invasive plants using hand tools, chain saws and herbicides. Herbicides are used with stump-cut, basal bark and foliar treatments.
“We have cruised several hundred acres in Forest Park and beyond, carrying 40 to 50 pound saw packs (up and down slopes, cold or hot, through mud and sleet) as we walk in swaths treating and inventorying invasive plant species,” Johnson said.
“We have the opportunity to take in- depth field knowledge from the forest to the pavement, talk to Portlanders and staff about our finds, and share the collection of knowledge we obtain from City Ecologists, Botanic Specialists, Taxonomists and management,” he added.
“We also have the opportunity to add to the City's pool of knowledge regarding invasive species management. Through our efforts, we help foster a positive perception on the use of herbicides when used in conjunction with a strong Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program," he said. "Hopefully, this information can be used to help educate the public, empowering them to implement similar changes on their own property and becoming better stewards of the land," Johnson.
The funding for their program comes the “Grey to Green fund” meaning it is made possible through public and private partnerships.
“Please continue to support us, we are making a difference!” Johnson concluded.