Category Archives: Land Stewardship

GVM Natural History Report Online

Manhead Mtn Photo
Manhead Mountain in Glacier View Meadows, CO (Photo by Jim Erdman)

In October 2012 Jim Erdman submitted a 26-page report http://mummyrangeinstitute.org/glacier-view-natural-history.pdf  to the Mummy Range Institute which has featured it on their website.  It is a “must read” for those of us who love the ecology, geology and beauty of GVM. Thank you Jim for your lucid writing and beautiful photos! For more information on the important work being done by the Mummy Institute, visit their website http://mummyrangeinstitute.org/.

Crellin Lake & Trail Workday Success

Group Work Day August 23, 2010. 8:00 – 11:30

Crellin Nature Trail, Crellin Lake , Community Leach Field

Prepared by Judd Adams

Volunteers: Odell Dehart, Linda Petrie, Mary O’Brien, Linda Bell, Susan and Lee Lamb, Judy and Harry Corwin, Wynne Dimock, Judd Adams and Oreo.

Crellin Nature Trail: Odell with weed whacker, nippers were Linda P, Mary, and Linda B. widened and trimmed the trail to the bottom and along the Sloan Trail to where we (Mary, Linda P. and Judd) stopped work on 8/19.  Linda B. also cut weeds.

Crellin Lake: Susan and Lee trimmed dead branches on trees along the right or east side of the lake.  The pile of cut branches was quite large and was left for staff to take to the slash pile.  Judd and Oreo trimmed grass around the lake, across the dam road on both sides and along the trail entrance to West Crellin Trail.  Pleased to report very few thistle and almost no mullein.  The vacant property on the west side of lake which was so heavily infested with diffuse knapweed was also very clean.

Community Leach Field; Wynne and Corwins worked on removing the weeds on the face which were (I think) mustard.  They did not finish and Wynne said she would come back later to complete the job.

To Do:

1)      Judd will return in a few days to spray the Canada thistle and mullein.

2)      West Crellin Trail needs attention to where the water crosses the trail – it is some what dangerous and I think I will ask Steve for a board to place across the water crossing.

3)      There is reportedly some confusion about the signs on this trail which we need to correct.

4)      I think it would be nice to paint the letters yellow on the signs for improved visibility.

Excellent day.  Good to see such a turn out.

8/28/2010 Note added by Susan:  “We also trimmed live growth on the pines to thin the trees, reduce ladder fuel, and fire danger. When it’s a bit cooler this fall Lee and I will trim trees on the other side of the lake. I also noticed the sign at the trailhead and thought that some yellow paint would improve its visibility. I’d be glad to paint the letters the day we trim the trees, if you can provide the paint.”

8/30/2010 Note from Ellen: “I hiked the trail yesterday and observed first hand what a great job was done. Thanks Ecology Committee!!

Hunting for Musk Thistle at Riddle Lake

Musk Thistle Rosette at Crellin Lake
Musk Thistle Rosette at Crellin Lake

4/27/2010 From Ellen: “I have  adopted Riddle Lake this season and will continue the weed management work that the Ecology Committee started last season. This lake, located about a 1/2 mile inside Gate 1, is one of three in GVM. As for the other two, Batterson  Lake is managed by Judd and Crellin Lake by Jeff and Peggy. It  has  been a very late season in GVM, but I found signs of spring: a few Pasque Flowers at the SW end. Nearby, I located (and dug up) 100 Musk Thistle rosettes and just 1 mullein rosette. I also collected trash (not too much) along the south shore.”

New strategy for attacking Canada thistle in Crellin Meadow

Renee Popp at Crellin Meadow 8/19/09 Note lack of Canada Thistle flowers
Renee Popp at Crellin Meadow 8/19/09. Note lack of Canada Thistle flowers (click image to enlarge).

I asked GVM resident Renee Popp, what her thoughts were on controlling the noxious weed, Canada thistle (CT). As field botanist of over 30 years, both with the USDA Forest Service and as an independent contractor, Renee is an ardent supporter of noxious weed management as a way of improving habitat for our rich store of native plants. This season Renee had a break in her field schedule that allowed her to implement a plan she has been wanting to try for 10 years. On 9/1/09 she wrote:

“Many times I’ve seen the County and now GVM come spray Crellin Meadow (NW of Crellin Lake) where I live, sometimes twice per year. And every time the CT sprouts right back like nothing happened. I think that’s because the treatment is too little too late.

CT operates from an extensive underground root system. To get CT on the defensive, the roots’ reserves need to be compromised if not wholly exhausted. A 4-wheeler with a boom to apply herbicide works great on flat farmlands. However, in the case of Crellin there are trees and wetlands that prohibit a 4-wheeler from making clean sweeps with complete coverage. These obstacles result in pockets of the infestation left untreated. Any plant that is green and photosynthesizing is sending nourishment to the roots.

This year I checked out a spray canister filled with Milestone provided by the GVM office. I spot-sprayed everything that GVM’s 4-wheeler didn’t get. And when a single sprout came up, I sprayed again and again and again. I’ve been re-spraying every week to snuff out new sprouts. It’s been held down long enough now that I expect to see some difference next year.

I realize that the CT population in Crellin Meadow is most likely here to stay, but I still believe we can slow its spread and reduce its size. For this reason I emphasize finding and spraying plants at the outer boundaries as a first priority on this or any other CT infestation.

In the end I guess the message for CT is that intensity may be more important than extensivity. Strategic, complete, high frequency, and targeted hand-spraying may be the keys to reducing and even eliminating weeds vs. just living with weeds and herbiciding broadly forever.”

Batterson Greenbelt Survey June 21 2008

Info added 9/1/09 Because of the Houndstonque at Gate 10 discussion…more info will be forthcoming.

Who: Linda Bell, Chana Fuller and Ellen Heath spent 7 person-hours working at the Batterson Greenbelt, where Charlie Bell and Butters Fuller accompanied us.
Weather: Sunny, low 70s
Description: At the Batterson Greenbelt, we mapped (with a Garmin nuvi 650) and weeded nine sites, see Google Earth map below. Linda helped us identify penny cress (PC), tumble mustard (TM), flixweed (FW), kochia (KO), and hound’s tongue (HT) which were there along with the usual suspects: Canada thistle (CT), Musk thistle (MT) and Dalmatian toadflax (DT). This area was very diverse and a nice contrast to Crellin Lake in terms of overall species diversity.

Map Notes:
Site 1–In a 50 ft diameter area, we clipped and bagged PC that had gone to seed, pulled or hand weed whacked KO, FW, and TM
Sites 2,3,4,6 — These were four test areas Linda Bell had flagged (last year?) to study the effects of stripping the leaves off of DT to weaken them. The numbers on the map indicate the number of plants in each 20 foot diameter area. Linda and Chana stripped the leaves in a downward motion.
Site 5 — This 50 ft diameter site had 100s of TM that we weed whacked before giving up.
Site 7 — We identified a 100 ft diameter area of disturbed soil as a weed hotspot that should be sprayed. The site had it all: CT, MT, HT, PC, F AND it is above Judd and Linda’s property. See photo.
Sites 8, 9 — These two sites are riparian areas with CT, MT.

Linda Bell’s Notes:

On June 24, 2008 Linda Bell emailed “Thanks Ellen for your very comprehensive notes and pictures. Just wanted to follow up with my own list of invasive plants from the reference names used in Weeds of the West. Cheers. Linda

Discussed, identified, not managed:
Stinging nettles
Canada thistle
Field bindweed
Smooth scouringrush (equisetum)
Cow parnisp

Identified and managed in very limited way
Dalmatian toadflax
Common mullein
Musk thistle
Flixweed
Houndstongue
Western sticktight
Smallseed falseflax
Tumble mustard (Jim Hill)
Field pennycress
Prickly lettuce (white sap)”

Crellin Lake: Just add water!

Exciting update from Jeff:”I thought that maybe others in the community would enjoy taking a peek at the progress we have made at Crellin Lake. This beatiful spring of 2009 is really contributing to our success of rebeautifying the neighborhood. The constant trickle of runoff and natural spring waters has created a reality where once only a picture in are minds existed.

Crellin Lake is nearing capacity. We are seeing a rise in water level of about 2″/day. That, coupled with the growth and maturity of some natural and hand-sown grasses, has made for a most picturesque setting and community recreation spot.

I took a relaxing stroll around the lake this morning, June 9th, and snapped a few pictures of Crellin Lake and the immediate surroundings. Hope you enjoy the view as much as I did. Regards, Jeff Gibford

Judd’s April Workday Report

Monday, April 27, 2009 8:32 AM: “My thanks to Linda Petrie and Chana Fuller for coming out and helping seed Crellin Lake. We worked from 8:30 – 10:30 seeding the west side: first was the area near the picnic table that had not yet been seeded. Second we pulled, via racks, dead Canada thistle and made mini trenches between the existing tufts of grass, all the way to the second picnic table and a bit beyond. It was quite wet and at one point it seemed I had stepped into quick sand and would leave my boot behind. Fortunately they are quite tight to my feet and stayed with me. It was a beautiful day although a bit windy at times.

Chana’s dogs had a great time, and Oreo was a bit perplexed by all their activity. He wanted to participate, a bit, but it was all so new for him. The end of the this month will be the one year anniversary for Rusty’s passing. He would have loved playing with Chana’s dogs.”

–Judd Adams