Ask Joe: Did someone dye Reno hillside green?


Most of the hillsides around town are pretty dry right now, but some have taken on a new color. That's the topic of our Ask Joe segment.

One of our viewers says he's noticed some of hills out by Mogul and Verdi have turned a shade of green. He wants to know what's causing it and whether its something the public should be concerned about.

Here's what I found out:

Our viewer sent us a couple of photos, which show that the hills have definitely taken on a shade of green. This is out by Mogul and Canepa Ranch Road.

So what's going on? I checked with the U.S. Forest Service, and their spokeswoman Erica Hupp tells me this area has been treated with a herbicide called Plateau to get rid of a noxious weed known as medusahead.

Hupp said they treated less than 10 acres of national forest land.

I checked with the EPA's website, which states Plateau is considered to have low toxicity. The Forest Service also says it has been determined to be safe for people and wildlife.

It is a very popular herbicide, and the manufacturer says it is effective because the plant leaves absorb it very well.

Hupp says the area was treated with five ounces of Plateau per acre. She says they will be treating more areas this fall based on where the weed problems crop up. Also, the Department of Agriculture requires property owners to treat noxious weeds on their land.

Don't be surprised if you see a few more hillsides turning green in the weeks ahead. It is all part of the effort to wipe out some of those stubborn weeds that can spread fast if they are not controlled.

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