Re: “Armed with shears as weapons, volunteers battle invasive plants in a King County park” [Feb. 21, Environment]:
Hats off to forest stewards taking the single most important step to keep English ivy out of regional forests. Cutting ivy survival rings on trees reduces its seed production.
Neighboring seed sources need to be controlled at the same time, much like widespread mask wearing. Otherwise, ivy “seed rain” spreads by bird, re-infesting the work of volunteers and eventually spreading regionwide, impoverishing diverse habitat.
Air pollution raises other issues for soil health and storm-water pollution. Air pollution is deposited and sequestered in healthy soil. However, removing ivy by hand can disturb soil and release toxins in Puget Sound via rain runoff. Storm water is the No. 1 polluter of Puget Sound and is problematic when it bioaccumulates in salmon, orcas and people who eat salmon.
Mulching bare soil with wood chips can do wonders for water quality, but beware respiratory issues from spore-laden wood chips. Wear an N95 mask so you don’t compound COVID-19 concerns.
Steve Richmond, Seattle