Goathead Warriors

July 8 Battlefront Report!

The Riverfront Trail:  Warriors Are Winning

On our riverfront trail system it is becoming hard to spot a live goathead plant. While old seeds in the ground continue to sprout, flat tires from new thorns are next-to-nothing. This is huge progress from the infestation levels three years ago.

Goathead thorns. These pods have hundreds of seeds in them. Each thorn can puncture a shoe, stroller tire, and get stuck in dogs paws.

Veteran Warriors (Hugh, TJ, David, Mike, Steve, Dave, Cherie, Michael, Charlie, Doug, etc.) are on the attack for the third season. Their previous diligence is paying off big time for every bicyclist and every dog on the trail. In a nutshell, we are winning.

Last week David, Mike and Steve were among Warriors who counter-attacked an outbreak on the north end of the Rocky Reach Trail. A tough team on a tough challenge.

Maintenance crews from Eastmont Parks, State Parks, Chelan County PUD and the City of Wenatchee continue to do a superb job helping on their sections of the trail. Aaron Johnson leads the Eastmont Park’s team and Dennis Lotts is on point for State Parks. The PUD’s goathead control program is stellar. Close team work and coordination between Warriors and government crews is essential to our long term goal: converting the entire trail system to a goathead-free-zone.

We are still fighting riverfront “hot spots,” including on the Rocky Reach Trail and the Fred Meyer/Wenatchee Valley Mall spur trails. The RRT needs at least one more Warrior.  If you can lend a hand on the riverfront, please contact Mike Sorenson.

In Wenatchee:  Intense Battle – Street Fighters Needed!

The City of Wenatchee is a street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood battle. Warrior volunteers are making step-by-step progress reducing infestations in high infestation neighborhoods more than 80%. In some low infestation neighborhoods flat tires from new thorns are approaching zero. We are winning in some neighborhoods… and fighting in all of them.

The flowering goathead plant. Small yellow flowers, shiny waxy leaves. Low growing.

Priority #1 is schools. Wenatchee School District maintenance teams committed to keep all school grounds goathead free. They are doing a great job. Warriors are clearing neighborhoods around the schools. The goal is all students can ride bikes to and from school without any flat tires.

Priority #2 is low income neighborhoods. They usually have high infestation levels and a high concentration of kids. If we beat the goatheads here, we can win anywhere. Winning these neighborhoods requires a tough Warrior to patrol every 2-3 weeks.

Priority #3 is bicycle lanes. Should Wenatchee’s multi-million dollar bicycle lane network give bicycles flat tires?

We have some strong veterans (Manuel, Manuel Jr., Tracy, Geraldine, Katie, Miguel, Roy, Bob, Sarah, Doug, etc.) back but many streets and neighborhoods are still not covered. If you can lend a hand, or know someone who might be interested, please contact Doug Pauly. You can help for a few hours or perhaps cover your neighborhood or a bike lane for the summer.

City of Wenatchee GIS mapping specialist Ron Hall just created a “wow” new digital layer that allows us to map each goathead infestation. Zooming out shows infestation patterns neighborhood by neighborhood. Zooming in shows the individual property and with a click the owner, infestation history and any attached digital photos. Ron is still finalizing the map but for GW strategic planning and battlefield execution, it will be a game changer.

Chris Brown, the City of Wenatchee’s goathead intern, is doing a stellar job patrolling streets each morning. He is adding leadership and initiative to the effort. The City’s herbicide specialist Todd

A larger infestation zone of goatheads.

Davis is providing huge help covering the alleys. Community Planner Brooklyn Holton is contributing invaluable support and coordination.

Another new GW strategy this season: When a property owner is making no effort to control a bad infestation, we will send the address to the Chelan County Weed Board. County and city regulations require all property owners to control goatheads as a Class B noxious weed. The Weed Board has enforcement authority.

East Wenatchee: 

The City of East Wenatchee is on board with direction from Josh Toftness, Street director. He received 10 shovels and a dozen pairs of gloves to provide to those landowners that need the tools to rid their property of these stubborn plants. Josh worked with the Goat Head Warriors last year and is on board again this year. The Eastmont school district led a full assault on all plants on their playing fields and landscaping, and removed four truck loads of plants. Definitely an event for celebration!

Doug Pauly (left) and Mike Sorenson (right) unloading shovels for the Goathead Warriors.

Doug Pauly was invited to give a short presentation on our GW strategy to the Rock Island City Council.  Other communities are paying attention to our progress…

July – August Surge 

In hot July – August weather goathead plants will surge. Thanks to every Warrior for your key help this fight. Step-by-step we are moving forward toward Goathead Free Zones!

Doug Pauly                                       Mike Sorensen

509 393-8887                                   509 421-0847

Dougpauly@gmail.com                  Elemsoren@gmail.com


The Goathead Warriors are a part of WenatcheeOutdoors.org. The Goathead Warriors (WenatcheeOutdoors.org) is a non-profit organization 501(c)3 located in Wenatchee, WA. If you have interest in donating to the cause, please click here

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