2019 Goathead Battle is Starting-Warriors Needed!

Goathead thorns are nasty buggers.

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

A larger infestation zone of goatheads.

With rain + warmer June temperatures the first goathead sprouts are starting to emerge. Left unchecked a 2” diameter sprout can grow to 12+ feet in diameter. Worse, the plant can produce thousands of thorns that pop bicycle tires, stick to pet paws and shoes bottoms and generally spread through your neighborhood.

The immediate goal of the Goathead Warriors initiative is to eliminate the plants while still small and before they dropped any seeds. Warriors scout a section of the Loop Trail, their street and/or neighborhood once every three weeks with a shovel, goathead gloves and 3 mil garbage bags. See a plant? A shovel blade cutting the tap root kills it instantly. Putting the plant in a 3 mil garbage bag removes the seeds to prevent flat tires and re-sprouting next year.

The Wenatchee region goathead interactive infestation map.

The long term goal is to reduce infestation levels on the riverfront trail, on each street and in each neighborhood to zero. Because goathead seeds can survive 5+ years in the ground, winning requires commitment and discipline.

Starting our fourth season on the riverfront trail, the Warriors are winning. Through most of last summer it was hard to find a live goathead plant adjacent to the trail. In some “hotspots” it is still a battle. And still viable seeds from previous years require scouting the entire trail system every three weeks. If you’d like to volunteer on the riverfront, we need Warriors!

June starts our 3rd season battling goatheads in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee neighborhoods. Our goathead interactive map divides Wenatchee into 25 neighborhoods.

Our goal is to have a volunteer Warrior scout each neighborhood once every three weeks. It is a great way to see interesting houses and meet fun neighbors. Watching kids bicycle in their neighborhood after you clear it is a good feeling. The same with dogs being taken for a walk.

In 2017 and 2018 we made impressive progress reducing infestation levels in every Wenatchee and some East Wenatchee neighborhoods. Three priority targets include neighborhoods around schools, lower income neighborhoods with high infestation levels and bike lanes.

All Warriors are issued three standard weapons: a new goathead shovel, goathead gloves and 3 mil garbage bags. Warriors who scout 10+ hours earn a cool cammo Goathead Warriors baseball cap!

Please email goatheadwarriors@gmail.com or contact us via the website if you are interested in volunteering for your street, block or neighborhood. You can help on a spot basis or cover an area for the entire summer. Church groups, bicycle clubs, etc. can also volunteer on a spot or full summer basis.

We can win this battle… street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood.  We cannot win it without your help.


Doug Pauly & Mike Sorenson

Goathead Warriors Coordinators

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2 Responses

  1. Kent Sokolowski

    That might be wishful thinking on the Rocky Reach trail. I’ve hacked away and sprayed thousands of them August to October and saw little evidence of anything else getting done.


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