Garbage is a threat to Oregon’s beauty, but invasive weeds are worse. They damage the health of ecosystems. Now, thanks to a recently-passed Oregon law, you get the same credit under the Adopt-A-Highway program whether it’s garbage or weeds you remove.
This article from the Bend Bulletin, published back in January, tells the tale of Brenda Pace, 65, a Bend, Ore. resident who has, for the last few years, been part of a volunteer group that removed spotted knapweed, a dangerous invasive, from along a roadside near Bend. Her group felt it could handle both pulling the weeds and picking up litter, no problem. However, the weeds were a lot more work than the litter, and Pace worried that some groups might be discouraged by having to take on both.
After thinking this over, she called her local legislator, Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver). He filed a bill, and to make a long story short, it passed. On June 25, Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed it, so it’s official: weed warriors are on equal ground with trash troopers. Certainly that’s good news for an industry committed to fighting invasive plants. It’s one more weapon that’s available.