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Gorse (Ulex europeaus) is an Oregon State Class B Noxious weed found in abundance on the southern Oregon coast. Gorse was intentionally introduced into the southern Oregon coast in the late 1800s and is now rated one of the top 100 worst invasive species worldwide (World Conservation Union), and the #1 most invasive species on the south coast of Oregon (Oregon State Parks). The presence of gorse has negatively impacted the regional economy and, due to its flammable nature, has created a serious public safety concern. In 1936, gorse played a key role in the complete burning of the town of Bandon, OR (Oregon Historical Society).

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Controlling gorse requires a collaborative, long-term effort to combine knowledge and resources. The Gorse Action Group (GAG) is a collaborative group of representatives from federal, state, and county agencies and nonprofit organizations seeking to work together to assess the extent of gorse and create a strategic plan for control on the southern Oregon coast. Initially a subgroup of the Curry Wildfire Preparation Team and funded by the BLM and National Fire Plan, it soon became apparent that the GAG should branch out to become its own focused initiative. The GAG is a great example of diverse groups pooling resources and working toward a common solution. The mission of the GAG is to:

  • Restore natural and ecological values to the land
  • Increase economic and recreational values in the region
  • Increase public safety by reducing wildfire risk

In December 2016, Governor Kate Brown designated the mitigation and removal of gorse populations as an Oregon Solutions project!  Oregon State Representative Caddy McKeown and WRCA’s Executive Director Jim Seeley were appointed as co-conveners to lead the region to find solutions for the highly flammable and invasive gorse plant in the Southern Oregon Coast region.  There are many stakeholders involved in the project group sub-committees which meet regularly to discuss the strategies for action in controlling gorse in the region.

For more information on the Oregon Solutions Project please go to:

http://orsolutions.org/osproject/southern-oregon-gorse-project

For more information on the Gorse Action Group please visit their website here:

http://gorseactiongroup.org/

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Below is the presentation on the Gorse Action Group which was given to the Coos County Commissioners July 2017. To navigate through the PowerPoint simply use the scroll wheel on your mouse or click the first page and use the down arrow key.