Cheat Pull Day: Cheatgrass Volunteer Event

Kick Grass, Do Good on Colorado Public Lands Day: May 18th, 2019

Green, fuzzy grass springs to life each year as snow melts in the City of Gunnison. Though it appears harmless at first, this plant is cheatgrass, an invasive that threatens to undermine the ecosystems, economy and quality of life of the Gunnison Valley. Cheatgrass has invaded vast swaths of the Western U.S., but for decades the Gunnison Valley's cold climate prevented the grass from taking hold. Unfortunately, that is no longer true, and cheatgrass has taken over hundreds of acres in the Gunnison Valley. The infestation in the City of Gunnison is especially severe, with roadsides, yards and vacant land brimming with the plant and its easy-to-spread seeds. Cheatgrass spreads outward from the city onto ranches and public lands. Wherever it goes, native plants and wildlife suffer as it outcompetes native forage. Its seeds readily embed into the mouths and paws of dogs. Worst of all, it greatly increases wildfire danger and poses an existential threat to the Gunnison sage-grouse.

The Center for Public Lands, in collaboration with more than a dozen public land agencies and conservation non-profits, invites Gunnison Valley residents to combat the threat of cheatgrass through a day of action in the City of Gunnison on May 18. Volunteers will pull cheatgrass throughout the city, reseed native plants to outcompete cheatgrass, and celebrate the only thing that gives us a chance against this invader--community members willing to fight for the lands they love.

Join us for the first annual “Cheat Pull Day” event on May 18. Meet at Legion Park at 9 am. Enjoy free food, beverages and a chance to earn prizes for pulling the most cheatgrass. Let's kick grass!

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Cheatgrass threatens the imperiled Gunnison Sage-Grouse. The Gunnison Valley is home to the largest remaining population of this species, however only a few hundred breeding pairs remain.

Cheatgrass threatens the imperiled Gunnison Sage-Grouse. The Gunnison Valley is home to the largest remaining population of this species, however only a few hundred breeding pairs remain.