Before And After

Harris Butte, left, with the invasive gorse and Harris Butte on the right following the removal project.

An invasive plant-removal project at Harris Beach, northwest of Brookings, has been completed.

Oregon State Park officials have reopened the park’s popular day-use area.

The gorse is an invasive plant that displaces native plants and wildlife habitat, and is highly flammable.

The estimated $40,000 eradication project was centered at Harris Butte, adjacent to the Harris Beach day use area at the start park.

The removal began on Sept. 30 and was completed on Oct. 10, according to Harris Beach State park manager Dani Padilla. “We estimate that 20 cubic yards of the gorse has been removed,” she said.

During the project, the day use area had been closed during the week but open during the weekend. The project was similar to one conducted at Rainbow Rock on the east side of U.S. Highway 101 near Harris Beach.

The Pilot illustrated the U.S. Highway 101 project in an article published Aug. 21, showing crews from Triptych Construction LLC of Glide rappelling down the east side of Rainbow Rock to remove the gorse.

Padilla said more attention must now be conducted at Harris Butte to make certain the gorse doesn’t reappear.

“So it’s not over yet,” she said. “Now we have to closely maintain the area year after year, which will include planting and encouraging native shrubbery. Anytime you remove an invasive plant, you have to make sure it doesn’t come back.”

In the Pilot’s Aug. 21 article about the gorse, Oregon State Parks natural resource specialist Sherri Laier said gorse had been brought to the region in the 1800s from Ireland with its epicenter in Bandon. “It has since spread all the way down into California and up into Washington,” Laier said.

“It is a prolific seed producer, with the seeds lasting for 30 years or more.”

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