I applaud Francis McGuckin's challenge to Sunshine Coast neighbourhoods to tackle the invasive Scotch broom within their reach (Coast Reporter, letters, May 25).
According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, “Scotch broom costs the state of Oregon more than $40,000,000 per year, in lost forest production due to delays in reestablishing trees in clear-cuts. Broom is also effective at displacing native vegetation in meadows, riparian areas and floodplains...where it not only displaces native species, reduces biodiversity and forage but also alters the fundamental nature of habitat by converting it from open systems to dense shrub lands."
We can see it at work on the gravel pit bluffs, under the Hydro lines, along the verges of Highway 101 and in clear-cut lots. It may look pretty in bloom for about two weeks but its roots put ammonium into the soil to stunt the root development of other plants. Its the killer bees of the plant world, folks.
Cut it off at ground level and give our native species a chance.
Mary Beth Knechtel
Broom Busters of Halfmoon Bay