Sights set on arundo

City Council moves forward with grant to eradicate invasive plant

The Chico City Council discussed how to eradicate a potentially hazardous invasive plant from Little Chico Creek and other tributaries during its meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 21).

Councilman Randall Stone has been adamant about addressing the fire danger presented by arundo, an invasive species that grows thick along Chico’s creek beds and, in some cases, into homeowners’ backyards. Mark Stemen (pictured), chairman of the Butte Environmental Council and member of the city’s Sustainability Task Force, said a recent survey of Little Chico Creek found “74 distinct infestations, some 320 feet long.”

Interim Fire Chief Shane Lauderdale estimated that removing the most hazardous patches of arundo would cost $20,000 to $50,000, while eradicating the weed entirely—a three- to five-year process—could cost up to $500,000.

On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to allocate $1,500 to BEC to write a grant to secure funding from the state Department of Water Resources and other agencies to eradicate the plant.