from the Editor
The first time I became aware of invasive weeds was in the 1980s, researching a cover story for Sunset magazine on potential new wilderness in the West. I'd exclaimed about beautiful wildflowers,” yellow, and in bloom, when a Nevada Bureau of Land Management ranger set me straight. Not beautiful. A sign of lost grazing lands for cattle.
Now every time I see
wildflowers I can't identify, I wonder if they're supposed to be there. Treasures,
or bad guys?
The topic surfaced again in a major way
as we began researching Idaho's invasive species for this issue. I'll never again
pass Payette Lake without looking for signs of Eurasian watermilfoil. I'll be
more vigilant about what's on my gear when I leave a fishing stream.
New Zealand mudsnails can roll up, live in a dab of mud on my boot, and survive weeks until I step into another stream. Or it can survive a ride through the entire digestive track of a trout!
Enough material surfaced to write a book. Our stories start on page 10.
Special thanks to two recent UI graduates for our artwork. As designer Shane
Jackson and I debated ways of illustrating this story, she thought of
Noah Kroese '05 whose illustrations convey with humor
the scope of Idaho's challenge.
Thanks, too, Noah, for permission to show your extra illustrations on our award-winning online version of this magazine.
As we agonized over a cover photo, Bill Loftus found a disc of
beautiful close-ups of 'good' insects whose heroics include nearly
wiping out purple loosestrife in Idaho. Thanks to UI entomology student Laura
Parsons '06, and her professor Mark Schwarzlaender for
documenting these insects at work.
Don't miss meeting
Maynard Fosberg, Idaho's monolith king. Diane Noel shares
how to read a soil monolith. Also, meet Amy Torguson UI microbiology
graduate student who joined the Army ROTC and has already led an all-male platoon
for a year in central Iraq.
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Ann Reese, Editor