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CHICO — Former Bidwell Park and Playground commissioner Dave Wood is looking for a few good haulers.

Wood, who has been a strike force against starthistle in upper Bidwell Park, is working to gather volunteers to help with starthistle eradication.

He and a group of volunteers — mostly mountain-bikers — worked for a year to clear Upper Trail and Middle Trail from Horseshoe Lake to the power lines.

“I”d like this to be an ongoing program, and expand it.”

Volunteers are hard to come by, not because they”re not passionate about the cause, but because they often are busy with other volunteer projects, he said.

A city-approved spray is planned at 8 a.m. June 18 in upper park. Volunteers will meet at the parking lot just past the Chico Rod and Gun Club building.

Wood noted that the city-approved chemical applicator, Mike Thiede, is volunteering his time too.

Volunteers are needed to carry water up to spray points, hauling about 24 pounds. He also has been using volunteers stationed at points along the subject trails to warn park users.

The applicator mixes and sprays the chemical Milestone.

“This new chemical can be grazed within five minutes of drying. It”s got very little impact on park users. People were familiar with the old stuff that had a bad name.”

Wood said he was disappointed by how much starthistle returned from the first go-around, but this year”s crop along the trail shows a decline.

“Invasives were a big deal for me on the commission, and now off,” he said.

Volunteers who would like to help with the eradication or who have questions can call volunteer coordinator Lise Smith-Peters at 896-7800.

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