Weston • Platte County • Missouri
Beth McPherson, Editor

  Opinion and Local

Below is an excerpt from Beth's editorial from this week.  The entire editorial may be found in this week's print copy of the Weston Chronicle or online here.

On Page 5, you’ll see a list of the top 25 most invasive plants in Missouri. The list has just been released so that when you’re planting something, you can take this into account. We actually have several of these growing in our yard, and they’re coming out as soon as we can get it done.
These are just the top 25. There are actually 142 species that have been identified as invasive.  Some of them are in lots of yards. The problem is that they escape cultivation and spread to fields and forests, becoming pests and crowding out native plants.
The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) points out that nurseries still sell invasive species, so be aware when you start eyeing that Bradford Pear, Burning Bush or Autumn Olive. Being in the nursery does not mean it’s good for the environment. They are causing real harm for farmers, foresters and our public grounds in parks and wilderness areas.
There are native and non-native species that can stand in for the invasives. The MoIP and  Grow Native websites can help you make different choices. And don’t forget there’s a wealth of knowledge in the library!

And here’s a story that also has a part close to home. The Iatan Power Plant’s Smokestack has been home to Peregrine Falcons for years.
MDC offers free virtual program on peregrine falcon recovery March 16
Learn about falcons and how conservation returned them to the state
Peregrine falcons have returned to Missouri skies thanks to a recovery program based in cities and at power plants. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free virtual program on falcons and their recovery from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16.
Missouri’s falcon recovery program recently led to a proposal to remove peregrines from the state endangered species list. Although, they will remain a species of conservation concern. The raptor’s population was ravaged in the 1900s by the pesticide DDT and habitat loss. 
A multi-state, decades-long recovery program has returned them to Midwestern cities as a nesting bird. Nest boxes placed on skyscraper ledges and power plant smokestacks have attracted nesting pairs. Some falcons hatched and fledged in Missouri have returned with partners to start nests.
Though falcon numbers remain limited, they are slowly increasing. Biologists have banded young falcons hatched in the nests boxes and monitored their movements. 
The building ledges have mimicked their traditional nesting sites on high bluffs. Birds such as pigeons have provided a food source. 
Falcon recovery, however, would not have been possible without the cooperation and partnerships private businesses have provided.
“This virtual program will look at the peregrine falcon’s road to recovery and their future,” said Stacey Davis, manager at MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City. The program is open to participants age 16 and older.
Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZRQ. To learn more about peregrine falcons, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZqA.