TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A road maintenance official is pushing back against suggestions that the Kansas Department of Transportation is to blame for an invasion of a plant threatening native grasses.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that KDOT’s potential role in spreading bluestem grass is a point of contention as the state Department of Agriculture contemplates quarantining invasive varieties now in 103 of 105 of the state’s counties.
Ranchers and others attending a Department of Agriculture comment session last month on a possible quarantine said KDOT’s mowing regimen carried seed for invasive grasses to new roads.
KDOT maintenance chief Clay Adams said the agency includes bluestem varieties in seeding mixtures applied beside highways but not the invasive varieties targeted by the Department of Agriculture. KDOT mows from April to October to improve visibility for motorists.