Your article on Chino Hills being alive with colorful blooms does not address the real problem of the mustard plant which is overtaking our hills. I drove down Carbon Canyon this morning, and the hills seemed to be covered with lovely yellow blooms. Unfortunately, these mustard plants are highly invasive and secrete a chemical that does not allow other species to germinate. When they die, they leave tall, dead stalks in their wake, which is a fire hazard. They are nearly impossible to eliminate as they spread quickly and produce many seeds.
What is worrisome is the thought of our hills being overtaken by this weed while native species are forced out. It is a difficult problem with no real solution.
Debbie Cassettari, Chino Hills
(Editor’s note—The mustard weed invaded Chino Valley a century ago. Champion editor Bob Frady reported on it back in the thirties. Twenty years ago the fire department teamed up with State Parks and the Department of Forestry Prado Conservation Camp to burn 40 acres in Chino Hills State Park in hopes of eliminating this exotic plant that came here from Europe and proliferates on other continents, in order to bring back native poppies and purple owl clover. The fact that there are so many poppies this year is a tribute to the endurance of poppy seeds in times past, plus efforts of people to keep spreading them. As the writer says, there is no real solution for getting rid of the mustard, which drives farmers and conservationists crazy.)