Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sounds the alarm on giant hogweed.
Schumer was in Wyoming County on Friday to call on the Department of Agriculture to do more research on how to get rid of giant hogweed. According to the DEC, Western New York is quickly becoming a hot bed for the plant.
“It’s very common here in Wyoming County and Western New York and the Rochester Finger Lakes,” Schumer said.
Giant hogweed typically grow between 7 and 14 feet tall. Touching sap from the plant can cause blistering burns and blindness if it gets in your eyes.
“We need to do a lot more about this. We can’t just shrug our shoulders and well that’s what happens,” Schumer said.
Hogweed is so aggressive it keeps growing back after you cut it. According to the DEC, there are 196 active hogweed sites in Erie County.
“So you need to know all about how it works, how it grows, and the best ways to combat it and that’s what I’m asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do today,” Schumer said.