Garfield County Issues Warnings
Garfield County Vegetation management is asking the public to be aware of strange seed packages that have popped up in mailboxes in all 50 states in recent days. The seeds are unsolicited and appear to originate from China.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has reported numerous calls from Coloradans that have received the seed packets, which are unidentified and could potentially contain invasive plants, introduce diseases to local plants or harm livestock and animals. Read more in this CDA press release.
Garfield County Vegetation Manager Steve Anthony said one resident in rural Carbondale has received a seed packet. Anthony took possession of the packet on Wednesday and is working with the CDA to determine the next steps.
“I received the packet and it does have a return address to a location in China,” Anthony said. “It has a description of being a necklace on the outside of the envelope, but inside, a small plastic packet also reads ‘carrot seeds.’ The main thing is to be very cautious with the package because we don’t know what it is yet. It’s important not to throw them out either, as it would go to the landfill and could potentially seed in the ground there.”
He reiterated not to plant the seeds, but also not to throw them away and to contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Anthony added that anyone with questions can also contact Vegetation Management at (970) 945-1377, ext. 4305.
A resident in rural Silt also received a packet of seeds and turned them over to the Colorado State Extension Office in Rifle. The CDA is asking anyone who receives the seeds not to open the packets and to call 303-869-9081 or visit email@example.com.
The CDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDAs) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) have established a protocol to address the reporting of unsolicited seeds received from China. The agencies ask that you do not destroy the seeds or packaging, place the materials into an air-tight sealed bag; and call 303-869-9081 and leave your phone number and email address. A CDA or PPQ employee will then coordinate with you and gather information about the shipment of unsolicited seeds.