The US Forest Service Forest Health Protection (FHP) Ogden Field Office hired two new entomologists and a new pathologist in the past year. On May 11, Amber Mendenhall, UWSA Biocontrol Coordinator, and Carol Randall, USFS FHP biocontrol specialist, traveled to Ogden to meet their newest colleagues and introduce them to biocontrol in Utah. Amber and Carol trained the new entomologists and pathologist in the use of classical weed biocontrol. Over the course of two days, the group toured biocontrol sites through Cache and Weber Counties. They were able to meet with Aaron Eagar, Utah Department of Agriculture, four county weed supervisors, experts from Utah State University and land managers from the area. The individuals discussed management plans for various properties and the integration of biocontrol into integrated weed management strategies for several noxious weeds.
Day 1: Biocontrol discussion and field site visits
On Tuesday morning the group met at the FHP Ogden Field Office for introductions followed by an online seminar about toadflax biocontrol agents. Amber and Carol followed that with a discussion of biocontrol projects in Utah. In the afternoon, they met Emily Steffes of the Ogden Nature Center to tour the yellow starthistle biocontrol insectary. (See on left.) Carol conducted SIMP monitoring training for biocontrol and Amber discussed yellow starthistle biocontrol.
Amber then took field tour attendees to Pineview Reservoir in Weber County. They found Canada thistle rust established along the trail. Maria Newcomb, the USFS pathologist, will be able to use this site as a research area. The group walked along Pineview Reservoir to find the purple loosestrife infestation and check for biocontrol agents. Although the plants were very small, they still recovered three defoliating beetles (Galerucella spp.) that had emerged early.
Day 2: Noxious Weed Management and Biocontrol Integration
On May 12, the tour group met with local noxious weed professionals who welcomed the new FHP Ogden Field Office staff. We gathered at Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area where Jake Forsgren, Cache County Weed Department, discussed 15 years of management on spotted knapweed and Canada thistle. Jake showed them many hillsides where weeds have been successfully controlled using herbicide and biocontrol. They also met with Caitlin Henderson who discussed her graduate project on the use of Canada thistle rust in Utah.
The next stop was at a site where medusahead had been treated at Coldwater Ranch. Corey Ransom, the weed scientist from USU, discussed new herbicides, residual and modes of action. The tour group traveled from there to a dyer’s woad biocontrol site at Coldwater Ranch. Justin Stubbs, the resource manager for Coldwater Ranch, helped Amber Mendenhall conduct a release of the dyer’s woad biocontrol. Justin and Amber inoculated 100 rosettes with 100 grams Puccinia thlaspeosis, the dyer’s woad rust fungus.
The final stop for the tour included a discussion among the Utah Weed Supervisors, the Utah Department of Agriculture and the FHP Ogden Field Office. They talked about possible projects for collaboration and found ways that they can help each other to better conduct their duties.
Those in attendance included:
Carol Randall, USFS FHP Entomologist and Pesticide Coordinator Amber Mendenhall, UWSA Biocontrol Coordinator Kevin Carlin, USFS FHP OFO Group Leader Dan Ott, USFS OFO Entomologist Ryan Davis, USFS OFO Entomologist Maria Newcomb, USFS OFO Pathologist Emily Steffes, Ogden Nature Center Intern Aaron Eagar, Utah Department of Agriculture Jerry Caldwell, Utah Weed Supervisor’s Association President Kevin Bailey, Utah Weed Supervisor’s Association Secretary Dave Bingham, Summit County Weed Supervisor Jake Forsgren, Cache County Weed Supervisor Corey Ransom, USU Weed Scientist Caitlin Henderson, USU Graduate Student, Canada Thistle Study Justin Stubbs, Coldwater Ranch Resource Manager Andrew Stubbs, Coldwater Ranch Noxious Weed Sprayer
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