Cache County 2020
Since 2014, the Cache County Vegetation Management crew has involved elementary school students in biocontrol projects at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (HRWMA). The students learn about noxious weeds, how to release biocontrol agents and monitor sites of previous releases. The students, from Logan School District and USU’s Edith Bowen Elementary, lend valuable assistance to the program, while gaining an interest in noxious weed management and biocontrol. The project is under the direction of Jake Forsgren, Cache County Vegetation Manager and Amber Mendenhall, Utah Weed Supervisors Association Biocontrol Coordinator.
Cache County’s school biocontrol program expanded this year to include five field days, two noxious weeds and four biocontrol agents. The county was unable to host as many different groups of students due to COVID-19 risk. However, several small groups of students visited Hardware Ranch. All education groups were able to follow state and local COVID-19 guidelines including groups of under 20 wearing masks and being socially distanced outdoors.
Mendenhall taught students about the use of biocontrol and its effect on noxious weeds. They discussed the impact of noxious weeds on the Wildlife Management Area. Students were encouraged to discuss ideas to control invasive weeds. Following the discussion, students helped to monitor ongoing biocontrol sites to look for evidence of biocontrol insects. Participants also took data on vegetation cover to determine the impact of biocontrol agents.
The Cache County Weed Department helped to conduct biocontrol releases and monitoring when students were unable to participate. Cache County was especially helpful in stepping up to assist with this program on several days throughout the year.(more…)
Weber County and Cache County, May 2021
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.(more…)
Project Name: Russian Olive/Tamarisk Control & Removal project
Applicant: Piute Conservation District
Project Start Date: July 1, 2019
|Grant #1: $40,000.00||$50,000.00-Piute County||$90,000.00|
|Grant #2: $40,000.00||$50,000.00-Sevier County||$90,000.00|
A Strategic Funding Proposal through the Natural Resource Conservation Service was applied for and received for both Piute and Sevier Conservation District areas in the amount of $50,000.00 a year for 3 years for each area.
Areas Treated (listed by initial due to federal requirement of section 1619 privacy act; which prohibits the use of names)
Both the Piute and Sevier Conservation Districts have the removal of Russian olive and Tamarisk as a high priority in their long-range plans and resource assessments; and both conservation districts have been instrumental in working with the local landowners in education about the programs available. USU Extension agents in both counties have been a valuable resource in helping to find landowners who wanted to work with this program and as a result, we have a long list. And the conservation districts have made this a priority to continue to apply for as many grants as they can to keep the funding and projects continuing. Both County Commissions have also declared it as a noxious weed for their counties.
Most of the treatments were done by the cut stump method where the trees were cut and then immediately treated with herbicide. One landowner that started their project with NRCS decided to have their Russian olive masticated and then sprayed. This is a new method for us, so we will be doing follow-up monitoring on this project extensively. All treatments will be monitored for re-growth. For the treatments that were cut, the trees were put into piles to dry out for 2 years and then they will be burnt.
ISM Monitoring 2018-2020 Year 3
The Summit County Sage-grouse project has the overall goal of improving habitat for sage-grouse and is funded by the Forest Service. One of the ways this project is improving habitat is by controlling noxious weeds in the Sagegrouse Management Area. The Summit County Weed Department has been working closely with both the Forest Service and private land owners to control noxious weeds, and they asked the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, to assist in monitoring the changes in the noxious weeds at three sites.(more…)
ISM Monitoring EDRR 2020 Year 1
Malta star-thistle (Centaurea melitensis) is a high priority, Class 1A Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) species.1 For EDRR species, it is the goal of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), to map, monitor, treat, and eradicate the infestation as quickly as possible. In 2003, two EddMapS points were uploaded near Motoqua showing infestations of Malta star-thistle. In 2018, the UDAF asked Washington County to re-verify these points. The plants were difficult to find, and were not verified at that time. On April 9, 2020, Brad Winder, the Washington County Weed Supervisor, found about 6-7 acres of plants near La Verkin that he thought could either be yellow star-thistle or Malta star-thistle. He marked the points in EddMapS and reported it to the Utah Weed Supervisor’s Association and UDAF. On April 28, 2020, Corey Ransom, Associate Professor of Weed Science at Utah State University, went out to the site and confirmed that the plant was Malta star-thistle. After the plant was identified, a group effort was made to contain this species. Washington County worked with the Utah Weed Supervisor’s Association and USU Extension to get funding to begin treatment at La Verkin. Several agencies and volunteer groups helped apply for grants, identify and locate more plant populations, and treatment. UDAF helped facilitate the identification of the plant, assisted in the grant application process, and mapped and monitored the sites on June 9-12 as part of its EDRR monitoring protocol. This report is a summary of the first year of monitoring prior to treatment.(more…)
In the summer season of 2019, the Invasive Species Mitigation grant from Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) provided for the treatment of approximately 1,495 acres of knapweed, Canada thistle, musk thistle, and dyer’s woad infested forests and rangelands. The project spanned four large private ownerships as well as small amounts of USFS lands that total more than 16,000 acres. Approximately 35 miles of unimproved roads and trails across all ownerships were monitored and treated for weed infestations. Numerous new or undiscovered weed infestations were identified and treated during this project, which originally targeted only 195 acres of known weeds. (See Graphic A) (more…)
The EDRR Weed Control project in Summit County is funded through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Invasive Species Mitigation Fund, and partner matching funds. The project is focused on the Class 1B state noxious weed, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolate) and the Class 2 state noxious weed, spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe (C. maculosa)). In April of 2019, Park City Municipal Corporation, and the Summit County CWMA were awarded $200,000 for the treatment of Garlic mustard and spotted knapweed during the 2019-2020 fiscal year with Park City Municipal Corporation as the fiscal agent. (more…)