Weed and Pest Presentation
By Lori Newman as published in Basin Republican Rustler
Pictures courtesy of Susan Legg
Pictures courtesy of Susan Legg
Getting rid of noxious weeds doesn't have to cost landowners a bunch of money. According to Ruth Richards, supervisor for the Big Horn County Weed and Pest District, people can be reimbursed for 80 percent of the costs of labor and chemicals if they will make an honest effort to wipe out whitetop and Russian knapweed on their properties. Other varieties qualify at different cost-share rates.
At an educational supper meeting October 10 in Hyattville, Richards provided the community with information about which weeds qualify for 100-percent, 80-percent or 50-percent cost sharing, and what
control methods are recommended for each type, according to Kris Robertson, a member of the board of directors for the county's W&P program.
"She put together a very nice display, answered questions and gave us lots of good information," Robertson said.
The board has determined that whitetop and Russian knapweed infestations are severe enough to require a special management program. Through this program, Richards explained, landowners are eligible for the 80-percent level of cost sharing on these particularly hard-to-kill weeds.
Canada thistle, Robertson said, "is probably the most widely distributed noxious weed in Big Horn County. While eradication of this weed is impossible, the District is involved in helping landowners manage this weed on their property."
In addition, she noted, "A 50-percent, non-crop cost share is available for pastures, range land, ditches, and waste areas."
Numerous varieties of noxious weeds have the W&P district so concerned that 100-percent cost-sharing plans are being offered to landowners who agree to fight them off.
That means, Richards said, that the district will furnish all the labor and materials necessary to eradicate--or at least control the spread of--the following varieties of noxious weeds: black henbane, leafy spurge, Scottish-Scotch thistle, common curpina, meadow knapweed, spotted knapweed, common tansy, mush thistle, squarrose kanpweed, Dalmation toadflax, orange haskweed, St. Johnswort, diffuse knapweed, oxeye daisy, sulfur cinquefoil, distaff thistle, perennial pepperweed, Syrian beancaper, dyer's woad, plumeless thistle, tansy ragwort, goatsrue, purple loosestrife, teasel gorse, purple starthistle, yellow hawkwee, housdstounge, rush skeletonweed, yellow starthistle, Iberian starthistle, scentless chamomile, yellow toadflax, Italian thistle and Scottish or Scotch broom.
If necessary, she said, she can find ways of assisting landowners in eradicating a noxious weed before it becomes a much larger problem in the area.
"Remember, most of our noxious weeds were introduced either as seed contaminatns or intentionally as ornamental plants. If we can identify new infestations quickly, we can initiate rapid response and control techniques to keep these new weeds out of the county, resulting in a savings of millions of dollars in future control costs as well as protecting our native ecosystems and their natural beauty for future generations to enjoy," Richards said.