Noxious Weeds

The Conservation District works in multiple arenas pertaining to noxious weed control.  

The District has helped sponsor a Dearborn River Watershed Spray Day to assist private landowners in the area with the huge task of working on their weeds.

Centaurea solstitialis – Yellowstar Thistle

The District also contributes to the annual Weed Whacker Rodeo in the Sun River Canyon.  They have a weed pull and contests to see who pulls the most weeds and the biggest weeds. 

Lythrum salicaria – Purple-loosestrife
Pilosella aurantiaca – Orange Hawkweed
 

Most recently in 2011, the Board of Supervisors elected to use some of their extra funds in a Weed Cost Share program for county landowners. The program ran through 2018 and was wildly successful, but accomplished the goal of utilizing extra funds on private land in the county.  The program has been put on hiatus for the time being.

 

Leafy Spurge

Spotted Knapweed

Diffuse Knapweed

In addition to these projects, the CD helps to support the Montana Biological Weed Control Project.

Biological control is combining pest management strategies. When you have a pest such as invasive plant species, the goal is to remove those invasive plants while replacing them with good species. An alternative to chemical herbicides is the use of biological control. Biological Control is the release of a natural control (predators, parasitoids, and/or pathogens) of the invasive plant.  It is also vital to preserve existing natural enemies that do not harm beneficial species.  You want the natural control to have a high reproductive rate to decrease invasive populations quickly and then as the invasive host dies the population of the natural control will decrease.