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Sweetwater County Invasive Weed Control

Project Information

Project Status: Active
Tags: sage grouse, native plant species, invasive species, colorado river cutthroat, riparian, habitat conservation project, avian species, wildlife, Habitat

There is a critical need to increase the level of control to minimize the economic and ecological impacts that invasive species cause. BLM has a commitment to Sweetwater County and private adjacent land owners for controlling weeds. Control of noxious weeds is a priority within the local county and the Bureau. Native wildlife species, including elk, mule deer, greater sage-grouse, mountain plovers, raptors, Colorado River cutthroat trout and many juniper obligates, are dependent on native vegetation for successful breeding, nesting, and food. Protection of their habitats is of primary importance. One community at risk is riparian habitat where invasive weeds are displacing native species. Weeds affect streams by changing the vegetation on the banks and reducing bank stability. Crucial winter ranges for big game and sage grouse are also at risk from invasive weeds. Under this project, 300 acres of weeds will be controlled, 200 acres for potential future control will be inventoried, and 150 acres of formally controlled areas will be evaluated. Treatment areas of priority include riparian areas, BLM roads and the horse corrals. Also, areas where cheatgrass is invading are of particular concern. Invasion of weedy species, in particular Russian knapweed, leafy spurge, various thistles, perennial pepperweed, and whitetop, into native plant communities is a concern throughout the Field Office. The Sweetwater County will provide seasonal crews, equipment, supervision, transportation, and chemicals; the Green River Weed Management Area will also provide crews for spraying, spraying equipment, and chemicals. Both will spray BLM land and the alternating sections of checkerboard in a coordinated manner to curtail the spread and introduction of these exotic pests.

This funding will assist Sweetwater County and the associated ranches and other publics in Resource Protection, Public Lands Restoration, and will assist in our commitment to serving communities. This work will comply with Executive Order 13112 to control, monitor and prevent the introduction of Noxious Invasive Species. It will benefit native plants, special status species, and wildlife. The implementation of this weed control project will result in rehabilitation of degraded rangelands and wildlife habitat and protection of native habitats for livestock and wildlife forage and crucial winter range for elk, mule deer, and antelope. The habitat protection resulting from this project will also assist in applying the sage-grouse guidelines in order to provide habitat of varying age and cover with the native vegetation needed for successful breeding and nesting. Some of the treated riparian areas are important to maintain viable populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout.

2009 Update: Under this project 300 acres of weeds will be controlled, 200 acres for potential future control will be inventoried, and 150 acres of formally controlled areas will be evaluated. Treatment areas of priority include riparian areas, BLM roads and the horse corrals. This project will include treatment for cheatgrass where invasion is of particular concern. Russian knapweed, leafy spurge, various thistle, perennial pepper weed, and white top, into native plant communities is a concern throughout the Field Office. Sweetwater County W&P will provide seasonal crews, equipment, supervision, transportation and chemicals; the Green River Weed Management Area will also provide crews for spraying, equipment and chemicals. Both parties will spray BLM lands and the alternating sections of checkerboard in a coordinated manner to curtail the spread and introduction of these exotic pests. 

2010 Update: Under this project 450 acres of weeds will be controlled (JD), and 200 acres of formally controlled areas will be evaluated (MK). Treatment areas of priority include riparian areas, BLM roads and the horse corrals. This project will include treatment for cheatgrass where invasion is of particular concern.



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