By Annamarie Iannetta
Oct 5 2010
SEELEY LAKE, Mont. — A large-scale project to restore forest lands in Montana has been awarded one million dollars for at least one year to target major threats like noxious weeds.
Noxious weeds come in a variety of shapes and colors. The most common look like pretty flowers similar to what you might find in your garden. But as natural resource specialist Shannon Connolly says, “They can decrease wildlife and livestock forage, which decreases their food availability. They can be poisonous.”Connolly says noxious weeds along the roads are a major concern. “They can get picked up in vehicles, with people biking, or walking. So vectors like roads or trail sides or rivers are ways noxious weeds can spread really fast and far.”
Herbicides are one way to control noxious weeds. Brad Sturdevant makes his living spraying weeds. He says fall is the best time to apply treatment. “After the hot summer and the dry parts of the summer, they can have a fall regrowth with the moisture and they’re more susceptible to herbicide,” says Sturdevant.In the state of Montana there are 33 different types of noxious weeds. ”
Pay attention to change around your area, plant species that you have never seen before,” says Connolly.The new funding will allow the Southwest Collaborative, which is made up of conservation groups, timber companies and rural communities, to address noxious weeds along with other forest concerns in the region and get people back to work.
They’re hoping to get close to $90 million for the 10-year restoration program, that will start in the spring.
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