Plan targets noxious weeds in Moffat County, offers cash incentives
Craig — Moffat County updated its Noxious Weed Management Plan for the first time in more than 25 years, with new priorities and reporting guidelines for managing noxious weeds.
“Moffat County is implementing some cash incentive programs to encourage education and help the Weed and Pest Department meet mapping and containment goals,” said Moffat County Weed and Pest Manager Jessica Counts in an email.
While Moffat County is not home to any of the state’s highest priority noxious weed targets, it does contain several species for which mitigation is required, including Whitetop (Hoary Cress), Oxeye Daisy, Leafy Spurge, Dalmatian toadflax, Scotch thistle and Houndstongue.
“(Noxious weeds) impact the productivity of agricultural land, and equally as important are the impacts that non-native species have on our native species,” Counts said. “It affects wildlife, aesthetics, and the function of ecological systems.”
A new Noxious Weed Advisory Board — consisting of Bert Clements, Nick Charchalis, Dean Gent, Tom Mathers, Christina Rhyne and Lane Osborn — was formed to provide more channels for outreach and public input.
The main objective of the plan is to keep noxious weed species contained within current boundaries and suppress growth. The responsibility is shared between the county, landowners and other land management agencies.
The biggest changes to the plan include more enforcement of noxious weed issues with a focus on education, and cash incentives for individuals that report noxious weeds outside of containment areas.
With an above-average snowpack following a snowy winter, local firefighters and wildlife experts are expecting a mild fire season this year, especially at higher elevations.