Public welcome on annual 'weed tour'

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— If you're not keeping weeds out of your yard, you're not just a poor gardener; you might be breaking the law.

Today's annual weed tour, hosted by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and Routt County Weed Control, is aimed at helping locals identify noxious weeds, many of which, by law, must be controlled in Routt County and Steamboat Springs.

"It's really hard to show people what a weed looks like with pictures," said C.J. Mucklow Routt County extension service director. "If we take them and show them, they get a really good idea."

Transportation will be provided for the tour, which departs the Routt County Courthouse parking lot at 5:30 p.m. Mucklow said the tour would conclude by 7 p.m. at the latest. He said the tour is targeted for land and home owners in and around Steamboat Springs, as well as landscapers and city and county officials. In addition to showing people what the different weeds look like, Mucklow said the tour will visit locations where the weeds are widespread to give people an idea of how pervasive they can become.

"I don't think people understand how widespread some weeds, like whitetop, are," Mucklow said.

There are nine weeds on Routt County's noxious weed list. Under state law, they must be managed on lands within the county. They are leafy spurge, diffuse knapweed, spotted knapweed, Russian knapweed, whitetop, Dalmation toadflax, yellow toadflax, meadow knapweed and hound's-tongue. Pictures, descriptions and control suggestions for these weeds can be found at www.co.routt.co.us/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=80839.

For more information, contact Mucklow at 879-0825 or Open Space Supervisor Craig Robinson at 879-4300.

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