Fighting the weed war

Grant will compensate rural landowners, goad weed control

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The Routt County Cooperative Extension Service recently received a $60,000 grant to help rural ranchers and residents mitigate their weed problems this spring and summer.

— Although they've yet to rear their ugly heads, the weeds are on the way.

To encourage Routt County rural landowners to control noxious weeds this spring and summer, the Routt County Conservation District, in partnership with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service, is offering $62,000 in grants to landowners for the cost of chemical, cultural or biological weed control.

"We have a huge weed problem in Routt County, which is why we've had a weed program for 40 years," said Routt County Extension Service agent CJ Mucklow on Tuesday.

Mucklow said only rural landowners are eligible for compensation because they face the biggest challenge when it comes to dealing with non-native, noxious weeds.

"Most of the weeds we have in Routt County are non-native," Mucklow said. "The goal here is to protect our agricultural viability and the natural ecosystem."

Landowners seeking a piece of the $62,000 pie must sign up before March 30. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any dispersed funds will cover 50 percent of weed control costs, he said.

Landowners can be compensated for chemicals such as pesticides or for costs associated with grazing - such as allowing sheep and goats to eat the weeds.

There are about 14 species of weeds that landowners struggle to control in Routt County. Varieties of knapweed, toadflax and hound's tongue are the most concerning, Mucklow said.

Extension Service and Routt County Natural Resources Conservation Service officials can help landowners identify some of the weeds that will soon start sprouting, and they can offer advice on how to best control weed outbreaks.

"We really target rural landowners," Mucklow said. "It doesn't matter if you have 5 acres or 30 (acres). That's our target population."

Comments

fish 7 years, 9 months ago

Well Duh! Maybe they should move the county shop out to neighbor your property then you would get the kind of service you so desire.

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mikartay 7 years, 9 months ago

Duh Fish, You speak of what you do not know.

The County R & B has a parking bay in North Routt at the North Routt Fire Protection District Station 2. (not quite neighboring but close enough to my property) The County spent substantial tax funding to have this bay build which could house a maintainer and other equipment to serve those that live in north routt. To date they have yet to use it for its intended purpose.

The concept, if you can grasp it, was to plow the southward bound lane to town and actually beat commuters. As it now stands the north bound lanes are well maintained in the morning. Unfortunately all the commuters, including school buses, from north routt head south to town.

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mikartay 7 years, 9 months ago

Although the County Road and Bridge Dept. sprays for weeds along the county roads they usually do to little to late. Maybe they should seek additional grants to supplement their efforts so they can get on top of the problem in thier own backyard. It seems fruitless to fight this problem when our county leaders let the problem weeds go to seed in rural areas.

Its similar to the road repair and snow plowing program that the county provides. The closer to town you are the better served you are. Please bring gravel!!!

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