Sources for information, assistance and volunteer opportunities
The CSU Extension Service provides on-site assistance to farmers and ranchers, and maintains a web site with information on plant identification, control methods, laws on weeds, all important revegetation, and other tips on responsible land management, at http://www.gunnison.colostate.edu/agri/weeds/weedsfront.shtml.
Eric McPhail is happy to respond to inquiries at 641-1260.
The town of Crested Butte is developing a weed management plan and looking for volunteers to form a weed commission. John Hess is the contact, at 349-5338. Hess also organizes weed pulls for the Peanut Mine site, an excellent example of community volunteers pulling together to make a difference.
The Crested Butte Land Trust includes weed management as a critical component of its stewardship. Call 349-1206 to help.
The town of Mt. Crested Butte passed a weed ordinance last year, setting up a weed advisory board to direct efforts, seeding grasses along roadways and buying a truck-mounted sprayer. Tom Walker, who has been spearheading the efforts for the past four years, set up a web site focused on the town’s program, but helpful to anyone who wants to know more about weeds, at http://arealbutte.com/weeds.html Look for signs at the entrance to town announcing weed pulls this summer.
The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory studies weeds, experiments with various manual control measures, and provides plant identification tours followed by weed pulls each year. This summer the plant identification/weed pull dates are July 16 and August 13, from 8:15 a.m. to noon, followed by a free lunch. To sign up, call 349-7420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service are responsible for controlling weeds on the public lands. When you are out there enjoying these lands and encounter extensive invasive weed infestations, please consider calling the appropriate managers to report the location and offer to help remove them. USFS: 642-4403; BLM: 641-0471; Park Service: 641-2337.
The Gunnison Conservation District shares the office at 216 North Colorado in Gunnison with the Forest Service, BLM and NRCS. They sell Milestone, one of relatively new type of “reduced risk” herbicides with a very short half-life at about half the market prices, and seed mixes for revegetation. The Conservation District also has an absinth wormwood control program targeted primarily in the Ohio Creek drainage. Contact Maeve Nevins at 641-4416 or Beth Ozyp at 642-4461.
The staff of Gunnison County’s Public Works Department sprays along roadways, works in concert with federal and state agencies to control weeds on public lands, has responsibility for seeing that reclamation occurs when lands are disturbed, and serves as a source for free brochures and weed identification books available at the public library. The county commissioners appoint volunteers to serve on the Gunnison Watershed Weed Commission, which is responsible for working with staff to implement the county’s weed management plan. A seat on the commission is now vacant for someone involved with the ranching industry. Call 641-0044 to volunteer.
Local gardening centers provide a wealth of information on weeds and seed mixes, and some provide landscaping services with weed control. The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival provides brochures on weed identification, has volunteers who can probably answer most questions about weeds and offers workshops on weeds.
Homeowners associations are also a source of assistance. They typically spray or pull weeds on commonly owned property but may also organize neighborhood weed pulls, provide sprayers and herbicide for low cost to homeowners, or hire workers to pull weeds as long as the private property owners cover the cost.