Mt. Crested Butte prioritizes weed management

Hires Native Landscapes and adds weed advisory board members

[  By Kendra Walker  ]

During their June 7 meeting, the Mt. Crested Butte town council discussed the town’s weed management plan moving forward. In an effort to add flagging signage around areas being treated for noxious weeds, the council decided to hire private contractor Native Landscapes instead of its typical participation with Gunnison County to manage weeds on town-owned lands.  

The council had budgeted $14,707 in 2022 to participate in an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the county to manage the town-owned lands within Mt. Crested Butte. However, during a May 4 work session the council discussed a primary concern that there is an absence of flagging signage to inform the public when areas are being treated. 

The county does not include flagging elements because their type of license nor the chemicals they use do not require signage, so town staff investigated a bid from a Native Landscapes as a potential alternative for this season.

Native Landscapes owner and operator Bradley Wigginton has worked for the Gunnison County Weeds Program and is familiar with the Mt. Crested Butte weed management plan. His license type requires flagging signage and his rate at $2,485 is less expensive than the county’s IGA cost for 126 hours at $14,707.

“Working with the county has been a really great experience and their services are very much appreciated in Mt. Crested Butte,” said community development coordinator Leah Desposato. “Their license doesn’t require the flagging and signage, which is what you’re most concerned about. Bradley’s requires that he does that.”

The council voted to move forward with hiring Native Landscapes for this season. Mt. CB will no longer be a participant in the county’s IGA, but can still be a member of the Gunnison County Weed Commission.

The council also appointed two new members to the weed advisory board, Ken O’Neal and Heather Kelley. 

The town council planned to appoint one member to replace Beth Appleton, but found both O’Neal and Kelley to be good candidates with a passion for controlling noxious weeds and decided to appoint both.  

“Is there any reason we can’t appoint two people?” asked councilmember Janet Farmer. “They both seem really dedicated to doing this, so I’d hate to lose the enthusiasm.”

“How I read the code, there is no limit,” said Desposato. 

The council also discussed how important it is to get everybody in the community on board at the same time with weed management, and hopes the weed management board can help with organizing efforts and management solutions moving forward. 

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