Weed and Pest gives annual report to commission

Barbara Anne Greene

Big Horn County Weed and Pest Supervisor Cliff Winters told the county commissioners on January 16 that Weed and Pest brought in more than $1 million in grants last year, doubling the amount from the previous year.
 “We were very successful in going after that additional money,” Winters said as part of his 2023 annual report to the commission.
As far as contracts go, they were able to secure contracts with federal and state partners. Included among them were WYDOT, USFS, BLM and Game & Fish. The contracts totaled nearly $800,000.
“Last year we were right at $340,000,” Winters said.
Commission Chair Bruce Jolley asked about a grant that was received from the USFS. Only a portion of the grant was used in 2023. Winters explained that the lifespan of many of the grants are four to six years. This gives his department flexibility to spread the work out.
The department is planning a project on Alkali Creek, in an area where a reservoir is proposed. They will also do projects in the Bear Creek and Beaver Creek areas.
Winters included information regarding the agency’s cost-share programs with private landowners and canal districts. Landowners only paid 20% on certain herbicides for white top and Russian knapweed. The canal district’s cost share was 50% for treatments of state designated and county declared noxious weeds.
The district hopes to expand its biological control agents. They hope to introduce two in 2024. One is a white top gall mite. The other is a mite that attacks the shoot and flower of Russian olives.
A copy of the report is available at the W&P office at 4782 U.S. Highway 310 in Greybull.