Noxious Weed Update 2014

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June 25, 2014
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 2
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 3
Beaverhead crew “fighting the good fight” in weed war
By J.P. Plutt
Dillon Tribune staff
“What we’re doing here isn’t a bad
thing,” said Beaverhead County Weed
Coordinator Jack Eddie. “We’re trying
to help Mother Nature and give the native species a chance to grow, and keep
Montana as pretty as it is.”
The task for Eddie and his crews and
similar crews throughout the state, is the
ongoing battle with non-native, invasive
and noxious weeds. The aggressive nature
of the plants can devastate an ecosystem
in a short period of time.
“They have been transplanted here
from some other part of the world and our
native species can’t compete against these
non-native species so the native plants get
wiped out,” explained Eddie. “A lot of
them are toxic to certain animals, such as
Houndstongue can cause liver problems
with horses.”
Eddie explained that in some cases, our
ancestors brought the vegetation from the
“old country” to have a piece of home. In
other cases, the seeds of the non-native
weeds hooked a ride on boats and were
inadvertently carried into the country.
“When these non-native species got
here they took over because their natural
enemy, from whatever country they came
from, didn’t make the trip.”
In many instances, that natural enemy
was an insect from the country of origin.
Eddie says that there have been ongoing
Continued to page 4
in the field
Beaverhead County Weed Coordinator Jack Eddie and Assistant Coordinator Amber Burch return from a spraying mission last week in their continuous battle with noxious weeds. J.P. Plutt photo
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Continued from page 3
the Beaverhead County Weed Board, a County Commission-appointed advisory group. Harris Wheat serves as
chairman, Debbie Keller as vice-chair, and both represent the Dillon area, along with Ed Coon. Travis Hansen
sits on the board as the Lima-area representative, Dean
Stanchfield represents Wise River, Paul Hansen speaks
for the Horse Prairie/Medicine Lodge, and Carter Butori
represents constituents north of Dillon.
“Our relationship is very good with the board,” said
Eddie. “They know that there is a problem and they
want to try to solve that problem. The commissioners
and the weed board seem to get along very well. Recommendations, for the most part, are accepted by the
“I don’t think I could ask for a better board. Most, if
not all, have something to do with agriculture or public
lands, so they know what weeds are and what the problem could be. They are there to support us and guide
us going forward, and hopefully solve the problem that
we’re dealing with.
In addition to money provided by the county, the weed
department has been proactive in seeking and landing
grants. For this cycle, Eddie and his crew have been
awarded $85,000 for five different projects through the
Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund. The projects, which
are 50-50 match, are generally equaled with contributions
from private land owners. The grant projects include
an area in the Blacktail, the Big Hole-Wise River Oxeye
Daisy Project, the Argenta Co-Op, the Grasshopper Project and the Dyers Woad Project. In addition, the weed
department has applied for and is awaiting the outcome
on the decision of the Resource Advisory Committee for
the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest on funding set
aside from Beaverhead County’s Secured Rural School
Funding monies on separate grants.
The Dyers Woad Project is headed statewide by Burch.
The project began in 1984 with the goal of eradicating
Dyers Woad from the state of Montana. Beaverhead
County is one of five counties in the state with known
areas of the weed.
“I visit the site every two weeks,” said Burch. “I
visit the other sites through the state a few times a year
to monitor and get rid of any of the plants. We count
everything. Last year we had less than 1,000 plants
across the state.”
The Dyers Woad task force is comprised of landowners, agencies and county personnel from the five areas
in the state where the weed exists. Burch, as project
coordinator, says that in the 1980s, the Snowline site in
Beaverhead County had over 80,000 Dyers Woad plants.
With constant vigilance and treatment, the plant count
last year had dropped to 200 plants.
“There is a seed source that is there and the seeds
can germinate several years after they set seed,” said
Burch of the challenge. “That is why we go back so many
times during the year. It has an accelerated growth rate,
meaning that it can go from reset to seed in as little as
two weeks. It can sit there in the soil for a long time
before the seeds germinate.”
The war on weeds comes via land and water. Eddie
says the responsibility of monitoring the aquatic invasive
species will likely fall to Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).
“State-wide is has been in flux, but we see it going to
FWP, probably having a trust fund at some point, somewhat like what the terrestrial plants have now,” explained
Eddie. “Aquatic species are extremely expensive to take
care of. For instance, they use a bottom barrier and if
you figure out an acre cost, it is about $43,000 an acre
for aquatic species.”
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efforts to develop bio-control of non-native weeds by
bringing the natural enemy to the U.S. Because of efforts
to thwart unforeseen consequences, it takes 10 years or
longer before that natural enemy of an invasive species
can be released to battle the weeds.
In the meantime, Eddie and his county weed crew go
to battle with chemical sprays and in some cases elbow
grease – the traditional weed pull. With the enormity of
Beaverhead County and the aggressive nature of the nonnative species, the task can seem overwhelming at times.
“These weeds take over and ruin native grasses and
continue to spread,” said Eddie. “They look for a void,
so the drought that we are in creates a void that allows
them to begin to spread.”
Each species can utilize a different plan of attack
to find that void. For instance, Eddie says that the current theory with spotted knapweed is that it produces
a chemical that kills grasses and creates its own void.
The aggressive plant can quickly take over large tracts
of land if left untreated.
Amber Burch, the Beaverhead County Assistant Weed
Supervisor, agrees with Eddie’s assessment on the need
to continue the war on weeds.
“They displace native vegetation which reduces carrying capacity for livestock and wildlife, they decrease
the biodiversity in a system and they are all very aggressive,” said Burch. “Once you become ‘a weedy,’ you’ll
see knapweed watching a movie or looking through a
catalog. When areas that you love become invaded with
noxious weeds, if you know what they are, it takes away
from that aesthetic value.”
According the Eddie, the noxious weed problem can
effect more than the view. He says that weed problems
can decrease property values because of the expense of
controlling the weeds.
The county weed department receives guidance from
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 4
Montana St.
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683-2482 • 925-1728
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 5
Boaters are a defense against
aquatic invasive species
Boaters may be one of the state’s best defenses when
it comes to preventing and detecting aquatic invaisive
species. Aquatic invaisive species are organisms that are
unintentionally brought into Montana from other places,
including mussels, fish, clams, weeds, and diseasecausing pathogens.
“FWP encourages boaters to be alert in and around
the water for clusters of mussels or snails, unusual
water plants—anything unexpected—and to report it to
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks,” said Eileen Ryce, FWP
aquatic invasiive species supervisor.
“Water recreators are very familiar with their favorite waters, their boats and gear, and they are likely
to be among the first to spot something new,” she said.
Aquatic invaisive species hitch rides on boats, trailers
and other water-recreation equipment to infest a new
lake, river or stream.
FWP aquatic invaisive species inspection stations are
operating at key locations around the state to inspect
boats and trailers for aquatic invaisive species. Boaters
must stop for an inspection under Montana law.
Boaters can also help prevent or slow the spread of
these species by keeping vessels and equipment clean,
and encouraging other boaters to do the same. Follow
these three easy steps:
After leaving a lake or stream, inspect your boat,
Continued from page 4
engine, trailer, anchor, waders, and other fishing and
boating gear for mud, water, and vegetation that could
carry aquatic invaisive species.
Completely remove all mud, water, and vegetation
you find. Boats should be drained of water and boaters
should use a pressurized power sprayer, found at most
do-it-yourself car washes, to clean boats. Hot water
helps kill organisms and the pressure removes mud and
vegetation. No need to use soap or chemicals.
Aquatic invaders can survive only in water and wet
areas. By drying your boating and fishing equipment
thoroughly, you will kill most invasive species. The
longer you can keep your boat, trailer, waders, wading
boots, and other equipment outside in the hot sun between
fishing trips, the better.
It is unlawful to release any live aquarium or bait fish
into Montana’s waters. It is also unlawful to move live
fish, aquatic invertebrates or plants from one body of
water to another without FWP’s authorization. 
Remember, it is mandatory to stop at all watercraft
inspection stations.  Drive-bys could be stopped, asked
to turn around and go through the station, and might be
issued a citation.  Please be responsible and go through
watercraft inspection stations each and every time. If
your boat is clean, drained, and dry the inspection process should be quick and painless.
Beaverhead County is in a Special Management Zone
for aquatic invasive species. To prevent aquatic weeds
from coming into Montana, there is a mandatory check
station south of Dillon at the Kidd exit. The station and
Special Management Zone were established by the Montana Department of Agriculture to prevent the invasive
species from entering the state.
According the Eddie, the Montana Department of
Agriculture has completed a monitoring project on both
Clark Canyon Reservoir and the Beaverhead River and
found no aquatic species that are listed as noxious in
either body of water.
The Beaverhead County Weed Department deals with
their business on two fronts. They work with landowners and community groups on a variety of spray days
around the county, and they also do contract work with
various agencies as well as projects resulting from
grant programs.
“The biggest thing is landowner involvement and
education with those folks,” said Burch regarding the
success of the co-op spray days (see calendar on page
6). “A lot of them may not know what knapweed is at the
beginning, but as we educate them and get them more
involved, they’re good to go.”
Eddie says most of the contract work is done with
the Montana Department of Transportation, Bureau of
Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and FWP.
“The high is definitely a major vector because of the
traffic, and the BLM has a lot of recreationists that drive
through on weed patches and then go on somewhere else
and seeds just get spread,” explained Burch.
“We try to do both, but ultimately, we’re tied up with
co-ops for the next three to four weeks, and then the
rest of the summer until October or when the snow
flies or it freezes us out, we’ll work on finishing up the
contract work.”
is in full support of all efforts to eradicate noxious weeds throughout Montana
and works diligently to educate landowners of their responsibility for keeping
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our land weed free.
operating in Madison County, Beaverhead County, and parts of Jefferson County.
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Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 6
Helpful tips for submitting weed samples
Do you ever wonder what kind of plant is growing in the back yard or
next to the road? Or do you have a tree in the back yard that seems to be
dying? Bring a sample to the MSU Beaverhead County Extension Office.
We can assist you in the diagnosis of cultural problems and management
recommendations for agricultural producers and homeowners and gardeners.
Tip 1: Submitting Plants for Identification – Collect several samples that
adequately show stem features, leaves and leaf arrangement, and flowers and/
or fruits. Collect extra flowers and/or fruits if available. If possible collect
or provide information about the root system. Plant specimens may be put
directly into a plant press and submitted as a dried and pressed specimen
or submitted “fresh” by placing plant specimen directly into a closed or
ziplock-type plastic bag without extra moisture and kept in a refrigerator
until submitted to the extension office.
Tip 2: Submitting Plant Disease Specimens – Collect samples that adequately show mild, moderate, and severe symptoms as well as a healthy
comparison. Try to keep samples as fresh as possible, refrigerate them if
needed. Plant problems often are influenced by many different factors, so
include as much information as possible. Questions will include plant and
variety, irrigated or dryland, soil type, crop history, seeding date, seeding
rate, and row spacing, chemicals used (fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides,
seed treatments), water application and environmental factors (rainfall,
temperature extremes, heavy winds, etc. thus far in the season), pattern of
symptoms in the field and/or previous problems.
Tip 3: Submitting Insects for Identification – Collect several insect specimens if possible. Place specimens in a sturdy container with a tight fitting
lid. Information to include: damage of concern, collection date, collection
location, and host identification (if host is not a plant, describe environment
of collection site, such as kitchen windowsill, basement, bag of rice, etc.)
Following these helpful tips will help to provide an accurate diagnosis and
solution to your plant/insect identification. Services provided by Montana
State University and Cooperative Extension Services include identification of plant diseases, insect, weeds and other plants, abiotic problems and
Providing solutions and funding for landowners
in the Madison Valley.
Please contact Melissa @ 682-3731,
Do your part
to prevent the
spread of
noxious weeds.
(406) 683-2331
22 S. Montana • Dillon
Beaverhead County Spray Days 2014
June 10
Maiden Rock
June 11
Burma Road
June 12
Wise River
June 14
Blacktail Ridge
June 17
June 18
Big Sheep
June 19
June 21
Lima Dam
June 24
June 25
June 26
Dewey Cemetery
June 27
Ruby Dam
June 28
July 1
July 2
July 8
July 9
Medicine Lodge
July 10
BVHD Weed Day
July 12
July 17
Wise River Pull
July 19
Jones Creek
July 22
Long Creek
July 23
Ray Tillman / Deep Creek
July 25
Grasshopper Valley
July 26
Dyce Creek
July 30
Cop Jackson
July 31
August 2
August 12
August 13
Wise River
September 3
September 6
Meeting Location
Glen Post Office 8 am
Fishing Access 8 am
Fire Hall 8 am
Top of Ridge 8 am
Acrossed from Melrose Bar 8 am
Shearing Pens 8am
School Bus Turn Around 8 am
Schmit Property 8 am
Rest Area 8 am
Marina 8 am
At Turn 8 am
County Yard 8 am
Snowline Pit
I15 side camp ground 8 am
8 am
Hansen Creek 8 am
High School Parking Lot 8 am
Monida Hill 8 am
Stanchfield Ranch 8 am
Across from Duffners 8 am
Corrals 8 am
8 am
Grasshopper Inn 8 am
Dyce Creek Turn 8 am
Divide Fishing Access Site 8 am
School Bus Turn Around 8 am
County Yard
West Cameahwait 8 am
Fire Hall 8 am
School Bus Turn Around 8 am
Madison County continues the fight
Update from the Madison Valley Ranchlands Group’s Weed Committee:
We are looking forward to an exciting summer season working to prevent and control
noxious weeds in the Madison Valley. The MVRG Weed Committee works to provide
outreach, education and on-the-ground solutions to landowners through a variety of
activities and projects. This summer, we are excited about a new project along Odell
Creek, funded by the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Noxious Weed Trust Fund.
We also have a continuing Trust Fund project focused on landowners in the North Willow
Creek drainage near Pony. Both of these efforts boast incredible cooperation amongst
neighboring landowners, and their collaboration ensures greater strides can be made.
This summer, we hope to initiate a new special toadflax initiative targeted at identifying any new occurrences in the Valley and aggressively treating known populations.
Our Bio-control project will also be getting underway, collecting and distributing
specialized insects that attack noxious weeds. Last year, our crew worked to bring in
excess of 500,000 of these beneficial bugs to the area!
To round out the summer, we plan to participate in several educational events, coop days and are looking forward to our 16th Annual Noxious Weed Fundraiser. This
year’s event will be hosted by Wilt and Ingrid Williams at the High Valley Ranch on
August 2, 2014. For more information about projects or to attend the annual “Weeds
Party”, please feel free to contact the committee at (406) 682-3731 or weedcommittee@
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 7
The “Fight 5” campaign underway
Did you know that Montana has
32 state-listed weeds? How many of
those weeds can you identify? Due
to extensive campaigning by weed
managers in past years, knapweed,
leafy spurge and Canada thistle readily come to mind to many Montanans;
but what about Eurasian Watermilfoil,
tansy ragwort, and tamarisk? What if
we asked you, based on your interests
and hobbies, to pick five noxious weeds
and educate yourself about those five?
This is a much easier mouthful to
swallow, and this is what the Fight 5
Campaign is all about.
The Montana Weed Control Association is adopting the Fight 5 Campaign for Montana based on a brief
segment that came out of the Wild
Dakota Television invasive species
awareness program for sportsmen.
In chapter two of that series, the
concept of choosing your five sparked
our interest and can be viewed at the
Montana Weed Control Association
You Tube Channel. In this video,
people were asked to name their top
five noxious weeds.
The purpose of the “Fight 5” education and awareness campaign in Montana is to raise personal awareness
about noxious weeds and commitment
to their control through simple and effective messaging. “Fight 5” is a message that can be embraced by people
in every demographic. Existing Weed
ID will provide the information to help
each person learn about their personal
weed list and what they should do to
contribute to weed management.
Fight 5 has the potential to reach
over a half million Montanans using
a wide spectrum of outreach tools.
We have planned for print, radio, and
television spots; we will also be using the Internet, websites, and social
media. MWCA plans to develop lesson plans to school-aged children and
PowerPoint presentations for adult
education. We will be providing a
training workshop to weed managers
in teaching techniques that are both
engaging and proven to help with retention of information.
Because of our excitement with the
potential of this campaign, we decided
to implement a pilot project with Lima
Elementary School. Last fall, we went
into a small classroom of 3rd through
6th grade students, provided a weed
I.D. session along with fun and games
and enticing door prizes, and in the
end, had the kids create their own
“five” t-shirts. Those kids are still talk-
ing about weeds today! In addition, we
created our own amateur video (which
can also be viewed at the Montana
Weed Control Association You Tube
Channel) where adults and children
tell us their “five.” We believe we can
reach over a half a million Montanans,
and due to the ease of adapting the
idea to any demographic, we feel we
can expand the message with the help
of additional partners.
So we are asking for partners to
provide us with letters of support,
and/or to provide match funds, and/
or to provide outreach to their public/
school children/employees/customers
through their organization and their
outreach methods. We have sparked
a great deal of interest in this simple,
yet effective campaign, and it is our
goal to gain at least 50 partners/supporters by the end of 2012. For more
information regarding the Fight 5
Campaign, please don’t hesitate to
contact MWCA Executive Director,
Becky Kington at (406) 684 – 5590 or
email her at becky.kington@mtweed.
org . If you are a Facebook participant,
please visit the MT Weed Control Association Fight 5 page and tell us your
five and/or “like” us. We invite you to
take a moment and Tell us your five!
Weeds and
By Becky Kington
MWCA Executive Director
You may be wondering what the relationship would be between hacking
around a little white ball and invasive
weeds? This year, the relationship is a
new annual fundraiser for the Montana
Weed Control Association! This will be
our first-ever golf fundraiser to be held in
Huntley at the Pryor Creek Golf Course on
September 13, 2014. If you like to hit the
little white ball, if you want to play a new
and challenging course, and if you want
to support a clean and noxious weed –free
environment, this is your chance to do all
three. Entry fees are $75 for members
and $100 for non-members until August
1st (then prices will increase). You can
find out more information and register at
Otherwise, the MWCA continues to
grow in membership, and we are at an
all-time high of 860 members with a good
portion of them living in the SW corner
of the state. We are working behind the
Continued to page 13
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 8
Beaverhead County’s Top 5
Noxious Weeds
Orange Hawkweed
• Perennial
• 1-3 feet tall
• Shallow, fibrous creeping roots
• Hairy, harrow rosette leaves that
are darker green on the upper surface
• Stems are covered with bristly hairs
• Red-orange flowers with notched
petals form clusters at stem apex
• Entire plant contains milky juice
Blueweed (above)

Up to 3 feet tall
Black Taproot with fibrous lateral roots
Narrow basal leaves
Stem leaves alternate
All leaves are covered with stiff hairs
Stems have short hairs that have dark bases where attached to the stem
Numerous blue flowers with bright pink stamens
Toxic to Horses and Sheep
Dyer’s Woad (left)

Winter Annual, Biennial, or Short-lived Perennial
1-4 feet tall with multiple stems
Taproot with lateral roots
Bluish-green leaves with white midrib
Rosette leaves covered with small hairs
Stem leaves are alternate and clasp the stem
Small, 4 petal yellow flowers in flat top clusters
Teardrop shaped seedpods that turn purplish brown when mature
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 9
Rush Skeletonweed (top)

Taproot with lateral roots
Deeply toothed rosette leaves look similar to a Dandelion
Rosette leaves wither as plant bolts
Very few narrow leaves moving up the stem
Downward bent hairs on lower 4-6 inches of stem
¾ inch yellow flowers
Yellow Starthistle (left)

Up to 5 Feet Tall
Deeply lobed rosette leaves with a pointed tip
Stem leaves lay along stem and “winged”
One yellow flower per branch
Sharp ¾ inch long bracts below flower head
Toxic to Horses
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 10
The Hagenbarth family has been in the livestock business
in Southwestern Montana and Southeastern Idaho for over
130 years. Jim, his brother David and son, John currently
manage Hagenbarth Livestock, a cow/calf/yearling/stocker
operation. Their operation concentrates on putting the cow
back to work by giving her the tools needed to harvest forage on pasture and rangelands they manage. Jim’s top 5
noxious weeds are:
• Spotted Knapweed- This weed spreads easily with any
activity that occurs on the land. Infestations can quickly
impact the production of other forages and impact the
sustainability of all ecological sites.
• Dalmatian Toadflax- This plant has the ability to spread
rapidly throughout an area, especially with the help of
birds that feed on the seed. Once it gets started it is hard to
manage. There has been some real success using biological
control below 6500 feet elevation.
• Canada Thistle- This weed has been widespread and
pops up after any disturbance. It can be easily controlled
in areas if one chooses to do so.
• Leafy Spurge- This plant is capable of infesting almost
any landscape. With the deep roots it is hard to manage, but
there is getting to be some good biological control for some
sites. Birds and ungulates spread the seeds of this plant.
• Houndstongue- This plant is easy to kill, but travels on
anything that will transfer its burrs, consequently it gets
in tough places to manage.
Jim added: All these weeds impact our ranch because
they decrease production, decrease the value of the land,
and increase the cost of resource management by using time
and money that can be used in a more productive manner.
There are no cheap ,easy or short cut ways to control these
weeds. The general public doesn’t have a clue that weeds
pose the biggest threat to the sustainability of wildlife
habitat and the western landscape. The minuscule weed
budgets of the federal and state land management agencies
are testimonial to this fact.
Harris Wheat
Rancher along the Beaverhead River in Dillon
Jim Hagenbarth
Rancher north of Dillon in Glen
Harris Wheat is a 4th generation rancher. He has run a sheep and cattle
operation along the Beaverhead River in Dillon for the past 20 years. Harris
is the President of the SW Counties Farm Bureau and serves on the Farm
Bureau state board. Harris’s top 5 noxious weeds are:
• Houndstongue – The worst thing about houndstongue is that animals
pack the seeds everywhere. It is moved by both wildlife and livestock.
• Whitetop – Whitetop takes over the natural grasses and spreads quickly.
It is one of the first weeds to come up in the spring before we are ready for it.
• Common Mullein – We have had a lot of Mullein in the gravel pits and
disturbed areas.
• Black Henbane – Henbane seems to grow anywhere disturbed and
takes over the natural grasses.
• Dalmatian Toadflax- This plant grows where it is really steep where it
makes it hard to spray. The plant also seems difficult to kill. It takes over
and out competes the grasses.
Madison County Weed Board’s top 5
By Margie Edsall
It is very difficult to ask people from
southwest Montana to name noxious weeds
without most mentioning Spotted Knapweed, Canada Thistle, Leafy Spurge, and
Houndstongue. I think it is a given that
these noxious weeds should be a part of
everyone’s top “ 5” noxious weeds. True
to form it is the same with the Madison
County Weed Board. So here is the Madison County Weed Board’s top 5:
Pete Novich, a business owner in Twin
Bridges and also maintains acreage outside of town for horses and a few steers.
Leafy Spurge – With the proximity of
his property to the lower Big Hole River
and the plants ability to spread so easily.
Houndstongue – concerned about the toxicity of the plant with being a horse owner.
Spotted Knapweed - Everyone should
be concerned. Canada Thistle - With his
property located in a little wetter area, it
is something that is always a problem. Tall
Buttercup – Personally has been successful in keeping this weed in check on his
property, but continues to see the growing
problems around him.
John Armstrong, a longtime rancher
on his family’s place south of Cardwell.
Field Scabious – Experienced this plant
early on in the South Boulder drainage and
the impacts that the plant had on summer
pastures. Whitetop – Nature of plants
ability to crowd out your more desirable
forbs. Canada Thistle – The impact the
plant has to otherwise clean hay fields.
Common Tansy – The toxicity to cattle and
Madison County Weed Board
Pictured: front row: Betty Sykes, back row left to right: Charlie Gilman, Todd
Durham, John Armstrong. Not pictured: Pete Novich.
the negative impacts along streams. Leafy
Spurge – Sees how easily it continues to
spread along the lower Jefferson River.
Charlie Gilman, ranches east of Alder
on the place that has been in the family
for generations.
Houndstongue – When cattle come off
the summer range, they drag the nutlets
home causing new infestations. Hoary Alyssum – Besides it being toxic to animals,
this plant spreads at an alarming rate.
Common Burdock – Troublesome because
of how easily it spreads from the burs
tangling in fur and deposited elsewhere.
Black Henbane – Is a concern because of
how toxic it is. Spotted Knapweed – With
the old mine tailings in the vicinity of the
place, this plant is opportunistic and can
infest pretty much any area.
Todd Durham, also a rancher that
makes his home on the family place east
of Cameron.
Yellow Toadflax – Has watched this
plant become a bigger and bigger problem in the Bear Creek drainage. Spotted
Knapweed – Continues to be concerned
about the negative impact this plant has on
rangeland .Whitetop Concerned over the
close proximity of this plant to the ranch.
Hoary Alyssum – The rapid spread and
impacts to range should be everybody’s
concern. Houndstongue – Like many others that run cattle, every time you bring
them off the summer range, you’re dealing
with infestations at home.
Betty Sykes, a long time weed board
member & Chair and longtime resident
and past Mayor of Twin Bridges. Spotted Knapweed, Houndstongue, & Leafy
Spurge – With the many years of experience serving on the weed board, has
seen the many negative impacts to our
landscape these three weeds have when
management isn’t happening. Field Scabious – Was a board member that helped to
list it as a County noxious weed. A lot of
concern back then on the rapid spread of
this weed and the difficulty in controlling
this problem. Black Medic – Anyone that
tries to keep a nice yard deals with trying
to keep this nuisance weed out.
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 11
Rick Sandru
Rancher north of
Twin Bridges
Rick is the owner of the
Sandru Ranch. He and his family have been on the place for
25 years. Here is Rick’s top 5
noxious/nuisance weeds 
Spotted Knapweed: Has
witnessed how this plant can
diminish summer forage that
all ranchers depend on. 
Houndstongue: Biggest
concern is the additional costs
associated with treating new
infestations from nutlets that
are brought down from the
summer range on the cattle.
Leafy Spurge: Has come to
terms that he will be managing this plant the rest of his
years because of the continual
spread off of the Upper Jefferson.
Milkweed: Rick spent a lot
of time managing this plant
until he heard the impacts it
apparently is having on the
Monarch Butterfly. He would
like to see more of the science
to determine if this is a plant
he should leave alone.
 Burdock: This is also a
plant that he has invested time
in managing. Cattle drag from
one area to another creating
new infestations.
Allen and Yvonne Martinell
Ranchers in Dell
The Martinell’s have been in the Dell area since the 1890’s. Lee Martinell Co. was
started in 1961 by Lee and Ethel (Hansen) Martinell and family. The home ranch and
hay base is near Dell. Summer and fall pasture is in the Centennial Valley. Currently
Allen and Yvonne reside on the ranch along with Heath and Kiley (Weist) and their
children. Allen and Yvonne’s top 5 weeds are:
• Spotted Knapweed and Houndstongue – These plants spread by many means.
They require extensive time to locate and control. Repeated surveillance is needed
to control their spread.
• Black Henbane and Dalmation Toadflax – Even though these plants do not spread
in the same way they both require control. They take over an area and are not palatable to livestock.
• Milkweed – This plant is a problem in our hayfields. It reduces production.
Allen and Yvonne added: There are more weeds on our watch and control list. It
is necessary to be watchful of any new species on the landscape and to question their
identity. Allowing a noxious species to thrive can reduce grazing capacity and reduce
the bottom line of productivity.
& Nursery
“Insurance Is Our Business”
PO Box 394
Twin Bridges, MT 59754
Phone/Fax 406-684-5701
Pete Novich
Joy E. Day
Kristi Millhouse
Is proud to support the
War On Weeds!
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Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 12
Brett Owens
Madison Valley Rancher
Dave Ashcraft
Rancher on the Big Hole River
Dave was born and raised on the ranch, and 22 years ago purchased the place for
him and his family. The ranch is located on the lower Big Hole River. These are Dave’s
top 5 noxious/nuicance weeds.
 Leafy Spurge: Living on the lower Big Hole, he recognizes the fact that it is a
lifelong commitment to manage this weed.
 Russian Knapweed: Has seen other areas of Montana with extensive infestations
and hopes to never see the same in Madison County.
 Tall Buttercup: Has experienced the impacts that this plant has on more desirable
forage that ranchers rely on for feed. He has aggressively changed up his farming
practices in order to achieve his goals.
 Houndstongue: Continues to fight new infestations of this weed that is brought
down from summer grazing on cattle. Feels that this will be an ongoing battle.
 Canada Thistle: Feels many do not consider this weed as a priority and doesn’t
recognize the fact that this plant is a colonizer and the impacts that it can make.
We support
and the
5747 Hwy. 91 S.
Dillon, MT
Yard Phone: (406) 683-2002
would like
to thank the
Dillon Tribune
for support of
the agriculture
industry in
Montana &
their noxious
weed control
Brett’s Wicked Five

Spotted Knapweed – This noxious
invader is already wellestablished and spreading. If not controlled,
knapweed takes over
pastures, range and
hay ground.
• Houndstongue –
This purple flowered
invader has seeds that
stick like Velcro, enabling it to be spread
for miles by people,
livestock, and wildlife. A biennial weed,
it is toxic to grazing
animals and has no
approved bio-control
• Hoary Alyssum– This weed spreads
easily into hay pastures where it is toxic
to horses if the hay contains more than
30% Hoary Alyssum. It will out -compete
Spotted Knapweed. Once
established, it is hard to
get rid of as the seeds
remain viable for up to
nine years.
• Yellow toadflax – An
escaped ornamental, it
takes over native ecosystems and spreads via
seeds and roots. This weed
is very hard to get rid of
once established.
• Leafy Spurge – A
hard to control creeping perennial weed that
spreads by roots and from
seed. Its extensive root
system has vast nutrient
stores that let it recover
from most control attempts. Although not well established in
the Madison Valley, it is in the Bear Trap
Canyon, where there is significant recreational traffic that may expedite its spread
unless positive action is taken.
Why should you care about weeds?
Invasive weeds are the greatest threat
to Montana’s environment. When these
invaders are allowed to invade and spread,
they cause a reduction in wildlife forage,
degrade fisheries through erosion and
sediment buildup, reduce property values, and erode our beautiful viewsheds
in Montana. Currently, Montana has approximately 7.6 million precious acres
infested with state-listed noxious weeds,
and several new and potentially devastating invaders knocking on the door at our
Noxious weeds adversely affect the
habitat where game and waterfowl reside.
While hunting, your clothing, vehicles and
dogs can transport weed seeds impacting
future hunting opportunities.
3425 HWY 91 N.
Dillon, Montana 59725
(406) 683-5756
(406) 865-0064 (cell)
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 13
100 Years of Weeds in Montana
What have we learned? What have we forgotten?
BOZEMAN -- Recently, a colleague
gave me a copy of the June 1901 Montana
Experiment Station Bulletin No. 38 where
Joseph W. Blankinship published his essay
entitled “Weeds of Montana.” A review of
this publication quickly reveals that not
only was J. W. Blankinship an outstanding botanist of the late 19th Century; but
that even by today standards he would be
considered an excellent weed scientist.
Joseph W. Blankinship was born on Feb.
23, 1862 and was one of the first full-time
botanists living in Montana. After graduating from Duruy College, a Christian school
near Springfield Missouri, “J. W. Blankinship,” as he is often referred to, accepted
an appointment at the Custer Station near
the Big Horn River to teach Native American boys from the Crow Reservation. It
was there where Blankinship made his
first collections of Montana plants. Later,
he became the first curator of the Montana
State College herbarium in Bozeman. His
passion for botany is reflected in the fact
that he personally collected more than
10,000 specimens and convinced others to
donate their private herbaria to “secure
these a permanent record
of the botanical discovery in this state.”
Reading his essay made me realize
that although we have incorporated a
plethora of chemical- and molecular-based
weed management technologies over the
past 100 years, we have also forgotten an
equal amount of biological and ecological
For example, today we usually define
a weed as “a plant that is growing where
it is not wanted”. By doing so, we forget
to consider the biological, environmental,
and ecological traits that turn a plant into
a weed. In contrast, Blankinship reminds
us that weeds are a “group of troublesome plants, which promptly occupy soil
on which the native vegetation has been
greatly weakened or destroyed by the
operations of man...” He further states
that “to combat these pests intelligently...
it is necessary to know their life history,
their habits and their distribution.” He
also points out that “weeds, like all other
plants, are dependent upon physical agencies for the distribution of their seed, but
rely more largely upon man and domestic
animals for this aid.”
Therefore, he stresses that a program
aimed at restraining or eradicating weeds
should know “the sources of the infection
and the means by which weeds spread
when once introduced.”
The management recommendations of
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Cropland Weeds Specialist
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this essay can also be used verbatim in
this century. For example, he recommends
a method for weed control consisting of
hand pulling “by boys under competent
Okay, perhaps some of Blankinship’s
recommendations may require some
Yet, a revision of his essay reveals
a deep understanding of the ecological
basis for the sustainable management of
agricultural weeds. Not surprisingly, crop
rotation is at the core of his recommendations “as the growth of one kind of crop
tends to restrain or destroy the weeds
peculiar to the other...”
Although he acknowledges that the
climatic conditions in Montana “limit crop
rotation almost to cereal and hay-lands,”
he recommends to take advantage of grazing as a tool to manage weeds and to “keep
a lookout for the appearance of any new
or dangerous weeds.”
It was refreshing to find that one of the
fathers of integrated weed management
and sustainable agriculture lived in our
own backyard!
For copies of the 1901 essay on Weeds
of Montana by Joseph W. Blankinship,
please contact Fabian Menalled at (406)
994-4783 or
Continued from page 7
scenes to make our website more
assessable to mobile devices and our
weed ID section is one of the most comprehensive in the region. This time of
year, whitetop, houndstongue, spotted
knapweed and Canada thistle are coming
on in a hurry. If you don’t know what each
of those looks like, or the other 28 statelisted noxious weeds for that matter, you
can learn quickly at our website.
We are still promoting our message
of Fight 5 and this year, the MWCA was
granted dollars from the Noxious Weed
Trust Fund this year to create student
kits for on-the-ground weed education.
These kits are designed for elementary
students across the state. The kits will
include t-shirts, rubber bracelets, word
magnets, activity books and more packed
into a really cool drawstring bag. All of the
weed coordinators in the SW portion of the
state have signed up to receive these kits
as part of their education program and
your kids may be bringing these home
either this fall or next spring.
We want to encourage you to visit www. to learn about all of Montana’s
noxious weeds, pick five that directly impact your recreational activities and then
go about managing them and reporting
them if you find them in your recreational
pursuits! Noxious weeds are one of Montana’s greatest environmental threats;
they put our viewsheds, our waterways,
our wildlife and our fisheries at risk. Do
your part and keep Montana beautiful –
Fight your 5!
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Providing all of your crop
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application needs.
Between us, we’ve got you
Aerial Ag: 2400 Airport Road, Dillon • 683-5084
Lakeland Feed: 211 N. Montana St, Dillon • 683-5197
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 14
Offers good on new and unregistered units purchased between 6/1/14-6/
Approval, and any rates and terms provided, are based on credit worthine
Other financing offers are available. See your local dealer for details. M
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hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must b
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riders should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for add
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and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where prohibited. Offer effective on all new and unused 2008-2014 Polaris ATV, RANGER, and RZR models
purchased from a participating Polaris dealer between 6/1/2014 and 6/30/2013. Offer subject to change without notice. Warning: Polaris off-road vehicles can be
hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must
be at least 12 years old. All riders should always wear helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors (as equipped).
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Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 15
Shout Out for the SW Area Education Trailer
By Jill Allen, Jefferson County Weed Coordinator
The Southwest Area Council of MWCA has joined forces with Montana Department of Ag, Barrick Golden Sunlight Mine, Crop Production Services, DuPont, Dow
AgroSciences, Big Hole Watershed and local sponsors to create a noxious weed educational trailer. The common goal is to create interchangeable educational displays
in an interactive mobile unit to better the awareness of noxious weed control efforts
across the great state of Montana.
The trailer is adaptable to all types of venues and people of all ages whether it is
veteran farmers and ranchers, small acreage owners, backyard gardeners or youth.
It will be a great hands-on engaging tool that will be very helpful and useful in our
continued efforts to educate the folks of Montana. This unit will be put to good use
in a classroom/school setting targeting students as well as county fairs, cooperative
spray days, and educational venues.
The Southwest Area Education Trailer will appear at both the Madison County and
Beaverhead County fairs.
We have a
full selection
of weed
and grass
and many
sizes of spray
from 1 gal to
25 gal.
hand pump
and ATV
700 N. Montana • 683-2308
Open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. 7 days a week
Visa • Mastercard • Discover • Cenex Convenience Card
Irrigation Structures
15 Ramshorn, Dillon, MT (406) 683-2175
A Reputation Built On Quality
Specializing In:
• Irrigation Work • Site Development • Natural Resource Enhancement
We Sell, Service & Install the following:
•Cattle Guards
•Flow Measuring
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We support the war on noxious weeds!
Noxious Weed Update 2014 - Dillon Tribune - June 25, 2014 - Page 16
Every Three
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