No big surprise, but it needed saying: the Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council points out that effective invasive species control costs money . . .
An assessment of invasive species management by the Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council said a lack of money is one of the biggest obstacles to protecting Montana’s environment from noxious weeds and other unwanted biological invaders.
The council was created by a Gov. Steve Bullock in 2014. A Governor’s Summit on Invasive species will be held April 12 and 13 in Helena, followed by development of a statewide action plan by the end of the year.
“Montana’s vast outdoor recreation and wide-open spaces are an important part of what makes Montana great and they play a crucial role in our growing economy,” Bullock said in a statement. “The threat of invasive species to our land, water, native species, and economy is real, and I will always fight to protect them.”
The walleyes found in Swan Lake were illegally dumped there last year. Now fisheries personnel are worried about bucket biologists doing the same in other lakes and streams in the area . . .
State wildlife officials have confirmed that two walleyes caught in Swan Lake last fall were illegally transplanted, quelling concerns that the non-native species spawned in the lake.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists reported catching the walleye in Swan Lake in October during a gill-net operation, marking the first time the species has been discovered in the lake and raising concerns about the illegal introduction of yet another non-native fish in Montana’s waters, according to Mark Deleray, Region One fisheries manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Recent microchemistry analysis of the inner ear bones of the fish indicates they were introduced to the lake sometime last year.
Despite a few distracting shenanigans, Montana’s House and Senate sessions are getting some real work done . . .
Two bills aimed at protecting Montana from aquatic invasive species were passed in the House by unanimous 100-0 votes on Feb. 26 and passed on to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on March 6.
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Nolan, R-Bigfork, and supported by many of the Flathead’s legislators, the two House bills would support the state’s aquatic invasive species program through a trust fund while strengthening the program’s network of check stations that inspect boats, trailers and watercraft. Neither bill requires a fiscal note at this time.
An executive order aimed at improving and streamlining Montana’s efforts to tackle the threat of invasive species was signed by Gov. Steve Bullock on Dec. 4.
The order establishes an Montana Invasive Species Council to serve as the overarching council to combat invasive species in the state — both aquatic and terrestrial. Bullock was joined by sportsmen, conservationists and land managers as he signed the order.
“Montanans cherish our outdoor recreation and spaces, and those spaces play a crucial role in our state’s vibrant economy,” said. “It is imperative that we do everything we can to protect Montana from the threat of invasive species that disrupt our land, water and native species. None of us want another knapweed spreading across Montana.”
There’s a big public event at Big Creek on Friday, June 27 — see below for details. It sounds pretty interesting and there is free food, so what’s not to like? If you do plan to attend, they need an RSVP: Call (406) 755-1211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You weed wranglers out there might be interested in the next Flathead Forest Friday get-together. Here’s the press release . . .
Everyone Invited for a Breakfast Chat on Friday, September, 20th
KALISPELL, MONT. – Nearly 30 species of invasive plants, or weeds, can be found on the Flathead National Forest. Each year forest employees strategize when and where to put its resources in the fight against these invaders. The tools used to kill the weeds are constantly changing as botanists consider everything from plant sniffing dogs to plant eating insects. Come chat with us about our efforts.
Forest Botanist Chantelle Delay and others invite you to have breakfast with us (no-host) at the Perkins Restaurant (1390 U.S. 2, Evergreen, Montana) starting at 7:00 AM on Friday, September 20, 2013.
Every other month, the Forest Service will coordinate these no-host breakfast meetings at a local restaurant with the goal of sharing good food, great company, and a little information about what’s happening on our National Forest. We hope the event will be a great way to discuss public land management opportunities and challenges that are important to us all.
If you plan to attend or have any questions, please notify Public Affairs Officer Wade Muehlhof at email@example.com or (406) 758-5252. Your response allows us to plan accordingly with the restaurant.
If you are concerned about invasive plant species — noxious weeds — there are plenty of opportunities to do something about it within the next few weeks.
The North Fork Landowners’ Association has two “weed roundup” events scheduled. The first, on Tuesday, July 26, will concentrate on the area from the border to Ford Station; the second, Friday, August 19, will work from Ford to Polebridge. See the NFLA online calendar for details.
Glacier Park is also kicking off their second annual Noxious Weed Blitz on Thursday, July 28th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Glacier Community Building. You get training on weed identification, surveying and mapping. You also get a free lunch out of the deal. Here’s the core part of the press release announcing the event:
Participants will spend the morning learning how to identify five targeted invasive plant species. After lunch attendants will learn how to conduct invasive plant surveys and map the locations of invasive plants using GPS units. Attending the Blitz will give you the option to continue as a citizen scientist weed warrior during future hikes. The event is free and open to all ages. Lunch will be provided for those who sign up for the event. Please bring gloves for hand pulling weeds, footwear for hiking, and drinking water. To sign up or to find out about other invasive plant opportunities, please contact the Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center at (406) 888-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Hungry Horse News has a pretty good overview of the threats faced by Glacier National Park over the next few decades . . .
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Organic Act” which created the National Park Service. In that bill, it said the Service has a purpose “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
In Glacier National Park, that mantra is becoming harder and harder to accomplish, admits Jack Potter, as the Park is besieged by both internal and external threats, most of which are not of its own making.