Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Be on the lookout for invasive plants this fall

Be on the lookout for invasive plants this fall

September 12, 2019
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Sheridan - Hunters and recreationists are in a unique position to both help prevent the spread of invasive grasses during the coming months and help land managers identify areas of new infestations.

Two particularly aggressive invasive grasses have been verified in northeast Wyoming in recent years-ventenata and medusahead.  Both plants are native to the Mediterranean region with medusahead first documented in the United States in the late 1800s and ventenata in 1952. Since their introductions, they have proven to be highly invasive, negatively impacting native rangelands and forming large monocultures.

They can reduce native forage by 50 to 70 percent when they invade an area and like the similarly invasive cheatgrass, can increase the possibility, frequency and intensity of wildfires. These plants have high silica content, making them unappealing as forage to both livestock and wildlife.

Sheridan, Johnson and Campbell county weed and pest offices have information about and photos of these plants on their websites to aid in identification. They hope to hear from hunters and recreationists who might come across new areas where these grasses are taking hold. Finding these plants when they are in small patches makes them much easier to eliminate than when they spread into large tracts.

In addition to identifying new areas of infestation, hunters and recreationists have a big part to play in reducing the spread of these grasses. By cleaning clothes, footwear, trucks, recreational vehicles and dog paws and fur of mud and plant material every time they come in from the field, hunters can help ensure we limit the spread of these invasive plants from one favorite hunting location to another.

At many public access areas, including Game and Fish Wildlife Habitat Management Areas, local weed and pest agencies have provided cleaning stations for brushing off footwear. Anyone using these WHMAs is encouraged to use these stations before entering and after leaving the area.



 

- WGFD -


 
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