The Lincoln County Weed & Pest is hoping that Star Valley, especially residents on the north end, will visit their office and get down and dirty in the battle against Spotted Knapweed.
“The largest negative that the weed can have is it’s ability to take over large patches of ground and squeeze out the useful growth stated Lauri Coates, Public Relations with the Lincoln County Weed & Pest. “It releases a toxin that affects the plant growth in the area. The elk winter range may be reduced by up to 90 percent because it chokes out the natural and native grasses. It increases surface runoff and stream sediment and it also eliminates ground nesting bird habitat.”
According to Coates, there are large concentrations of the plant in an around Alpine but the plant is making its way south towards Thayne and Afton.
The Spotted Knapweed is already causing this list of problems in the Greys River area.
Referred to as this generation’s Leafy Spurge, the knapweed responds best to chemicals rather than digging.
“The county is providing the cost of the herbicide at a 100 percent discount to combat the problem,” Coates added. “There is also a limited number of backpacks and ATV sprayers that we will lend out for the control of this weed.”
In addition to it’s aggressive nature, the Spotted Knapweed is also very prolific.
According to the Weed & Pest, a single plant can disperse up to 25,000 seeds among wind, animals and people. Incredibly, these seeds can be viable for up to eight years.
Coates and the LCW&P encourage valley residents to come and get the herbicide so that the office can verify that it is indeed the correct plant and enter the location within their database.