- Policy Platforms
The Western Governors’ Association hosted the webinar, Invasive Annual Grasses Management, on April 28, 2022. Moderated by Stas Burgiel, the Executive Director of the National Invasive Species Council, the webinar featured a discussion on management tools and strategies to effectively manage invasive annual grasses, including cheatgrass, medusahead, and ventenata.
Matt Baur, Director of the Western Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center, spoke about the need to coordinate invasive grass management and share local knowledge across the region. “The West is a pretty complex area… so a one size fits all strategy isn’t going to work for us,” he said. “Instead, the Western Integrated Pest Management has really been trying to form workgroups of local, state, federal and non-governmental groups to evaluate and develop processes for weed management.”
Slade Franklin, the Weed and Pest Coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture spoke about some of the strategies his department has helped deploy at the local level, including various herbicides, biocontrols and seeding native plants. “Having on the ground coordination is the way that we can functionally get treatments done and actually mitigate some of the impacts these annual invasive grasses have,” he said.
Jeremy Maestas a Wildlife Biologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service spoke about regional strategies the NRCS has successfully employed in the fight against annual invasive grasses, including the ‘defend the core’ philosophy. “We’ve come to a point where technology and some of the herbicide tools we have are actually allowing us to have a chance,” he said. “There is hope. There are examples of people winning on a large scale.”
Invasive Annual Grasses Management was the final webinar in a four-part series for Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s WGA Chair Initiative, Working Lands, Working Communities, which is examining the interdependent relationship between western communities and natural resource management entities, as well as the role that local communities play in successful land planning and management processes.
Watch recordings of all four webinars from the Working Lands, Working Communities webinar series here.