Aerial spraying of cheatgrass planned for multiple areas in southeast Wyoming, including Badger Creek Wildfire area

Release Date: Sep 10, 2018  

Media Contact: Aaron Voos, (307) 745-2323

 

News Release (PDF)

Treatment Area Maps (PDF)

 

(LARAMIE, Wyo.)  September 10, 2018 – In mid-September, several agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service – Brush Creek/Hayden and Laramie Ranger Districts, are planning to treat cheatgrass at multiple locations in and around the Medicine Bow National Forest through the aerial application of herbicide (Panoramic). The treatment area includes the Badger Creek Wildfire burn scar.

 

In addition to the Forest Service, the project is a collaboration between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office, Carbon County Weed and Pest (CCWP), and the Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD).

 

Aerial spraying with a helicopter could begin as early as Sept. 11. Treatment units are:

  • 1,770 multi-jurisdictional acres within the Badger Creek Fire scar, southeast Snowy Range
  • 1,036 acres in the Bennett Peak (BLM) and French Creek (USFS) area, western Snowy Range
  • 143 acres in the Cottonwood Creek (USFS/deeded) area, western Snowy Range
  • 183 acres in the Pennock Mountain (USFS/State) area, northwest Snowy Range
  • 239 multi-jurisdictional acres in the Purgatory and Mason Gulch area, southeast Sierra Madre Range

 

Actual treatment should take place over 1-3 days in each location, all within a 10-day window, and weather-permitting, is anticipated to be completed prior to Sept. 21.

 

If necessary, temporary area and/or road closures due to the treatments will be signed by the respective land managers.

 

Panoramic poses no threat to humans, wildlife or livestock, however it is recommended that the public avoid areas of application while the helicopter is actively spraying to avoid the possibility that the herbicide could be an irritant. This may result in a slight delay in public land use, but the delays should only last a few hours or until the helicopter moves to a new treatment polygon within the project area.

 

The emphasis of the treatments is on controlling non-native, annual cheatgrass on critical big-game winter ranges and sage grouse habitat, enhancing native vegetation species, stabilizing soils, and reducing erosion. Treating cheatgrass also greatly minimizes the risk of wildfire by the reduction in fine fuels and diminishes the threat of shorter fire intervals in the future.

 

Earlier this summer the Badger Creek Wildfire burned approximately 21,310 acres in the southern Snowy Range, which could allow for the inception of cheatgrass as dominant vegetation in some areas.

 

Cheatgrass is a particularly aggressive invasive species that many agencies and landowners in the western United States are struggling to control. It is a prolific seed producer, thrives in disturbed areas and can displace native plants within grassland communities.

 

Questions about the project should be directed to Brad Weatherd (USFS/Saratoga), 307-326-2516; Jackie Roaque (USFS/Laramie), 307-745-2340; Marcell Astle (BLM), 307-328-4313; Mike Murry (BLM), 307-328-4253; Reese Irvine (CCWP), 307-324-6584; or Katie Cheesbrough (WGFD), 307-760-0489.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mbr/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD595269