Upper Ruby Weed Management Cooperative
History: In 2011 Three Forks Grazing Association, a group of ranching families, surveyed and mapped the various weed infestations throughout their grazing allotments. They found that 830 acres of the 65,000 surveyed contained weeds, the top offenders were houndstongue, spotted knapweed, canada thistle, field scabious, leafy spurge, tall buttercup, hoary alyssum. While some were in remote regions a bulk were associated with trails, roads, and other disturbances. After this initial survey the URWMC was formalized and developed a comprehensive management plan focussing on:
- Improving effectiveness of prevention and control efforts on invasive plants in the management area
- More efficiently utilizing resources across management boundaries through coordination and strategic planning.
They have been holding cooperative spray days and fundraising every year since 2011. Current partners that participate in the URWMC include the Ruby Valley Conservation District & Watershed Council, Madison County, Three Forks (Ruby) Grazing Association, Robb-Ledford Grazing Association, Warm Springs Grazing Association, MT FWP, MT DNRC, US BLM, US FS, the Snowcrest Ranch, Timber Creek Ranch, Warm Springs Ranch, Upper Canyon Outfitters/Tate Ranch, and several additional private landowners and businesses.
Currently 3000 acres are actively managed every year across a 350,000 acre landscape. The treatment area can be seen on the left and contains the Ruby River corridor. The goals of these treatments is to reduce the spread of populations through corridors, to eradicate and contain infestations, and to develop a more complete inventory of invasive populations.
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