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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Research Project #416687

Research Project: Do Weed Prevention Areas Influence Land Manager Practices and Help Prevent New Infestations of Invasive Weed Species?

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The optimum outcomes for the objectives of this research are to reduce the number of new weed introductions and successful establishments within designated Ecologically-based Integrated Pest Management (EBIPM) demonstration areas through the creation of organized Weed Prevention Areas and the adoption of effective weed prevention practices by individual WPA members. The objectives of this research are to: 1) Determine the composition and distribution of invasive weed populations of representative portions of four EBIPM demonstration areas for use as a baseline reference, 2) Assess biological and social factors that may affect the success of prevention/early control efforts within each of the four EBIPM demonstration areas, 3) Assist local stakeholders in organizing Weed Prevention Areas within two of the four EBIPM demonstration areas (Fisher Creek and Jordan Valley), 4) Propose geographical boundaries for WPA's within those two EBIPM demonstration units, and create a list of weed species targeted for prevention in each area, and 5) Identify effective and practical weed prevention methods, and communicate them to the local land owners/managers within the two WPAs.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
On-the-ground GPS vegetation inventories will be conducted to determine the initial abundance and distribution of downy brome and other non-native invasive weed species within a representative 2400-acre portion of each Ecologically-based Integrated Pest Management (EBIPM) demonstration area in the summer of 2009 using published protocols developed and utilized by USU for wildland weed inventories conducted on National Park Service, BLM, and Forest Service lands. The data will be used to compile lists of species that are either absent or uncommon enough to qualify as prevention target species within each demonstration area. An opinion/behavior survey of public and private land managers will be conducted within the same four demonstration areas in the winter of 2009 (prior to any WPA establishment) to determine individual attitudes about invasive weeds, and the practices and level of effort those land managers are currently devoting to the prevention and management of invasive weeds. Weed Prevention Areas will be organized during the early spring of 2010 in the Fisher Creek and Jordan Valley EBIPM demonstration areas. The opinion/behavior study conducted in 2009 will be repeated in all four demonstration areas during the winter of 2011. Any changes over time in the opinions and/or adoption of weed prevention practices by land managers will be compared between WPA and non-WPA areas to see if the education and other inputs associated with creation of a WPA resulted in measurable improvement in attitudes and practices during the 2-year test period. The field inventories will be repeated in all four demonstration areas during the summer of 2012, and the number of infestations of prevention-targested species identified in 2009 will be compared with those found in 2012 to see if there is any correlation between the establishment of WPAs and a hypothesized reduction in the number of successful new weed introductions.

3. Progress Report:
The goals of this project are to assess biological and social factors that may affect the success of prevention and early control efforts within the Ecologically-Based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) demonstration areas and identify effective and practical weed prevention methods which contributes directly to Subobjectives 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 of the Area-wide pest management project for annual grasses in the Great Basin. Information gained from the research conducted has shown how weed prevention species and sites can be selected in Weed Prevention Areas. In the past year, the technology transfer products produced from this research has been distributed to an estimated 750 land managers. In Utah, the impacts have included the State Dept. of Agriculture making funds available for watershed groups to initiate weed prevention areas. A model weed prevention area that was formed as part of this project has been an important component of numerous field days and workshops for community groups interested in starting a Weed Prevention Area.

4. Accomplishments