The Jackson Hole Weed Management Association (JHWMA) hosted the fifth annual Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee's (GYCC) Cooperative Work Days July 19-21, 2016. Over 80 people came from all around the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) to team up for invasive weed control on the Gros Ventre River corridor in Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge, private and state lands. Organized by Travis Ziehl of Jackson Hole Property Services, Teton County Weed & Pest and Grand Teton National Park, the group targeted spotted knapweed, Dalmatian toadflax and perennial pepperweed, all invasive weeds that compete with native vegetation and adversely impact wildlife habitat.
"This was a great opportunity to team up with partner organizations and highlight the importance of managing invasive species across the GYA", said Jake Jarrett, GYCC Terrestrial Invasive Species Committee Chair. "Working across jurisdictional boundaries for the betterment of the entire ecosystem is what the JHWMA and the GYCC Terrestrial Invasive Species Committee are all about".
The spotted knapweed population on the Gros Ventre River represents a major risk for new infestations in other portions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Elk radio collar and GPS collar data suggest that 90% of elk migration routes from the National Elk Refuge transect the Gros Ventre River corridor (Smith and Robbins 1994, Cole and Ketchum 2011). Studies show that wild and domestic ungulates facilitate the transport of invasive plants species. Given that elk that winter on the Refuge migrate as far as Yellowstone Lake, the risk of transport to remote locations in the GYA is significant.
Utilizing herbicide spot treatment by backpack and mechanical control, crews treated roughly 81.5 acres, surveying/monitoring 765 acres total along the Gros Ventre Corridor including the town of Kelly.
Thank you to the following groups who made the project a success!
Fremont, Lincoln, Natrona, Park, and Teton County Weed and Pest Districts in Wyoming
Bonneville and Teton County Weed Districts in Idaho
Jackson Hole Fire/EMS
Boreal Property Management
Jackson Hole Property Services
Bridger-Teton, Custer Galatian, and Shoshone National Forests
National Elk Refuge
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
National Park Service - Northern Rockies Exotic Plant Management Team
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Teton Conservation District
The GYCC was formed to allow representatives from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management to pursue opportunities of mutual cooperation and coordination in the management of core federal lands in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
The GYCC Terrestrial Invasive Species Committee includes invasive species coordinators from each GYA unit, county weed and pest staff, BLM and other state, county and federal weed managers who work together on the creation of common inventories, establishment of cooperative weed management areas, promotion of best management practices, and development of education and information materials and integrated management plans to manage and prevent the spread of noxious weeds.
To learn more about the GYCC and the various Sub-committees, please visit www.fedgycc.org.