August 2017
Welcome to the Teton County Weed and Pest District newsletter! We plan on updating subscribers on useful information pertaining to Mosquitoes and Invasive Species.

Check out our website!

In this edition you will find information regarding:
  • Farewell to Amy Collett
  • Our website is now a one-stop shop for all your weed and mosquito needs!
  • Gros Ventres River Spray Days - The "Wildfire Model" in action!
  • Upcoming Events -Rendezvous Mountain Hill Climb, closure for the solar eclipse and August Board Meeting
Farewell to Amy Collett
Amy Collett has become a household name in Teton County. If you don't recognize the name, you would probably recognize her face, framed in auburn curls, lit up by a cheerful smile, eager to warn you about noxious weeds and teach you how to "Play Clean Go!"
Amy Collett was a familiar face at at public events in Teton County

Amy has been the Education and Public Relations Coordinator for TCWP for 13 years, and in that time, she has managed to spread awareness of the threat of invasive species far and wide in Teton County. Local residents may take it for granted that, for the most part, the people in their community dislike invasive weeds and value pristine, weed-free wildlife habitat as much as they do. This is not the case everywhere, and a lot of this is thanks to Amy Collett.

Amy spent a lot of time in classrooms while she worked as an educator for TCWP  
How did she do it? Amy spent 13 years of her career with TCWP visiting classrooms, educating elementary and middle school students about the harmful effects noxious weeds have on native plant communities and, indirectly, on wildlife. The students shared the message with their siblings and parents, and after 13 years of this, anyone you meet who has gone through the Teton County school system has most likely met Amy and learned about weeds.

Amy coordinated many outdoor activities to educate students about invasive species through her involvement with Camp Jackson and the 4H Wildlife and Habitat Club   
As ambitious as that was, Amy didn't stop with school children. She also attended most of the public events in Teton County each year - the County Fair, Old Bills Fun Run, the Home Show, Pole Peddle Paddle, and more - because, she said as a 13-year veteran, the most effective way to raise awareness about an issue is to talk to people one-on-one. She showed up to these events with a table, some plastic replicas of noxious weeds, posters and stickers to give away, and her cheerful but stern message - noxious weeds are a serious problem and we all need to do our part to prevent them from spreading into our pristine wild areas and negatively impacting wildlife habitat. 

Amy discussing the science behind weed management at the Jackson Hole Wild Science Festival

When she moved to Jackson from Youngstown, Ohio, Amy was intending to work as a wildlife biologist. But after several years of working seasonal wildlife jobs, she settled into the less glamorous but very important niche of Education and Public Relations coordinator for Teton County Weed and Pest. She satiated the wildlife biologist inside of her by emphasizing the threat noxious weeds pose to wildlife habitat in her lessons and presentations. She also partnered with Wyoming Game and Fish department and other local agencies and organizations to host a "Wildlife Expo" every year, which provided Teton County 4th graders with an interactive learning experience focused on wildlife and how they are impacted by invasive species.

Amy partners with Chris White from Wyoming Game & Fish Dept to discuss invasive species at the annual 4th grade Wildlife Expo.

This story is titled, "Farewell to Amy Collett," because, after 13 years of doggedly pursuing her mission to educate Teton County about invasive species, Amy decided she was ready to hang up the weeding gloves and try something new. She is a talented photographer and those who have been to our office have surely seen her work gracing our walls. She plans to expand her photography business - Branding Images Photography- as well as start a new business in Quantum Healing Hypnosis!
While Amy embarks on a new adventure, she leaves behind a legacy. The 13 years she invested into cultivating an awareness of invasive species in Teton County and a concern for the negative impacts they impose on wild areas has resulted in a community with an exceedingly high level of awareness about this issue. Like the artfully framed photographs of noxious weeds on our office walls, memories of Amy and her fervor for the invasive species issue will live on in the awareness and concern for weeds that she has indelibly woven into the fabric of our community.

Our website is now  a one-stop-shop for all of your weed and mosquito needs!
TCWEED.ORG is not just a website. It is an educational tool that Teton County residents can use to take care of all of their weed and pest related issues. Here are just a few important things you can do on our website... 

Find these three buttons on our homepage!

These 3 buttons, front and center on our homepage, can be used in the following ways:
1) Use the first button to submit a form that legally states what TCWP has permission to do on your property. You can give us full permission, permission for all services except for mosquito fogging, or give us no permission at all, but please do it so we know who needs our services and who does not. Permission forms only need to be completed once and are valid until a changed permission form is submitted.

2) Are noxious weeds taking over your land? Are mosquitoes eating you alive? Use the second button to submit a Service Request Form. You can request any of the weed and mosquito-related services described HERE on our website. When we receive your request, we will either call you back for clarification, or just send your request to the appropriate field technician.

3) Would you like to know when we will be spraying mosquitoes in your neighborhood? The third button tells you how to sign up for text alerts that will notify you via text when we will be spraying adult mosquitoes in your area.

Speaking of mosquito spraying, are you curious about the products we use to kill mosquitoes? Answers to many of the questions you might have about our Mosquito Abatement Program can be found HERE on our website.

Pete Bartlett checks mosquito trap

Are you wondering if you might have some noxious weeds in your yard? Are you afraid to admit that you are not quite sure what a "noxious" weed is? Find out all about noxious weeds HERE and use this tool to learn how to identify them.

This Musk Thistle looks dejected after being treated with Milestone herbicide

TCWP provides many services to the county, but we can't do everything. For example, we don't have funding to develop programs for many of the common garden and tree pests that plague residential properties. Fortunately, there are plenty of private contractors in the county who do! We post a list of these contractors on our website, along with their specialty. You can find that list right HERE. If you are a contractor who would like to be added to this list, call our office at 733-8419.

There is a lot more to explore on our website, and hopefully you make good use of this opportunity literally at your fingertips.
 Go to right now and start learning!!!

Gros Ventre River Spray Days - The Wildfire Model in Action!

This summer, the Jackson Hole Weed Management Association (JHWMA) hosted their 18th Annual Gros Ventre River Spray Days event!

This year's event drew 50 volunteers from all over Teton County as well as a few from Idaho. Volunteers teamed up with Grand Teton National Park and Teton County Weed and Pest District for a 3-day cooperative effort to control invasive weeds along the Gros Ventre River corridor.

A spray crew from GTNP forms an "attack line" to assure that no weeds are missed as they patrol the banks of the Gros Ventre River.

"This project is always a great opportunity to team up with partner organizations and highlight the importance of managing invasive species across the region", said Jason McDannold, JHWMA President. "Working across jurisdictional boundaries for the betterment of the entire ecosystem is what the JHWMA is all about".

Each year, roughly 75-100 acres of invasive species are treated in this 1,200+ acre project area. Weeds targeted included spotted knapweed, Dalmatian toadflax and perennial pepperweed. These plants are guilty of competing with native vegetation, adversely impacting wildlife habitat, and transforming ecosystem function.
Spotted knapweed is one of the noxious weeds targeted during the annual Gros Ventre River Spray Days event
  Spotted knapweed was first discovered along the Gros Ventre River in 1974 and spread throughout the area. The first official Gros Ventre River Spray Day was organized in 2000, in hopes of containing the infestation and preventing further spread onto the National Elk Refuge, Grand Teton National Park and into the pristine Gros Ventre Wilderness.


Gros Ventre River Spray Days aims to protect this riparian plant community and the wildlife that depend on it from the threat of invasive weeds 
The aim of the project is to contain the main infestation [ee1]  and hopefully suppress it over time. We do hope to fully eradicate the new infestations created by seeds dispersing from the main infestation.   
This technique is called the "Wildfire Model of Weed Suppression," as wildfires are fought in a similar way. Wildland firefighters first "contain" a wildfire by cutting a firebreak around the boundaries so it cannot spread. Then they focus their efforts on putting out the "spot fires" created when sparks blow over the firebreak and ignite new fuel. One of the goals of the Gros Ventre River Spray Days is to gather a large inter-agency spray crew and spend three full days each summer eradicating these "spot fires" so they don't become new unmanageable spotted knapweed infestations. 
Controlling weeds along the Gros Ventre River is much like fighting a wildfire 
The 18 years of cooperative efforts have seen some major success. Areas that were once nearly 100 % spotted knapweed are now more sparsely infested. Despite the best efforts, some spotted knapweed has managed to spread up the Gros Ventre Road to Lower Slide Lake, most likely hitching a ride on vehicles, horses, bicycles, etc. This is a reminder to all of us that we can prevent the spread of noxious weeds to our favorite recreation areas by learning how to  PlayCleanGo .

After spending time "playing" in a weed-infested area, it is critical to "clean" any weed seeds out of shoes and clothing before entering a new area so that weeds are not spread.
This is how you "PlayCleanGo!"

Gros Ventre River Spray Days plays an important role in the protection of wildlife habitat in Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge. However, the spotted knapweed infestation is so extensive in this corridor, it will never be completely eradicated. JHWMA partners hope that with strategic planning, they will at least contain the infestation and prevent further spread into areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that are still pristine.

Members of the TCWP seasonal spray crew  

Agencies, organizations, and businesses that have assisted with the project over the years include but are not limited to:
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, Intermountain Aquatics, the Bridger-Teton, Custer Galatian, and Shoshone National Forests, the National Elk Refuge, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as well as the National Park Service - Northern Rockies Exotic Plant Management Team. The Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Department of State Lands, Jackson Hole Land Trust, Hanna Outfitting, Gros Ventre River Ranch, Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis, Teton Conservation District, and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

 The JHWMA was formed in 1998 to establish common long and short-term management policies, goals, and objectives necessary for cooperatively managing and funding noxious weed activities across all jurisdictional boundaries. To learn more about the JHWMA, please visit

Rendezvous Mountain Hill Climb, Saturday, August 5th

TCWP Office Closed for Solar Eclipse, Friday Aug 18 - Tuesday Aug 22

August Board Meeting,
day, August 29 from 12 - 2 

Visit our Event Calendar on our website for more info. 

Thank you for subscribing to the Teton County Weed and Pest District Newsletter. We hope that you find the information useful! If there are any topics that would be of interest to you, please email me your suggestions. 




Meta Dittmer
Teton County Weed and Pest District
7575 S. Hwy 89 Jackson, WY 83001