Happy Holidays 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:
  • PARTNERSHIPS - A "secret weapon" in invasive species management
  • What you should know about mosquitoes before holiday travels
  • Ring in the New Year with EIGHT new noxious weeds!
  • TCWP District Christmas gift to the Jackson Hole community
  • Upcoming Events - January Board Meeting
The Importance of Partnerships
to Invasive Species Management in Wyoming
When it comes to fighting invasive species in Wyoming, our "secret weapon" is PARTNERSHIPS! This holiday season, we would like to highlight some partnerships that have contributed to the success of weed control programs in Teton County and the rest of the state.

PlayCleanGo is a national campaign against invasive species that is especially relevant in the outdoor-loving state of Wyoming. The campaign's goal is to help outdoor recreators see the link between fun in the outdoors and the inadvertent spread of invasive species along recreation pathways. The campaign message provides a clear call to action: PlayCleanGo - Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks! In other words, have fun doing what you love to do outside, but be informed, attentive and accountable so that you are not spreading invasive species through your outdoor activities.

To help spread this message, hundreds of organizations in the U.S., including many in Teton County, have become PlayCleanGo Partners. As partners, these organizations encourage recreation while also raising awareness about the risk of spreading invasive species through different outdoor activities. They do this by including PlayCleanGo messaging in their marketing materials or disseminating PlayCleanGo educational materials to their patrons.

This is an example of a brochure that could be disseminated at a vehicle rental shop or outdoor store.

Some of the PlayCleanGo Partners in Teton County include:
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Moosehead Ranch
Scenic Safaris
Jackson Hole Adventure Rentals
West Bank Anglers
Teton Science Schools
Friends of Pathways
Mountain Khakis
TCWP has teamed up with Backcountry Zero to help spread the PlayCleanGo message while also educating the community about backcountry safety. Amy Girard and Meta Dittmer of TCWP sport T-shirts from Backcountry Zero.  
If you would like to remind customers to PlayCleanGo when engaging in activities endorsed by your organization, become a Play Clean Go Partner today!  
Weed Warriors Without Borders: The Jackson Hole Weed Management Assoc.
The Jackson Hole Weed Management Association (JHWMA) is a cooperative relationship between government, nonprofit, and private land management entities that work together to establish and fund weed management priorities in the Jackson Hole area.
JHWMA Management Area

The land within JHWMA boundaries encompasses 2.7 million acres and includes all or part of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Bridger-Teton and Caribou-Targhee National Forests, the National Elk Refuge, private land, and other state and federal parcels. This important partnership acknowledges that noxious weeds do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries and must be managed cooperatively on an ecosystem level.
JHWMA members join forces for three days each year to treat spotted knapweed along the Gros Ventre River during Gros Ventre River Spray Days.

The JHWMA meets quarterly to share successes and failures and to plan new projects and activities. Speaking of projects, the annual Gros Ventre River Spray Days is a project started by JHWMA in 2004 that continues to this day. Every year in July, land management entities from around the state get together to treat spotted knapweed along the Gros Ventre River. After 13 years, the knapweed infestation is noticeably less dense!

Another ongoing project initiated by the JHWMA is the 4th Grade Wildlife Expo. For one day in May every year, about 200 4th graders from around Teton County converge on the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center for the event. They visit different educational stations staffed by JHWMA member agencies and learn about a wildlife related theme that changes each year.
Teton County 4th graders learn about the negative impact of invasive species on wildlife at the annual JHWMA Wildlife Expo.

As a JHWMA member, the Teton County Weed and Pest District coordinates the Wildlife Expo and provides weed management services to private landowners in Teton County. These services include free noxious weed consultations and weed management plans, a 50% discount on herbicides, and free backpack sprayer rentals. Visit our website to learn more about these services.

Are you interested in becoming a JHWMA member? Find out how!

Current members of the Jackson Hole Weed Management Association include:
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Friends of Pathways
Grand Teton National Park
Hanna Outfitting
Intermountain Aquatics
Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance
Jackson Hole Land Trust
Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation
Jackson/Teton County Parks & Recreation
National Elk Refuge
Natural Resource Conservation Service
Snake River Fund
Teton Conservation District
Teton County Weed and Pest District, Wyoming
Teton County Weed Department, Idaho
Wyoming Dept. of Transportation
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

The Wyoming Mining and Natural Resources Foundation 
The Wyoming Mining Natural Resource Foundation (WMNRF) is a nonprofit corporation founded by members of the trona and coal mining industries in southwest Wyoming. As their name implies, WMNRF is dedicated to both improving people's lives through mining industry practices and products, and partnering with other stakeholders to develop solutions to natural resource challenges. Their strategy brings landowners, land managers, and academia to the table with industry to discuss, develop, and implement innovative conservation practices based on sound scientific research. This foundation and the partnerships it has formed are a great example of what can be accomplished when industry collaborates with private landowners and land management agencies to address landscape-scale issues.
The vision for creation of the WMNRF was inspired by a cooperative, voluntary conservation initiative led by the trona/soda ash industry with an objective of benefiting the Greater sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligate species and conserving the habitat on which they depend in southwestern Wyoming.

The WMNRF has most recently become involved in combating the invasive species problem in southwest Wyoming. They started by hosting a workshop for stakeholders impacted by invasive weeds to clarify the extent and threat of these species in the region, and discuss treatment priorities and potential long-term solutions. The workshop was held last April in Green River and was attended by representatives from conservation and agricultural organizations, private landowners, academia, university extension and research stations, and local, state and federal agencies. This collaboration resulted in a commitment from WMNRF to help fund future invasive species projects in the area.
Representatives from WMNRF and Sweetwater County Weed and Pest meet with a private landowner to discuss weed control opportunities on his property.

Later that summer, the foundation had an opportunity to put their words into action. Dan Madsen, supervisor at Sweetwater County Weed and Pest District, introduced the foundation to two landowners with property along the Blacks Fork River that was infested with Canada thistle, perennial pepperweed, wild licorice, salt cedar, and a few other species. After visiting the site, the WMNRF agreed to fund herbicide treatment on the 227-acre infestation for three consecutive years. The treatment area was later expanded to 513 total acres to include adjacent private and public land parcels that were also infested.

In 2017, WMNRF funded herbicide treatment on 513 acres of weed-infested private and public lands along the Blacks Fork river, in Sweetwater County. This is part of their commitment to support habitat improvement projects in southwest Wyoming.

The partnership demonstrated by the WMNRF is a great example of how bringing the right people to the table - people who can contribute the necessary knowledge, skills, experience, or resources - is the way to solve natural resource problems in the most efficient and effective way. This partnership is a model that will hopefully be replicated in other areas of the state.  
Tyler Keck, Sustainability Supervisor for Tata Chemicals and WMNRF Chairman, summarized the value he saw in this partnership, stating:  
We all know that partnering on invasive plant control with other land users and land managers provides for better habitat, but for me, the smile on a grazer's face when industry came to the table to help address a problem he has faced for decades was the real success story.  It is my belief that the formation of these relationships will be the foundation on which landscape scale issues can be managed successfully long term. 
The founding members of the Wyoming Mining and Natural Resources Foundation include:
Bridger Coal Company
Ciner Wyoming LLC
Genesis Alkali
Solvay Chemicals
Tata Chemicals
Learn more about the Wyoming Mining and Natural Resources Foundation and projects they are sponsoring by   visiting their web page. 
WARNING: "Holiday Season" does NOT mean the end of mosquito season
If you thought the "Holiday Season" meant the end of mosquito season...
You were right! Unless you are travelling outside of Wyoming this winter, which a lot of us are. 

Around February, most of us are getting cabin fever and have been sitting under our UV "happy lights" long enough. We are ready to feel warm sand between our toes and hear the lull of ocean waves crashing on the beach. Come February, it will be time for a southern migration.

Something you probably won't think about, as you are packing your swimsuit and snorkel gear, are... mosquitoes! The holiday season surely erased all memory of the previous mosquito season. But you must remember, as you head towards the equator, that mosquito season never ends in these warmer climates. There are mosquito-borne diseases south of us that have never tasted the crisp mountain air of Wyoming.
Aedes aegypti is a common vector of infectious disease in equatorial regions.  It also occurs in southern regions of the United States.

Serious diseases spread to humans by infected mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria. Some of these diseases are deadly, none of them are enjoyable, and all are preventable if adequate precautions are taken.

Before embarking on your southern migration, check the risk of vector-borne diseases in the area you plan to visit. Mosquitoes, with their syringe-like mouthparts, are well  known disease vectors. But other bloodsucking insects like ticks, flies, and fleas are also capable of spreading nasty diseases like leishmaniosis, Lyme disease and plague.
The World Health Organization created this map depicting frequency of deaths from vector-borne diseases around the world. Does your travel destination lay in an area of concern? 

Do some internet research on the areas you will be traveling to, and find out what diseases are carried by the local mosquitoes and learn if there are any current disease outbreaks. The following websites are a good place to start your search:

Based on the map above, you may think any holiday travels within the United States are free of risk of such diseases. However, Zika and Chikungunya viruses are transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, both of which can be found in southern regions of the United States.

This map shows the range of Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus in the U.S. These species are vectors of diseases that are common in equatorial regions.

Fortunately for us, the cold and dry climate in Wyoming is inhospitable to the known vectors of almost all of the diseases mentioned above. Though it is possible that an Aedes mosquito carrying Zika or chikungunya could hijack a ride on a tourist and arrive in Wyoming via airplane, it is unlikely that it would survive our cool summer nights, and it definitely wouldn't survive winter. 
WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that has high prevalence in the intermountain west. It is transmitted locally by the mosquito, Culex tarsalis.

Culex tarsalis is a local mosquito that finds it quite comfortable in the intermountain west. This mosquito is also a vector for West Nile Virus (WNV) - a disease that first appeared in the eastern US in 1999 and subsequently swept across the country. This relatively innocuous mosquito was largely ignored before the spread of WNV, but now Culex tarsalis has the attention of all mosquito abatement professionals in the West. Teton County's Mosquito Abatement Program includes trapping and testing Culex tarsalis for WNV infection. It has been many years since we have had a positive test.

TWCP Mosquito Program Coordinator Amy Girard holds a PINT of dead mosquitoes. All mosquitoes are identified to species using a microscope, and any Culex tarsalis found are tested for West Nile Virus.

So, if you are planning winter travels to an exotic land with a high risk for vector-born disease, or if you are just going down to Florida for a break from the snow, the same precautions should be taken. TCWP would like to remind you of the "Four Ds" of mosquito avoidance:
  1. Drain! Mosquitoes like standing water, so be sure to drain any mosquito habitat you find.
  2. Dawn/Dusk! Mosquitoes come out at this time, so you need to wear repellent or go inside.
  3. DEET!  Wear repellents containing DEET or other effective ingredients.
  4. Dress! Wear protective clothing when mosquitoes are out.
TCWP wishes you a disease-free holiday season!

New weeds on the "Naughty List" for 2018
In November, Teton County Weed and Pest District staff attended the annual conference of the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council to discuss important weed and pest issues in the state. One of the critical discussions at this year's conference concerned new weed and pest species that should be added to the official lists of species that are considered "noxious" and worthy of control programs.

If a weed or pest species is on the official "State Designated List," then all counties in Wyoming are required to have an effective program for the management of that species. Since not all counties have problems with all the same weed and pest species, each county also has an official "County Declared List." This list includes additional species that are viewed as a threat to that county.

Invasive species do spread from the source of the invasion and they cross state and county lines without hesitation. Therefore, it is necessary to update these lists periodically so that new threats can be acknowledged and added to the appropriate lists. 

It is rare that a species is removed from the lists because it is practically impossible to remove all traces of an invasive species once it has taken root in a place. However, a species that has been successfully controlled, or has very few infestation locations, is treated with an Early Detection - Rapid Response (EDRR) approach. This approach, in layman's terms, means locate the small infestations as early as possible, and annihilate them before they spread or build a large seed bank. At TCWP we live by the mantra, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"

This year, the following weed species will be added to the Teton County Declared Noxious Weed List, pending approval from the Wyoming Department of Agriculture:

Tribulus terrestris is an annual plant in the Caltrop family that has yellow, 5-petaled flowers; pinnately dissected leaves; and small thorny fruits. Originally from southern Europe, it grows especially well in dry conditions where few other plants can survive. It is an invasive species in North America and has been documented in many western states, including Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. It gets its name from its mat-forming growth habit and its ability to puncture tires that dare drive over it.
Puncturevine, a newly declared noxious weed, is already present in 17 of Wyoming's counties. It has not yet been reported in Teton County.

Knotweed Complex
The "knotweed complex" includes three species of the genus Polygonum: Japanese, giant and Himalayan knotweed, each differentiated by leaf shape and size. These introduced ornamentals from Asia all have hollow, smooth, jointed stems; sprays of small, greenish-white flowers; can grow up to 20 feet tall; and readily invade wetland areas. Knotweeds have been documented in almost all eastern states as well as Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. A few cases have been reported in Wyoming, including one in Teton County.

Knotweed complex has been documented in at least two Wyoming counties, including a report of Himalayan knotweed in Teton County.

Common Chicory
Cichorium intybus is a blue flowered aster from Europe that has been used as food, medicine, forage, and as a coffee substitute in the US. It has also been declared an invasive species in many states, including all states bordering Wyoming. Now it is officially a noxious weed in Wyoming as well. Chicory is already present in about half of the counties in Wyoming.
Common chicory is already present in Teton County and is now on the county's Declared Noxious Weed List.

Moth Mullein
Verbascum blattaria is a close relative of common mullein - the noxious weed that we use as toilet paper on the hiking trail - but it is arguably much prettier to look at. It is a biennial plant in the Figwort family. Flowers and seeds are produced in its second and final year of life. Moth mullein hails from Eurasia and North Africa but now can be found in almost all states in the US. A few cases have been reported in Wyoming.

Moth mullein is an aggressive invader that has just recently been documented in Wyoming. 

Water Lettuce
Pistia stratiotes was accidentally introduced to Florida from Africa or South America. It is a free-floating or semi-rooted plant that looks like an open head of lettuce. It is characterized by feathery roots, inconspicuous flowers, and thick, hairy, ridged leaves that shade the water and make ideal mosquito habitat. Water lettuce is ubiquitous in the eastern states, but so far has only been reported in a few western states, including Colorado. 
Water lettuce doesn't look like it would thrive in Wyoming's dry climate, but it has been reported in Colorado, which is too close for comfort!

Golden Chamomile
Anthemis tinctoria is a yellow-flowered, perennial aster from Europe that was used historically to produce yellow dye. These days it is a popular garden ornamental that is escaping cultivation and proving to be quite invasive. Gallatin National Forest has regarded it as a noxious weed since 2005. It is currently in Wyoming and much of the US and Canada. 
Look out for golden chamomile, a popular garden ornamental in Teton County that is now on the county's Declared Noxious Weed List.

In addition to declaring these problematic species in Teton County, the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council voted to propose the following species for addition to the State Designated Noxious Weed List.  Petitions for the addition of these species will be put before the Wyoming Department of Agriculture for approval towards the spring/summer of 2018.

Yellow Starthistle
Centauria solstitialis is a yellow-flowered aster from Eurasia with prominent spines protruding from its receptacle in a star pattern. It is considered one of the most invasive weeds in the inter-mountain west. It currently infests about 15 million acres in 17 western states, including a few sites in Wyoming. 

Yellow starthistle is one of the most invasive species in the inter-mountain west, and not a weed we want to become widespread in Wyoming.

Medusahead and Ventenata Grasses
Taenitherum caput-medusae and Ventenata dubia are shallow-rooted winter annuals from Eurasia with an invasive nature that is reminiscent of cheatgrass. By listing these species now, we hope to prevent them from ever spreading to the extent that cheatgrass has. These species are currently found in many western states, but only documented in a few Wyoming counties at this point.

Medusahead has been reported in Sheridan County.

Ventenata grass has been reported in Sheridan and Johnson Counties.

Now that these invaders are on our radar, we will be able to prevent them from getting a good foothold in Teton County. Please do your part by notifying TCWP if you see any of these species in the county.
Merry Christmas Teton County!!!
Every year, in lieu of a holiday party or intra-office gift exchange, Teton County Weed and Pest District employees choose a local organization to make a donation to.  In the past we have made Christmas donations to Soroptimist, the Angel Tree program, and directly to families in need by paying bills or providing gas cards.  This year, we will be partnering with Slow Food in the Tetons and The Jackson Cupboard to provide fresh, local produce to people in need.
Slow Food in the Tetons is a local chapter of the national nonprofit organization, Slow Food USA. Its mission is to increase people's access to fresh, local produce by publishing a local food guide, and hosting year-round farmer's markets, family cooking classes, and other events throughout the year.      
The Jackson Cupboard is a food bank in Jackson that opened its doors in 2001.

The Jackson Cupboard is a food bank that has been serving the Jackson community since 2001.  It is a non-political, non-religious organization that receives no government funding and operates off 100% private donation. Last year, 95% of all monetary donations were used to purchase food for the needy people in our community.  So far in 2017, over 5,000 people in need of food have visited The Jackson Cupboard. 
Rachel Daluge, wife of Assistant Supervisor Mark Daluge, is now The Cupboard's Operations Director.
This year, Rachel Daluge, wife of TCWP Assistant Supervisor Mark Daluge, was hired as The Cupboard's Operations Director.  Rachel and Mark made us all aware of the important service that The Cupboard provides for our community. The Cupboard's mission, "to provide essential, nutritious food for our community members in need," aligns well with the mission of Slow Food in the Tetons. TCWP strongly supports the efforts of both of these organizations and we are proud to give to a cause that provides fresh, local foods to families that need it the most. 

Get free perishable food like milk, bread and produce at Free Food Fridays.

We as a district would also like to take this opportunity to promote The Cupboard's "Free Food Fridays." Every Friday from 10am-3pm, the public is invited to stop by The Cupboard and take home any perishable food items that have not yet found homes. Stock your refrigerator with food you will eat over the weekend, and prevent it from being wasted.
The Jackson Cupboard is located next to Browse n' Buy  on Cache Street.
Happy Holidays from all of us at TCWP!

January Board Meeting: Wednesday, January 17 @ 12pm
TCWP Strategic Planning Meeting: Tuesday and Wednesday, January 16-17 

Visit our Event Calendar on our website for more info. 

Photo Credits:
All photos and diagrams courtesy of Amy Collett, Meta Dittmer, TCWP, World Health Organization, and Center for Disease Control, or were "free to use or share" on internet.
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