Weed Watch!
Colorado Weed Management Association
1st Quarter Newsletter 2022
Looking Forward to 2022 and Beyond

We hope you are enjoying your winter season, whether you ski, snowshoe, sled, or just read a book by the fire! Our Board of Directors are looking forward to 2022 and bringing more value to our membership through our strategic planning objectives. Keep an eye out for new offerings this year!
Registration for 2022 Spring Training is Now Open!

Register today for our 2022 CWMA Virtual Spring Training on May 4th. Earn ALL your core credits for your CO applicators license in ONE day from your home or work computer.

$109 Member Rate
$129 Nonmember Rate
$409 Sponsorship 
CWMA Strategic Planning Process
by Casey Cisneros, CWMA President, Larimer County Land Stewardship Manager

In 2021, the CWMA Board of Directors underwent a strategic planning process to help create a clear vision for the organization and serve as a framework to provide board governance and organizational management. Our strategic plan was formulated through the board of directors, committees, and member and partner feedback and will serve as a comprehensive guide of goals, objectives and strategies to identify and implement our long-term vision.
We identified a series of goals that focus on membership value, financial stability, education and training, and strategic partnership and alliances. A big part of carrying out this plan is through engaged members – we have a list of committees below that are always in need of more volunteer power. Reach out if you’d like to get involved! 
As a result of this strategic planning process, the Board is recommending a streamlined mission statement – “The mission of the Colorado Weed Management Association is to strengthen the field of science-based invasive species management.” Members will have the opportunity to cast their vote on this change, see below for more information.
We look forward to great 2022! Reach out if you have any questions.

For more information please contact Casey Cisneros at [email protected].  
Update to the CWMA Bylaws
by Kayla Malone, CWMA Past President, Chaffee County Noxious Weed Program Manager

The CWMA Past President is charged with ensuring that the organization's bylaws are maintained in an up-to-date order. The recommendations below are the result of a review conducted in 2021 in consultation with the CWMA Board of Directors.

During 2021, the CWMA Board of Directors implemented an annual strategic planning process into our operations. As a result of that strategic planning process, a streamlined mission statement is being recommended - “The mission of the Colorado Weed Management Association is to strengthen the field of science-based invasive species management”.

Two other changes are recommended:

First, the objectives of the organization have been clearly defined as a part of the strategic planning process in a way that is flexible and allows the organization to respond to changes related to noxious weed mitigation. In order to provide increased flexibility within the organization, the CWMA past president, Kayla Malone, (in consultation and with the support of the Board of Directors), is recommending the removal of section 3.02 “Objectives” in the bylaws. These objectives are included and reflected in the Strategic Plan.

Second, Kayla Malone and the Board of Directors recommends a revision to the bylaws in “Article XVI: Bylaws”. The proposed change would allow for Bylaws to be updated at any point in time during the calendar year with a vote of approval from the membership. All other requirements for bylaws updates are preserved.

Click here to see the recommended bylaws updates.

CWMA members will be asked to approve or deny the bylaws via electronic vote. Please check your inbox for an email later this week.

For more information please contact Kayla Malone at [email protected].
Legislative Committee Update

CWMA Legislative Policy Guide
by Casey Cisneros, CWMA President, Larimer County Land Stewardship Manager

Last year the CWMA legislative committee and lobbying staff drafted a legislative policy guide that can be used to bolster the associations presence during the State legislative process each year. This policy guide is a living document that is meant to be flexible while providing consistent guidance for advocacy. Another goal of the document is to keep CWMA membership informed on current legislative positions that CWMA is taking.

The policy guide was previewed for membership at the 2021 Winter Training in Fort Collins, CO during the annual business meeting. The document outlines the following:

  • CWMA’s Mission
  • The Policy Guide's Purpose
  • Background on the Organization and Legislative Committee
  • Legal Authority for Invasive Species In Colorado
  • CWMA Policy Positions

Click here review the entire CWMA Legislative Policy Guide.

CWMA members will be asked to approve or deny the CWMA Legislative Policy Guide via electronic vote. Please check your inbox for an email later this week.

For additional information on the CWMA Legislative Policy Guide, contact the legislative committee chairperson, Joe Swanson at [email protected] or our lobbyist team at [email protected].

Upcoming Legislation
by Kayla Malone, CWMA Past President, Chaffee County Noxious Weed Program Manager

Legislation is being introduced that has the potential to impact many of our members. The key issues that are included in the “Protect Health of Pollinators & People” include:

1. Repeal of state-wide pre-emption, meaning that every county/municipality would have the ability to restrict pesticides in their jurisdiction.

2. Reclassify Noenicitinoid pesticides as Restricted Use Products.

3. Task the Department of Natural Resources with a study on pollinator health.

4. Create a grant program in the Department of Agriculture that provides funding for farmers to purchase non-coated seeds.

5. Mandate pesticide-free schools and childcare facilities.

Draft Bill Language can be viewed here.

Get involved by joining the legislative committee meeting March 3rd or attending the stakeholder meeting February 11th. For meeting information contact Kayla Malone [email protected].
CWMA Online Education for CE Credits!

Need credits? CWMA has you covered year round with online education approved by the Colorado Department of Ag! 

Attend a live webinar or take an on-demand course that offer CEC’s, under $40 for CWMA members!
Updates from the Palisade Insectary
Canada Thistle Rust Fungus (Puccinia punctiformis)

The Palisade Insectary is suspending the distribution program for the Canada thistle rust fungus, Puccinia punctiformis, until questions can be resolved over which agency, the EPA or USDA APHIS, has regulatory authority over agent distribution. This is not a safety issue, but rather one of defining what category the fungus falls into. The EPA handles regulation of pesticides and the USDA APHIS handles regulation of biological control agents. The rust fungus has been considered by some to be a "biopesticide" triggering a consultation between the two agencies to figure out who's in charge. We anticipate resumption of the distribution program as soon as the issue is resolved. In the meantime we are permitted for experimental work with the rust and that element of the program will continue.
Hoary Cress Gall Mites (Aceria drabae)

On October 15th, 2021 the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Palisade Insectary received approximately ~600 Hoary cress (Lepidium draba) gall mites (Aceria drabae) from Dr. Jeff Littlefield with Montana State University. We are excited to report the introduction of these specialist mites as a first step in the process to rear, release, and monitor their impact as a biological control agent for Hoary cress in Colorado. These mites are quite small, similar to the size of bindweed mites (1/8 mm), and included in the same family (Eriophyidae). Although they are immensely small we are hopeful they can take on the big job of lessening the spread of hoary cress (or whitetop) in our state. Field collection of large enough numbers to release to the public will take two or more years, but it is an eventual goal once successful establishment in CO has been achieved. Currently the new residents are feeding on Hoary cress in the Insectary greenhouse with release into an outdoor garden, the goal for spring 2022.
Weed Awareness Campaign
February Weed of the Month: Rush Skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)
prepared by Tina Travis, El Paso County Environmental Technician
Rush skeletonweed was first reported in the US near Spokane, Washington in 1938. This species is able to rapidly spread and establish.  Once established, it is difficult to eradicate.
Immature rosettes are difficult to distinguish from a dandelion. And like a dandelion; leaves, stems, and roots all contain a milky sap. Mature plants are multi-branched with wiry stems. The stems are almost all leafless. There are distinctive, stiff hairs on the lower portion of the stem that face downward. The upper stems are nearly hairless. 
Rush skeletonweed blooms continuously throughout the season until first frost. The flat flower heads are yellow and grow in the leaf axils and stem tips. They can be single or in clusters. A mature plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds in a growing season. Seeds have a pappus, which allows seeds to be dispersed over long distances via the wind. Seeds are also ribbed with small teeth that allow them to attach to animals and other vectors. 
A perennial that mimics a biennial, Rush skeletonweed overwinters as a rosette. The long thin taproot is distinctive and distinguishes it from similar plants that have short, stout taproots. The deep taproot (7ft plus) allows access to soil moisture in semi-arid locations or during drought. In addition to the deep taproot, the lateral roots produce daughter rosettes. Rosettes can occur from root sprouts, seeds, or tiny fragments of the plant. 
This is a very difficult plant to control. Roots severed up to five feet deep and still sprout a new plant. Root segments as small as one inch can produce new plants. Therefore, roots will continue to produce new plants after hand-pulling.

This plant has already infested many states in the southwest portion of the US. While only found in a few small locations in Colorado, it is important to keep a watch out for this List A species. 

The Weed of the Month is part of the Weed Awareness Campaign and is prepared by Alicia Doran and Tina Travis who are on the committee.
Promoting CWMA Membership:
How Can We Help?

Do you know someone that should be a member of CWMA? Learn all about CWMA benefits and membership types at www.cwma.org/membership. Use this information as talking points to encourage colleagues to join and get active with CWMA. 

Or, perhaps you are unsure whether someone you know is already a member? Search for them in our directory located in the members-only online portal. You can also use this site to renew your membership, register for CWMA events, and update your contact information.

Need help promoting CWMA? Let us know how we can assist you.

Monica Groh, CAE
Colorado Weed Management Association
Native Plant Spotlight: Asclepias asperula
By Ethan Proud, Archuleta County Weed and Pest Supervisor
Asclepias asperula is a milkweed which goes by many names: antelope-horns, spider milkweed, green-flowered milkweed, and inmortal.

Like all milkweeds, antelope-horns is a food source for monarch butterflies and is toxic to livestock. Despite being toxic, it has been used in herbal remedies in Southwestern communities. Antelope-horns are perennials that grow to a height of two feet tall and have narrow lanceolate leaves, and curved seed pods (which is where the name antelope-horns comes from).

Antelope-horns are present along the Western Slope, and from Central Colorado down to the Southeastern Plains.
Call for Submissions: Are You a Writer or Have a Story to Tell?

If you have a success story or event you'd love to share...we want to help!

Colorado Weed Management Association is always looking for new content, exciting stories in integrated management, and alerts on new weed species!

Send in an article, write up, or pictures and we can share them in our quarterly newsletter.
Email submissions to the Communications Committee. Please limit pieces to 500 words.

All submissions are subject to review.

Newsletter contributors have to be CWMA members.

Casey Cisneros

President Elect:

Ethan Proud

Past President:

Kayla Malone


Marisa Neuzil

Executive Director:

Monica Groh

7187 W. 79th Drive
Arvada, CO 80003
(303) 210-7077

Board of Directors:

Curtis Marshall

Derek Sebastian

Mike Auciello

Joe Swanson

Jennifer Cook

Mathew Holzwarth

Brian Kolokowsky
How can CWMA work for you?

Do you want to make a difference with CWMA? Would you like to influence the direction that CWMA is leading? Join a committee by reaching out to the chairs and co-chairs listed below.
Training and Education 

Casey Cisneros

Ethan Proud

Marketing and Communications

Ethan Proud


Joe Swanson

Membership, Nominations and Scholarship

Mike Auciello

Want to join a committee but don't know where to start? Contact us for more info!
Job Opportunities:

Looking to further your career in stewardship, conservation, and natural resources? CWMA shares job postings from natural resource employers!

To view job listings and descriptions, click here.

To post a job, click here.