Did you know the mud stuck in the tread of your shoes or vehicle tires can be full of plant seeds? Some of those seeds may belong to invasive plants. Therefore, it is important to clean mud and plant parts off your clothes, shoes, tires, etc. not just in the spring but every time you play or work.
The District became a PlayCleanGo partner in 2014 and has actively promoted this positive message to help protect Jackson Hole. Have you heard the message or seen it on a sign at your favorite trailhead? We hope so! We live here to play and enjoy the abundant recreational opportunities in the area. This also makes it our responsibly to take care of what we love so that future generations can enjoy the same opportunities. Invasive species are not only spread through our recreational travels, but also by actions we do every day around the valley.
As a landowner, contractor, or employee who works in Teton County, it is important to make sure your shoes, clothes, garden tools and equipment are clean of mud and seeds before working. One area of a property may have invasive plants while another area does not, and seeds and other plant parts can be unintentionally spread. If you are a landowner working with a landscaper or contractor on your property, please demand that their equipment is clean upon entering to protect your property value. Do your best to minimize ground disturbance during projects, as any exposed soil is at risk for invasive plants to establish. Stockpiles of soil with invasive species present should be addressed so seed production does not take place. Reducing ground disturbance will also prevent spreading rhizomes of invasive plants like Canada thistle and Dalmatian toadflax throughout the area.
As you may have heard at the end of 2016, Teton County made major updates to the Land Development Regulations (LDR’s). Our simple requests above are now requirements per the LDR’s. The following are the Invasive Species Guidelines for Construction Projects.
- Create an inventory and management plan for all invasive species present on the site utilizing the State Designated and County Declared lists of noxious weeds, or contact TCWP to complete an inventory and management plan free of charge. Management plans shall include pre-construction, active construction, and post-construction integrated control elements as required in 18.104.22.168 of the Teton County LDR’s.
- Clean all construction equipment thoroughly before entering the site to prevent spreading invasive seeds and plant parts into the construction areas.
- Minimize disturbance, as invasive species tend to establish and thrive in these areas.
- Routinely check and treat soil stockpiles and disturbed areas for invasive species.
- Conduct reseeding and revegetation in a timely fashion to prevent invasive species from establishing before desirable vegetation using seed and nursery stock in accordance with the Wyoming Seed Law (WS 11-12-101 – 125) and the Wyoming Nursery Stock Law (WS 11-9-101 – 109). The use of certified weed free gravel, hay and straw is recommended.
- Schedule a post-development site visit with TCWP to update the existing management plan.
Preventing invasive species from being spread in the first place is the cheapest and most effective way to keep them out of Teton County. So how do we do this? What can each one of us do to prevent invasive species from being moved from place to place? We can PlayCleanGo while we play, but we can also PlayCleanGo while we work!
Through positive actions, we can all make a difference in preventing the spread of invasive species. You can help Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks by implementing these simple steps into your work day:
- ARRIVE with clean gear and equipment
- AVOID areas with invasive plants
- CLEAN off equipment, boots, clothing before moving to the next site
- USE CERTIFIED hay, straw and Department of Ag approved planting materials
All of us can protect Teton County and Wyoming for future generations! Enjoy the great outdoors this summer and remember to PlayCleanGo!
For further information on LDR compliance, visit us online at http://www.tcweed.org/resources/land-development/ or contact Lesley Beckworth at Lbeckworth@tcweed.org.