2020: What A Year It’s Been

We love to reflect back on the year we’ve had and this year is no exception. No one would have anticipated what this year had in store but we (like so many) made adjustments to serve Teton County effectively. Here is our End of Year Report for 2020 and a special Brighter Side from our staff.

Summary of the year’s activities: 

  • Managed to fulfill the majority of our obligations even with a smaller seasonal crew due to COVID
  • Successfully deployed a drone for mosquito larviciding and herbicide treatments on steep slopes, otherwise inaccessible.
  • Mosquito – prioritizing culex locations, very few adult mosquito complaints
    • Monitored mosquito populations through 256 trap events and over 3,500 larval sampling events. Approximately 1,134 acres were treated with larvicide and adulticide was applied on four nights. 
  • Had two successful large grant projects, details below
  • Forged new partnership with Health Department and Town of Jackson
  • Added a PCR machine to our lab to do in-house arboviral testing (WNV, SLE, & WEE)

Unique Challenges

  • COVID-19:
    • Seasonal employee housing – cut our seasonal crew numbers 50%, had no cases
    • Curbside service for landowners, remote working for FT staff

Special Projects

  • COVID-19 Wastewater Testing – partnership with Town of Jackson and Teton County Health Dept. 
  • Aerial Cheatgrass Mitigation Project
    • Treated 4365 acres over 10 days.  Broken down by ownership, 1145 acres were treated on the National Elk Refuge, 2518 acres on the Bridger Teton National Forest, and 702 acres of State/Local government and private land.  
  • Snake River EDRR
    • Working Dogs for Conservation
      • 3 dogs were successfully trained to locate both perennial pepperweed and saltcedar and found 9 separate perennial pepperweed locations – 4 new locations
      • These dogs are now capable of locating these species for other projects in other locations providing a useful tool for conservation both throughout the region and around the world – TCWP will continue this project next year
    • Reductions in high priority species (ie. saltcedar, pepperweed)
  • Drones: This year we expanded drone treatments for both Mosquito and Invasive Plant programs.
    • Mosquito larvicide: 62 acres
    • Invasive Plant (mostly on steep hillsides for spotted knapweed and cheatgrass:  8 acres 
    • Utilized waterproof surveillance drone to look for standing water and check for breeding with underwater video.
Working Dogs for Conservation

The Brighter Side of 2020

It’s been quite a year. We asked Our Team what was their Brighter Side of 2020.

Despite all the challenges we’ve all faced Teton County Weed and Pest has accomplished quite a lot on and off the clock.

Thank you to our Teton County community for being so patient with us as we pivoted to keep our operation alive despite this global pandemic. We are proud of what we accomplished this year and with your help we can continue to serve you and the one’s you love safely.

-The TCWP Team