Meet our Team: Mark Daluge (2022)
Q - How long have you worked at TCWP and what is your role?
A - Almost 12 years! I have been the Seasonal Office Manager, Part time Office Manager, Landowner Program Coordinator, and now the Assistant Supervisor.
Q - Why did you start working at TCWP?
A - I started working for TCWP because the golf course I was supposed to work at in Wisconsin was sold—so I decided to stay in Jackson for a summer. I have a degree in Agricultural Business Management, so working for TCWP seemed like a logical job.
Q - What are your greatest successes and accomplishments at TCWP?
A - In 2019 I was awarded the Rita Beard Visionary Leadership Award. This award is given annually and recognizes an early-career individual who has shown exceptional dedication and accomplishments regarding invasive species management or educational activities.
Some of my other accomplishments include being the former President of NAISMA (North American Invasive Species Management Association), overseeing the transfer of ownership of the PlayCleanGo education campaign from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to NAISMA, implementing an aerial application program for the treatment of cheatgrass in Teton County, and developing a drone treatment program for weed and mosquito control.
Q - What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced at TCWP?
A - The greatest challenges have been implementing the Drone Treatment program, learning GIS platforms, and trying to figure out how to prioritize mosquito management.
Q - Least favorite weed and why?
A - Hoary Alyssum—it’s hard to spot, which makes it hard to treat. It also flowers and produces seed all summer if left unaddressed.
Q - Favorite memory at TCWP?
A - My favorite memory is also probably the toughest days I’ve had. Ten years ago we were treating East Gros Ventre Butte for cheatgrass. At the time we could not treat via helicopter, so we had to hike up the butte and treat via a backpack sprayer. We had a team of mules bringing us herbicide and drop canisters at certain areas where we could fill. We crisscrossed the hillside all day spraying, and by the end our feet and legs were absolutely beat.
After that day, I vowed never to treat cheatgrass that way again. Five years later we did our first pilot project spraying cheatgrass via helicopter on that same hillside.
Q - What are your hopes and dreams for Teton County in the future?
A - My dream for Teton County in the future is to be a place where my children can live if they choose to. Currently, affordable housing supply and wages/salaries are too low for most local kids to be able to live here when they grow up.
Q - Hobbies?
A - I enjoy skiing, rafting, camping, gardening, coaching swimming for the Stingrays, and cheering on my Wisconsin Badgers!
Q - What are you thankful for?
A - I am thankful for the ability to raise my family in this amazing place.
Q - What do you hope to accomplish in the future at TCWP?
A – Eradication of Perennial Pepperweed in the Snake River Corridor. With the help of dogs trained to smell this plant, it is possible!