Sometimes called Integrated Weed Management or Integrated Pest/Plant Management (IPM), IPM is the coordination of multiple management strategies to reduce or eradicate invasive plants. By utilizing IPM strategies throughout our field programs, TCWP is able to reduce reliance on individual management techniques, balances economic and environmental impacts, and ensures longevity of control methods.
The most effective way to manage invasive species is to prevent them from being introduced or to eradicate them before they become established in new areas.
Community Outreach & Education
We believe that an educated public is an empowered public. To help teach people about invasive plants and how they impact our ecosystem, we offer a variety of adult and youth education and outreach programs.
- School Programs
- Summer Programs
- Custom Programs
Adult and Community Programs
- PlayCleanGo: Stop invasive species in your tracks!
- Community Group Presentations
- Information Booths
- Neighborhood Advocates
Weed Free Products
Invasive plant seeds and reproductive parts can be transported in hay, straw, gravel, and other products. To prevent the spread of invasive plants to new areas and into the backcountry and wilderness areas, TCWP conducts inspections to certify that fields and gravel pits are free of reproductive plant parts.
Inspections are conducted to the North American Invasive Species Management Association standards and are free of charge for producers.
More information on where to purchase Weed Free Hay or Gravel in Wyoming can be found on the Wyoming Weed & Pest Council website.
Grading Permit Reviews
Disturbances within an ecosystem, like those caused by wildfires, bison wallowing, bushwhacking off a designated trail, and construction and development, open areas up to infestation by invasive species. Natural disturbances, large wildfires notwithstanding, are usually small in scale, and healthy ecosystems can readily fill in the gaps with other native species or outcompete invasive species. Human-caused disturbances, also called anthropogenic disturbances, frequently alter the ecosystem on a much larger scale preventing native species from reestablishing on their own, which gives invasive plants a much greater chance of gaining a foothold.
Each year, Teton County Planning Division receives well over 100 Grading and Erosion Control Permit Application. These permits are needed for any land disturbance over ¼ of an acre which is a prime opportunity for the introduction of new invasive plants. To reduce introduction and spread of invasive plants during development, TCWP worked with Teton County Planning staff to require invasive species management plans with all Grading and Erosion Control Permits.
Visit our LDR Compliance page for more information.
Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Program
While it is best to prevent invasive species from ever entering an area, early detection of new species is imperative for minimizing impacts on the ecosystem, reducing costs of management, and eradication of the species. In invasive species management, this is known as Early Detection and Rapid Response, or EDRR.
Of the 66 species considered invasive in Teton County, only a handful are treated as EDRR species. Because these species are rare in Teton County, difficult to manage, and pose a significant threat to our ecosystem, TCWP conducts treatment and monitoring of these species free of charge, including on private property. TCWP prioritizes our designated and declared lists of invasive plants based on several criteria:
- Population of a species present in Teton County
- Invasiveness, or how rapidly the species spreads
- Difficulty of management, including both identification and treatment
EDRR relies on monitoring of susceptible areas, accurate and timely reporting of new infestations, and rapid management response to eradicate the species before it becomes established. Monitoring has historically required “boots on the ground” to locate plants, but this can be difficult with our terrain and the challenges of locating individual plants in natural areas. We are always looking for new tools to add to our monitoring toolbelt whether it’s satellite imagery or comes on four furry legs.
Treatment and Monitoring Methods
Watch List: TCWP staff follow reporting in neighboring states and counties to identify new species that could be introduced into Teton County.
Weed Rewards: TCWP seasonal employees have the opportunity to earn a bonus at the end of each field season for identifying and geolocating new infestations of rare species.
Seasonal Technicians: each year, TCWP hires one to two technicians who spend their entire summer treating and monitoring known locations of high priority species. These technicians also monitor for new and spreading locations of these species.
Snake River Project: in 2001, the first saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) was located on the Snake River. Each year TCWP and the JHWMA Partners float the Snake River stopping on islands and gravel bars to search for invasive plants.
Working Dogs for Conservation: In 2019, TCWP partnered with Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C) on a pilot project to determine if their organization could help locate additional plant locations. WD4C was able to scent train multiple dogs to locate saltcedar and perennial pepperweed. After a successful field trial in 2020, TCWP and WD4C have worked together each year to search for these species along the Snake River.
Cultural Control Programs
Maintaining a healthy ecosystem helps prevent the introduction of new invasive species and makes native species more resilient in the event of disturbance or introduction of new species.
Trout Friendly Lawns: TCWP was asked to partner with the Jackson Hole Clean Water Coalition (JHCWC), a working group comprised of local water resources conservation organizations, in the creation of the Trout Friendly Lawns program. Trout Friendly Lawns is a voluntary program that asks landowners to utilize lawn care and landscaping techniques that create healthy landscapes that, in turn, minimize the impacts on our water systems.
Revegetation Programs: Most of the herbicide treatments that TCWP conducts are targeted spot treatments, but occasionally large scale, broadcast herbicide treatments are necessary to remove dense infestations of invasive plants. On these occasions, TCWP conducts revegetation with native grass or grass/forb mixes in treated areas. For more information on conducting revegetation on your property, visit Teton Conservation District.
Biological Control Program
When infestations of invasive plants are widespread or dense in areas, biological control agents can reduce the competitiveness of these species giving native species an opportunity to reestablish and compete.
Field Program: while biological control agents are not available for all of the invasive species present in Teton County, we have several that are well established and helping reduce populations of species like Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica). Learn more about our Biological Control Program here.
Cost-Share Program: for landowners interested in utilizing biological control on their property, TCWP provides support and assistance in collecting, purchasing, releasing, and monitoring appropriate, USDA APHIS-approved agents.
New Agent Research Support: the process to identify, test, and approve biological control agents is long and arduous. Through the Wyoming Weed & Pest Council BioControl Steering Committee, TCWP provides both financial and field support to USDA APHIS and CABI.
Mechanical Control Program
Mechanical removal of invasive plants is not always practical for the large acreages TCWP staff and seasonals are tasked with managing, but mechanical removal is employed when possible and when the most appropriate method of management.
Species Specific: our EDRR technicians regularly utilize mechanical removal, usually with handpulling or digging, when conducting treatments on small patches of taprooted species, such as dyer’s woad or plumeless thistle. Mechanical removal is often utilized along with herbicide treatments on the Snake River Project to prevent flowering plants from setting seeds and spreading downstream.
Timing Specific: don’t be alarmed if you notice our field crews carrying large knives in the field. Plants must be actively growing for the systemic herbicides that we use to be effective. That means that when plants are dormant, during the hottest and driest parts of the summer, herbicide treatments are not always effective. During these times of year, our field crews chop down flowering plants and spray the basal leaves. This prevents seed production and spread while using a systemic herbicide to kill the root stock. We hear it’s a bit cathartic as well.
Volunteer Programs: TCWP and the JHWMA are working to create a volunteer program to provide assistance in areas with infestations of certain species of invasive plants.
Chemical Control Programs
Each year TCWP monitors and manages invasive plants on thousands of acres of public land in Teton County. Seasonal field crews are hired each year to conduct these treatments. Crew members are trained applicators that are licensed through the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. After reviewing the most up-to-date, peer reviewed data, herbicides are selected based on control of targeted species, no or minimal off-target impacts, human health and safety, appropriate residual control, potential to build herbicide resistance, and other considerations. Herbicides are applied through multiple methods depending on the site and project.
Ground Treatments: primarily conducted through targeted spot treatments with backpack sprayers, these treatments allow field crews to target individual invasive plants with minimal off-target damage. Sites with dense infestations can be treated using truck or UTV mounted sprayers. These sprayers are handheld and can allow for precise applications minimizing off-target damage.
Horseback Treatments: funded and organized through the JHWMA, a contractor is hired each year to conduct herbicide treatments along trails, on slopes, and in other remote areas of Teton County. Pack horses and mules are able to carry water and herbicides much further than humans allowing for herbicide treatments in areas inaccessible by trucks or ATVs/UTVs.
Drone Treatments: treatments on dense infestations of invasive plants on hillsides can be applied using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), also known as drones. Treatments on slopes can be daunting and dangerous for crew members carrying backpack sprayers. Infestations are delineated on GIS software ahead of treatment to allow for accurate treatment areas. UASs are piloted by TCWP staff who have obtained an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.
Aerial Treatments: to date, only cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has been treated using aerial applications of herbicide. Cheatgrass infestations in Teton County occur primarily in large patches on south and west facing slopes making other means of application difficult. Aerial applications using helicopters equipped with GPS allow for targeted treatment of these patches. Recent research into active ingredients produced a new herbicide for cheatgrass management with minimal impact on perennial species allowing for long term management and robust increases in native biodiversity in previously infested areas.
TCWP manages invasive plants on many of the public lands in Teton County. Many of these areas are managed in conjunction with state or federal partners.
WYDOT: TCWP is hired by WYDOT to conduct invasive plant treatments on state highways in Teton County. Occasionally WYDOT hires additional contractors to conduct annual weed treatments or bareground treatments around delineators, signs, and guard rails, but these treatments are outside of TCWP’s statutory responsibilities.
Teton County Roads: TCWP provides invasive plant management on Teton County managed roads as a part of our duty to the taxpayers in Teton County.
Teton County Levees: TCWP provides invasive plant management on Teton County managed levees as a part of our duty to the taxpayers in Teton County. Additional contractors are hired and appointed by the US Army Corp of Engineers to conduct bareground and annual weed treatments for structural maintenance, but these treatments are outside of TCWP’s statutory responsibilities.
Town of Jackson Roads: TCWP coordinates with the Town of Jackson Public Works Department to determine which roads within city limits need invasive species management. TCWP provides this service as a part of our duty to the taxpayers in the Town of Jackson.
Bridger-Teton National Forest: Through an agreement with the USFS Bridger-Teton National Forest, TCWP closely coordinates with BTNF staff and crews to determine areas that are most effectively managed by each entity. These areas can vary from year to year depending on staffing at both entities and funding, but they primarily consist of boat ramps, Forest Service roads, and trailheads.
Grand Teton National Park: Through an agreement with Grand Teton National Park, TCWP closely coordinates with GTNP staff and crews to determine areas that are most effectively managed by each entity. These areas have varied widely from year to year depending on staffing at both entities and funding, but they primarily consist of roadways.
National Elk Refuge: Through an agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, TCWP coordinates with National Elk Refuge staff to determine treatment areas. TCWP manages invasive plants throughout the National Elk Refuge.
Wyoming Game and Fish: Through an agreement with the Wyoming Game and Fish, TCWP coordinates with Jackson Region staff to determine areas of Wyoming Game and Fish feedgrounds prioritized for invasive plant management.
Bureau of Land Management: Through an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management, TCWP coordinates with the Wyoming BLM office for invasive plant management of BLM managed lands in Teton County.
Wyoming State Lands: Through an agreement with Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments, TCWP coordinates with regional staff for invasive plant management on state-owned lands Teton County. These management areas do not include state-owned lands with leaseholders as management of invasive plants is included in lease agreements and is the responsibility of the lessee. A map of state-owned lands including those with leaseholders is available through Wyoming Office of State Lands.
Teton County/Jackson Parks and Pathways: Through an agreement with Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation, TCWP coordinated with Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation staff to determine which parks, pathways, and open spaces are in need of invasive plant management. These areas can vary from year to year depending on staffing at both entities and funding, but they primarily consist of pathways, natural areas in parks, and open spaces.