Weed Prevention Areas: Protecting Montana from Invasive Weeds

Eradicating established populations often requires significant labor and resource commitments over long periods of time. Frequent site visits and consistent herbicide treatments (and sometimes hand pulling, right) several times annually for many years help ensure plants do not reproduce by escaping detection and control.

As eradication progresses on large sites, increased monitoring is needed to maintain high levels of control and increase the likelihood of eradication. But finding juvenile and small adult plants is challenging and sampling becomes increasingly difficult on large sites as management reduces weed density over time. Detection dogs trained to search for and locate invasive plant species over large areas might improve accuracy rates to accelerate eradication on large sites.

detection dog sniffing close to ground
"Nightmare" following the odor gradient to a knapweed plant. Photo: R. Gorsuch

gloved hand holding a weed above ground with intact root
New patches of spotted knapweed can be eradicated by hand pulling several times each year for as many years as additional plants appear.

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