Extension equips Baker County land managers to face the challenge of invasive and noxious weeds

Invasive and noxious weeds are one of the leading causes of land degradation in Eastern Oregon. Affected areas include over 500,000 acres of range and pastureland and countless miles of streams and waterways. It’s difficult for land managers in Baker County to stay up to date on the current noxious weed listings and best management practices to treat weeds, as well as Oregon Department of Agriculture rules regarding the use of herbicides.

In response, Oregon State University Extension Service livestock and rangeland faculty collaborated with the Baker County Weed District supervisor, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Agriculture to organize a one-day range management workshop. The workshop was promoted through direct mail and phone calls and email.

This workshop was held in January 2023 and included 23 participants from diverse agricultural professions. Topics covered in the workshop included:

  • An update on the Baker County noxious weeds list and weed identification manual.
  • Policies related to controlling weeds on the Bureau of Land Management’s allotments.
  • Steps to obtain an Oregon Department of Agriculture pesticide license.
  • Management actions to reduce the risk of invasive weeds on otherwise healthy rangelands.

As a result, a post-workshop evaluation found that 100% of respondents indicated that they planned to incorporate at least one item from the workshop into their management actions. Specifically, respondents aimed to incorporate the following:

  • Preventative treatments rather than reactive spraying.
  • Selecting correct herbicide products for the target species to reduce resistance.
  • Focusing efforts to promote sage-grouse habitat.
  • Obtaining an Oregon Department of Agriculture pesticide license to treat weeds themselves.

These results indicate the workshop accomplished its objective to equip landowners and managers to better face the challenge of invasive and noxious weeds in Baker County.

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