skip to main content

Programs

Natural Resources Programs

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training Program is held several times a year, usually in late winter or spring. This eight-hour, two-day introductory-level training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on improving ability to identify noxious weeds of local importance. A small fee is charged for program materials, and the class can be videoconferenced to other locations upon request. Each year, several dozen people go through the training and become certified Weed Warriors. Pesticide applicators receive six Continuing Education Credits for attending this course. Each year in May during a community event in the Truckee Meadows, Weed Warrior volunteers help rid parks and riverfront areas of invasive thistles.

Issue:

Invasive weeds can move into an area and out-compete native plants for water and nutrients. Eventually, they can entirely replace native vegetation and create a variety of problems — from fire hazard to erosion and water quality issues. Certain weeds that invade the land around water bodies — called riparian areas — can accelerate erosion and prevent native plants that shade the water from becoming established. Without shade, water temperatures rise and fish populations are damaged.

What has been done:

The Weed Warriors program is one of several Cooperative Extension programs that tackles the growing problem of weeds on public and private land. There are more than 30 volunteer-staffed Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) in Nevada, and the Weed Warrior program provides the training for many of their volunteers. The training helps volunteers better identify and manage weeds in their specific geographic regions. In the Tahoe Basin, for example, two basin-wide inventories and treatment cycles of weeds have been completed on more than 5,500 acres, and weeds were treated on 374 acres. Efforts in the Tahoe Basin eliminated an invasion of purple loosestrife after it had been detected early.

Impact:

In the Truckee Meadows, four sites infested with medusahead were found and prioritized for treatment in 2011. An infestation of jointed goatgrass, another high-priority weed that is new to the area, was also found and treated. Volunteers continue to be an asset to the community, removing a total of 53 cubic yards of weeds from three sites last year. The volunteer labor was valued at $2,850. Weed group efforts resulted in 1,635 acres inventoried; 711 acres treated; 859 acres monitored; and 95.5 acres revegetated. Monitoring of treated sites revealed an overall 80 percent reduction in weed populations.

As a weed warrior you can help on community dig days; help map weed infestations, which help determine the extent of the problem as well as the effectiveness of control efforts; and join special projects to find new outbreaks of invasive weeds. For example, after a series of Cooperative Extension public service announcements on the invasive weed medusahead aired, volunteers with weed training were sent out to map, photograph and collect samples from areas identified by viewers.

Weed Warriors play an important role in educating the public; they collect weed samples and press and mount them for us in the classroom. Many master gardeners go through the weed warrior training but it’s not required.

Contact: Melody Hefner, (775) 784-4848

Natural Resources Programs

Programs Program Information

Bootstraps

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) developed Bootstraps, a high-risk youth program that helps teens return to school and/or gain meaningful work.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Invasive Species (Weeds)

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Hundreds of Weed Warriors, Woad Warriors, and other volunteers have been trained by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) personnel in how to spot, control and eradicate noxious weeds.

Living on the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages

Issue:

Living With Fire

Living with Fire is a comprehensive, multi-agency program aimed at teaching homeowners how to live more safely in high wildfire-hazard environments. The program, encompassing research and education, was developed in 1997 as a result of a collaboration between University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), Nevada’s Agricultural Experiment Station and the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators, a group of 12 Nevada and California firefighting agencies.

NEMO Nevada, Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials

The NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program was originated in Connecticut and has spread nationwide. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers the NEMO program in Washoe County. The premise is that improvements in land-use planning can result in protection of water resources, which can negate the need to fix problems after the fact by applying best management practices. The program will help land-use decision-makers understand the nature of the nonpoint source pollution problem and its impact on their lives, towns and natural resource base. This enables them to plan for growth and development while addressing water quality issues through educated land use decisions.

Nevada Naturalist

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) in collaboration with partnering agencies including Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Springs Preserve, Wetlands Park, Nevada State Museum, and others, has developed a comprehensive environmental education curricula targeting adult learners interested in environmental issues affecting southern Nevada.

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Nevada Youth Range Camp

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension faculty work on an interagency and interdisciplinary cadre that puts on Riparian Proper Function Condition Assessment trainings and works with agencies and watershed groups to develop collaboration about riparian management.

Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge through Education

Walker Lake, located in central Nevada, is a natural resource of interest to diverse and often competing groups. Walker Lake: Increasing Knowledge Through Education, is a community-based program to educate adults and youth about Walker Lake issues.

Water Wise

Water Wise is a new, online educational program that complements University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s local watershed protection, storm water protection and land-use decision-maker education projects (NEMO-Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials).

Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training

The Weed Warriors Invasive Weed Training Program is held several times a year, usually in late winter or spring. This eight-hour, two-day introductory-level training introduces participants to the principles of Integrated Weed Management and focuses on improving ability to identify noxious weeds of local importance. A small fee is charged for program materials, and the class can be videoconferenced to other locations upon request. Each year, several dozen people go through the training and become certified Weed Warriors. Pesticide applicators receive six Continuing Education Credits for attending this course. Each year in May during a community event in the Truckee Meadows, Weed Warrior volunteers help rid parks and riverfront areas of invasive thistles.