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Programs

Natural Resources Programs

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.

Issue:

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Noxious weeds have already invaded thousands of acres of Nevada’s lands and waterways and threaten water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational activities and the economic stability of ranchers, farmers and other land managers.

What Has Been Done:

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. There are numerous activities every spring in which weed volunteers pull and/or spray hundreds of acres of noxious weeds. These volunteers:

  • Educate their neighbors and other local residents about the threat of noxious weeds by making presentations, staffing booths, writing media articles and giving tours.
  • Identify weeds and map infestations. They develop databases and monitor the infested areas.
  • Control and eradicate weeds by conducting weed pulls and applying herbicides to large infestations.

There are more than 30 Nevada coordinated weed associations and other groups, according to the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Weed Coordinator. UNCE plays an active role in many of these groups, serving as catalysts, educators and grant consultants. The goal is to achieve long-term sustainability of the weed control efforts.

Various weed control methods are also being tested by Cooperative Extension working with local individuals and groups. For example, weed control by ruminants.

Impacts:

The Tahoe Weed Coordinating Group - consists of landowners and managers, regulatory agencies and residents working together to share information and resources to achieve effective weed control in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Cooperative Extension is key to their efforts. As a result of efforts of this group, we measured a 57% decrease in total weed infestations from 2004 to 2006 in El Dorado and Placer Counties, and a 28% decrease on USFS properties in the basin. We also measured a 41% decrease in sites infested with five priority weeds in Incline Village.

The Truckee Meadows Weed Group- provides a variety of educational programs to elementary schools on weeds. Teachers at 19 elementary schools (29.7% of all Truckee Meadows elementary schools) requested one or more presentations. In a post-class test, 63% of students in grades 3-5 could name 2 or more ways that weed seeds spread, and 69% could correctly identify three or more of the five priority weeds. Their outreach campaign this past year was successful in increasing weed reporting via the hotline and Web site. After the Aug. 7 full-page ad, hits on the website jumped from about 90 per day to about 180 per day, and remained elevated. The website was accessed 7,344 times in 2006. Also in 2006, $30,000 from the Carson- Truckee Water Conservancy was used to treat headwaters drainages along the Truckee River. Washoe County Roads treated 1745.3 acres of various weeds along roads, and City of Reno road and ditch maintenance personnel treated 101.4 acres of weeds. Sparks treated 1,234 acres of parks, medians, roadsides, ditches, alleys, schools, etc. with chemical controls in 2006. NDOT spent 290 man-hours controlling weeds with herbicides on approximately 160 acres in wetland mitigation basins and along Interstates 80 and 395. USFS treated 100 acres. Weeds on 2702 total acres were controlled. Finally, volunteers met at several locations to mechanically remove a variety of weed species from local parks and trails. For example: Oxbow Park: April 29 (5 bags of thistles removed by a few volunteers), Mayberry Park: May 6 (27 bags of thistles removed by 10 volunteers); Dorostkar Park: May 6 (90 bags of thistles, hoary cress, perennial pepperweed removed by 2 community service crews led by a Extension trained Weed Warrior).

Weed Control By Ruminants-As a result of this program, 4,000 goats and 2,000 sheep were purchased by five individuals and are now grazing weeds on a contract basis in Eastern Nevada. These five new successful businesses are in their first year of operation thanks in large part to information learned from this program and Extension’s assistance. Over fifty interested parties participated in a two-day educational workshop. Participation ranged from interested grazers, agency personnel and the publisher of Western Farmer Stockman Magazine. Participants were from five western states. On a scale of 1 to 5 with one being poor and five being excellent the 50 participants rated the overall educational program at 4.8. A 4.9 was given to the instructors’ ability to teach and their knowledge of the subject. Comments from several participants included that they will put the information to work immediately. Gallagher Fencing representative stated that fence sales at local stores rose by over $30,000 following this program and the electric fence demonstration. The Western Farmer Stockman editor in attendance used information learned in his feature story which went out to thousands of readers. Two participants hired two of the five new businesses to control weeds on their Elko County properties.

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.