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County Offices

Elko County 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.

Programs Program Information

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

Capacity building strengthens an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to have a positive impact on communities. Strategic thinking, visioning, action planning, and board development are capacity building activities.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

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.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Heart and Shield

Parents and children who have experienced domestic violence in the past participate in hands-on activities to foster family bonds, enhance communication and problem solving skills, and focus on healthy relationships. Parents learn about their child’s development, parenting styles, guidance, coping skills and health and wellness while children and youth build friendships, listening and other social and emotional skills. Each session of the 12-week program includes a healthy snack or meal, separate parent and child meetings, family-based activities, a health and wellness tip and a closing activity. Parent interact with one another during the parent meetings through group discussions, role play and other experiential-based activities. Children and youth learn important skills through play, group discussions, theatre arts, games and other hands on activities.

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.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding to Child Maltreatment

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in Elko County. Child caregivers, youth workers, volunteers and anyone interested in learning what they can do to prevent child abuse and neglect can attend this workshop. Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, understand their reporting requirements and their role in preventing child maltreatment.

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.

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.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Beef Quality Assurance
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Stronger Economies Together
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Weed Prevention and Management