Aerial weed treatments for cheatgrass, leafy spurge to begin in Government Draw

(Lander, WY) — With a shared commitment to managing healthy rangelands, the Bureau of Land Management will partner with Fremont County Weed and Pest for a fifth season of aerial weed treatments in the Government Draw area east of Lander. Treatments may occur from August 20th through September 15th.  

To combat cheatgrass and leafy spurge expansion and improve habitat for wildlife and livestock grazing, the herbicide Panoramic and adjuvant Sun Wet will be sprayed from a helicopter.

Panoramic will provide selective post-emergent control of leafy spurge and pre-emergent control of cheatgrass. The spray areas will target dry draws where leafy spurge and cheatgrass have invaded. The project has been successful in limiting the abundance and spread of noxious weeds, which each damage rangelands in different ways.  

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“Leafy spurge outcompetes native vegetation and is toxic to livestock and wildlife,” said BLM Natural Resources Specialist Emma Freeland. “Cheatgrass also outcompetes native vegetation and tends to dry out early in the growing season, resulting in fine, continuous fuels that make wildfires more likely to spread quickly. Controlling these weeds results in positive outcomes for livestock producers, wildlife and recreationists.”  

Fremont County Weed and Pest and the BLM implement these treatments with support from a wide variety of cooperators, including local landowners, the Wind River/Sweetwater River Sage-grouse Local Working Group, Wyoming State Lands, Wyoming Weed and Pest Council State Allocations Committee, and Wyoming Department of Transportation. 

Actual spraying days will depend on weather conditions. The area will remain open during the project dates but please use caution to avoid spraying operations. Spraying will not occur in an area whenever the pilot detects human presence. 

h/t BLM Wyoming Lander Field Office

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