How The Project Will Be Carried Out:
This ongoing project has been administered by the Jefferson County Weed District through the Weed Board and the Jefferson County Weed Coordinators, Jay Cole, Kim Johnson, Dave Burch, and Pat Kountz, out of the County Seat in Boulder. This year we are searching for an orginization to administer the project as budgeting for the Jefferson County Weed District is uncertain at this time. Todd Breitenfeldt the Whitehall Project Biocontrol Coordinator and WHS science teacher directly supervises and works with a crew of another WHS teacher and 3 WHS students all hired as employees. This crew is based out of the High School Science room and lab room at WHS and maintains the greenhouse and insectaries on WHS property. The crew uses their own vehicles for travel and are paid milage. Communications are maintained between Jefferson/Madison Counties, Whitehall, and all parties involved via E-mail, land line phone calls and cell phone calls, along with periodic visits and inspections. A monthly bill is turned in to the administering agencey.
School Year: The Biology students will work on the mtwow.org web site. The Horticulture class will use the greenhouse 2nd semester.
Late Winter: Interview and hire 3 Whitehall Students. Grow example weeds for summer demonstrations.
Spring: Repair winter damage to insectaries and greenhouse.
Late Spring: Fix/replace flashing and till and prepare insectary beds for transplanting. Transplant knapweed plants into the insectaries to replace the ones killed by the weevils and moths. Water, weed, and fertilize these plants until fall.
Summer: Call all land owners with releases (over 110) and ask them what they want done this year with their sites, and do so. Make a list of land owners who want biocontrol releases. Prioritize release site (over 320) monitoring schedule to: 1) meet land owners schedules, 2) increase probability of finding sites with high numbers of biocontrol agents for potential net (collection for redistribution) days, and 3) match times with insect life cycles and the effects of weather on over 25 biocontrol species. GPS map and maintain data base of all release sites for Jefferson and Madison Counties. Place more emphasis on all of Madison County as they are providing more matching funds this year. Set up net days for public to collect excess biocontrol agents for redistribution. Collect and redistribute biocontrol agents as available [Oberea erythrocephala, Larinus minutus, Aphthona spp.]. Ship biocontrol agent releases to weed fighters who attended the weed education workshop and other needy parties throughout Montana. Plan release sites to maximize chances of biocontrol agent establishment and spread, as well as County wide coverage. Plan and lead tours, classes, field trips and workshops about the project and weed control in general. Final preparation of insectaries for emergence of moths and weevils. Hand collect moths and weevils out of insectaries for distribution. Release insects received by the Counties from outside sources. Help with general County weed fighting activities as needed. Update maps.
Late Summer: Have WHS students collect weevils from insectaries and help with redistribution. Finalize summer data base and distribute to both Counties.
Fall: Collect and release last of weevils from insectaries. Winterize greenhouse. Present weed education workshop at Teacher Conventions in October including releases to teachers willing to use biocontrol agents in their educational curriculum. Winterize insectaries in November. Keep up with grant writing/presenting and correspondence the rest of the year. Start cycle again.
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