Whitehall Project Accomplishments '02:
-Continued to maintain and improve the insectaries at Whitehall High School (WHS) where we are mass rearing two species of Biological control insects for spotted knapweed (the root boring weevil Cyphocleonus achates and the root boring moth Agapeta zoegana) in insectaries for release. [these are being collected now, at the time of writing of this grant.]
-We have now GPS mapped over 320 release sites located in Jefferson, northern Madison, and Broadwater Counties. This involves over 110 land owners including individuals, local government, industries and public land management agencies. We also maintain accurate, easy to follow directions, photos and maps to the sites and monitor a number of select biocontrol release sites each year.
-We contacted many land owners (over 110) who have biocontrol release sites to educate them about IPM and to monitor and redistribute the biocontrol agents as the owners see fit.
-We collected and redistributed biocontrol agents from established field release sites:
-Oberea erythrocephala: 1567 for about 22 releases/augments of 70 beetles (500 collected by public on net day).
-Larinus minutus: 7840 for about 39 releases of 200 weevils each (2400 collected by public on net day).
-Aphthona spp.: collected a total of 535,000 of which 234,000 were released into Jefferson and Madison Counties in about 78 releases/augments of 3000 flea beetles each. The remaining flea beetles went to the BLM, and the three new programs like ours in Augusta, Townsend and Warm Springs (the State game ranges near Anaconda and Deerlodge).
-Therefore, 138 new area releases or augments were created.
-We located suitable release sites and made the releases for our collections and when the counties receive biocontrol releases from outside sources.
-We held public collection (net) days open to county residents for Oberea, Larinus and the Aphthona leafy spurge flea beetles.
-We held educational tours (over 10), and work shops (Biocontrol Release Site Monitoring and Knapweed Insectary Construction and Maintenance).
-We were invited to speak at the: Invasive Species Control and Wildland Fire Management training session in Denver, April 22-25, 2002. Todd Breitenfeldt presented a 45 min. training Power Point session on the program.
-We are helping 3 other groups start programs similar to ours:
A) Augusta: the vo. ag. teacher/classes have constructed a knapweed insectary and we provided 70 Cyphocleonus achates for their program. They are also utilizing their greenhouse and will be biocontrol release site mapping. They came and toured our program here in Whitehall and Todd Breitenfeldt went to Augusta to advise and give a presentation. The vo. ag. teacher Justin Becktold and his student summer helper met us at Grassrange on July 9th and we helped them collect 18 releases (54,000) of leafy spurge flea beetles. Many groups and agencies are cooperating to fund this program, including the Conservation District in that area.
B) Townsend: The elementary and high school is cooperating with the Forest Service (they have a Forest Service grant) and are building a knapweed insectary and adding much noxious weed education to their curriculum. They have toured our program here several times and we are providing Cyphocleonus achates and technical advice. They came to our summer work shop and took home 10 releases of flea beetles.
C) Warm Springs: Two state game range managers and Anaconda/Deer Lodge weed Coor. are cooperating to construct a knapweed insectary. They have toured our program often and we will provide Cyphocleonus achates and technical advice for them. We also plan to cooperate on several biocontrol agent collection days. One of their staff came with us to the Two Dot collection site and we helped them collect 54 releases of 3000 flea beetles each for a total of about 162,000 insects for their program. They also plan to create an insectary at the prison in Deerlodge using prison labor.
-Produce a weekly summer column (Whitehall Weed Whackers) about noxious weed control in the Whitehall Ledger featuring what we were doing with the project and selected articles from the mtwow.org web site written by WHS students. [See some of the articles attached.]
-Tied all this activity into weed education at Whitehall High School and placed much noxious weed how-to information on the mtwow.org web site for all to use.
-Brought together many aspects of the community (students, general public, land owners, industry, town, Whitehall Town Council [helped the Town create a Noxious Weed Ordinance and a Cooperative Weed Management Agreement with the Jefferson County Weed District], county, state and federal governments and land management agencies) to increase weed awareness and weed fighting efforts.
-Created 2 quality summer jobs for teachers and 2.5 good quality jobs for high school students that provide scientific field and lab experience, a work/service ethic, fun and good pay for a good cause.
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