Other General Information
All owners of biocontrol release site will be contacted and much one-on-one education will occur. The public will be informed by the mtwow.org web site and weekly articles in the local newspaper about noxious weeds, weed events, and weed fighting strategies and issues. Tours of the biocontrol activities will be arraigned and net days will be planned depending on insect populations. All this activity will be tied together with science education and the mtwow.org web site activities at Whitehall High School (WHS).
Other Funding Sources:
Other funding sources for the Whitehall Insectary/Greenhouse/Mapping Project include: Bureau of Land Management, Madison County, Jefferson County, and Golden Sunlight Mine.
Equipment Maintenance and Replacement:
Maintenance for the Insectary and Greenhouse have been on a yearly basis to ensure all equipment is safe and operational. Equipment maintenance and replacement costs will be covered by the Equipment line item. Equipment is fixed/replaced as it wares out or is broken. Equipment includes: garden tiller, lawn mower, weed trimmer, various garden tools, insect cages, storage shed, much hose, greenhouse and much horticultural equipment, and insect collection and redistribution equipment. Some of this equipment is shared with Jefferson County, the WHS science department and the BLM.
The Whitehall Insectary/Greenhouse/Mapping Project is a successful project that will continue to progress forward in the future. Two teachers and 3 students dedicate their summer to this project and have great pride in the success of the project. This type of work ethics and enthusiasm keep improving the project each year. The Whitehall project has increased over the years to the current capacity of six insectaries. The importance of this project to Jefferson County and Madison County is unmeasurable due to the hundreds of biocontrol releases, mapping, monitoring, and redistributing of insects. Spotted knapweed and leafy spurge are two weeds that reduce production for farmers and ranchers, decrease habitat for wildlife, and add a financial burden for landowners. The Whitehall project is a way for landowners to reduce noxious weed populations with little or no financial burden. Several local ranchers note a marked decrease in their herbicide use on leafy spurge because of flea beetle success. This program has an important future in contributing to our noxious weed control tool box through the proliferation of biological control agents. It is the goal of this grant writer to have a knapweed insectary in every county in Montana!
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