Meeker hosts state committee

MEEKER I On Sept. 3, the Colorado State Noxious Weed Committee (CSNWC) met in Meeker for its quarterly meeting.
The CSNWC holds its meetings in various locations throughout the state of Colorado to observe sites infested with noxious weeds.
Phyllis Lake, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Farm Services Agency, CSNWC member and local rancher made the arrangements for the trip and tours around Rio Blanco County.
The CSNWC was joined by representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Pawnee Butte Seed, Colorado National Heritage, Routt Medicine Bow and White River National Forest, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Division of Wildlife and county and local officials. The group spent two days in Meeker visiting Rio Blanco County landowners, energy extraction companies, county officials and federal agencies involved with noxious weed control throughout the state of Colorado.
The group’s tour began with XTO Energy, an oil and gas producer in the Piceance basin. XTO provided a presentation on regulations and the permitting process of noxious weed control for the oil and gas companies. The next stop was the 125-year-old Oldland Spur Ranch.
Chris Uphoff, family member, spoke to the group about the importance of communication between landowners, livestock producers, hunters, recreational users and the oil and gas companies. Uphoff reiterated how important it is for everyone to work together toward the common goal of vegetative improvements for all involved.
The CSNWC then toured the Piceance Basin. Pipeline, pads, storage facilities, offices, roads and traffic are all having an impact on wildlife, riparian areas and noxious weed infestation.
The last stop was Lonnie Shults’ ranch in Powell Park. The topic of discussion was the infestation of the noxious weed “leafy spurge” in the White River corridor. Control methods and management plans concerning neighbors and federal agencies (Bureau of Land Management and Division of Wildlife) were discussed.
On Sept. 4, the CSNWC held its quarterly business meeting “Reports and Observations,” at the Upper Colorado Environmental Plant Center (UCEPC). Steve Parr, UCEPC manager, and staff provided a tour for the group. Information about UCEPC and the plant materials program was given to the group and how both programs are striving to assist with some of the noxious weed problems faced by the CSNWC.