OUTREACH

Exotic Plant Invasion bio-Control Laboratory

My extension program focuses on the consolidation of weed biocontrol education, technology transfer, and outreach in one synergistic deliverable: technology transfer workshops. Developed training materials for the one-day workshop include weed specific PowerPoint slideshows, field guides for the identification of biocontrol agents and comprehensive biocontrol manuals for the office. I also provide expertise to state and/or regional clientele groups in the form of presentations and discussion panels on various biological weed control subjects. Particularly of interests are presentations on controversial subjects such as the risks of nontarget effects of biological control agents or more recently the potential of native insects for the biological control of aquatic species.

The applied aspects of my research program are tailored to serve the Cooperative Weed Management Areas, the Nez Pierce Tribe Bio-Control Center, and other stakeholders in the state and region. The magnitude of the problems caused by invasive plant species requires a comprehensive and integrated management approach. My research program addresses clientele needs for quantification of impacts of biocontrol agents on target weeds and nontarget species and the need for research to further our knowledge on factors limiting biocontrol agent success.

Workshops

Technology transfer workshops focus on the consolidation of weed biocontrol education, technology transfer, and outreach in a three hour classroom (PowerPoint) addressing weed biocontrol principles, invasive plant biology, biological control agent life history, release, and collection techniques and monitoring techniques for the weed specific biocontrol agents. The second half of the workshop consists of a hands-on experience at a field site, and includes the demonstration of releasing and collecting techniques, biocontrol insect identification, and a demonstration of simple monitoring techniques. The workshop ends with a question-and-answer module.

To support the 7-hour training session, we provide participants with 2 educational materials both of which are very popular: 1) the biocontrol manuals, multi-authored biocontrol encyclopedias and 2) biocontrol pocket identification field guides that assist land managers in the identification and recognition of biocontrol agents in the field.

Through my collaboration with the Nez Pierce Bio-Control Center (NPBC) and the USDI Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), I developed collaborative relationships with Native American Tribes in the U.S. Depending on the weed biocontrol expertise of tribes, I either conduct workshops or assist in the development of independent tribal biocontrol programs.

Biocontrol Manuals

The biocontrol manuals are multi-colored biocontrol encyclopedias which have thus far been developed for six noxious weeds. These manuals describe in detail the specific invasive plant in the western U.S. and the proper use, collection and redistribution of the approved biocontrol agents. These manuals also describe biocontrol agents not approved for use within the U.S. but already established here. In the final chapter of the manuals, the biocontrol strategy of the noxious weed is placed in the context of an integrative management approach. Choose from six biocontrol manuals listed below. Download the pdf file below or request a free hard copy, by clicking here.

  • Biology and Biological Control of Dalmatian and Yellow Toadflax pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Exotic True Thistles pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Knapweed pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Leafy Spurge pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Purple Loosestrife pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Tansy Ragwort pdf download

  • Biology and Biological Control of Yellow Starthistle pdf download

  • The development and free distribution of this product has been made possible through collaboration with Carol Randall (USDA Forest Service FHP, Coeur d'Alene, ID) and Richard Reardon (USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET), Morgantown, WV).

     

    Biocontrol Pocket Identification Card Decks

    Biocontrol pocket identification laminated card decks focus on common biocontrol insects released on invasive plants. Each user-friendly card deck describes the insect and mite species used on a particular weed species in the U.S. and Canada. Learn how to identify and monitor the insects and the plants they impact. Choose from the twelve card decks listed below.  To request a free copy, click here.

    • Bindweeds: Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) and Hedge Bindweed (Calistegia sepium)

    • Broom and Gorse: Scotch Broom (Cytisis scoparius), French Broom (Genista monspessulana) and Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus)

    • Cirsium Thistles: Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre)

    • Dalmatian and Yellow Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)

    • Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)

    • Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

    • Rush Skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)

    • Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

    • St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

    • Tansy Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)

    • Thistles: Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus), Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans), Plumeless Thistle (Carduus acanthoides), Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium) and Slenderflower Thistle (Carduus tenuiflorus)

    • Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis L.)

    The development and free distribution of this product has been made possible through collaboration with Carol Randall (USDA Forest Service FHP, Coeur d'Alene, ID) and Richard Reardon (USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET), Morgantown, WV).

    Rush Skeletonweed Management Plan for the Western U.S.

    Rush skeletonweed is one of the West's worst exotic rangeland weeds, currently infesting over six million acres in 15 states and two Canadian provinces. This plant causes extensive damage to the natural resource industries. Unfortunately, many of the existing treatments of rush skeletonweed are ineffective or not feasible for many of the large, and often geographically inaccessible regions that it inhabits. Further confounding control efforts, multiple genotypes of rush skeletonweed occur in North America, each one responding differently to treatment. This comprehensive management plan was recently compiled by the University of Idaho, USDA Forest Service, and other members of the Rush Skeletonweed Task Force. The plan consolidates into one document the known biology, ecology, and treatment efficacy of rush skeletonweed (and all presently identified genotypes) throughout its native and introduced ranges worldwide. The Plan highlights the best known management practices for this species in the West and offers case studies describing on-the-ground experiences with rush skeletonweed by various regional land managers. The overall accomplishment of the Plan was to bring together the scattered knowledge and understanding of rush skeletonweed and its management, and bring to light gaps in present management knowledge in order to more effectively and efficiently control this weed in western North American in the future.

    To request a free copy, please click here.

    The development and free distribution of this product has been made possible through collaboration with Carol Randall (USDA Forest Service FHP, Coeur d'Alene, ID) and Richard Reardon (USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET), Morgantown, WV).

    New Invaders of the Northwest

    Invasive plants displace native species and lower biodiversity, decrease forage and agricultural production, alter soil nutrient and water cycling, and lower the aesthetic value of natural areas. Attempting to control large weed infestations is a costly endeavor; it is much more cost effective to allocate resources toward weed prevention or rapid treatments of new introductions. Unfortunately, the process of adding newly introduced species to watch lists or control lists is frequently tedious and lengthy. By the time many exotic and invasive species are on the radar, they have become widely established. Recently, CRISSP and the EPIC Laboratory of the University of Idaho, in conjunction with the US Forest Service, created a field guide for new invaders of the Northwest. The purpose of this guide is to help land users recognize new invasive plants early on, before they become large and expensive problems. This hands-on field guide focuses on 62 newly invasive species not yet widely distributed throughout the Northwest. Each species is highlighted with multiple photos and descriptions emphasizing key identification traits, typical habitat, current distribution, and ways to distinguish it from look-alike species. The guide includes weed hotline numbers for those states with such programs in place, so that new infestations can be reported and treated immediately.

    To request a free copy, please click here. Download pdf here.

    The development and free distribution of this product has been made possible through collaboration with Carol Randall (USDA Forest Service FHP, Coeur d'Alene, ID) and Richard Reardon (USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team (FHTET), Morgantown, WV).

    Roadside Revegetation: Using Native Species in the Western U.S.

    When new roads are built, or old roads improved, the roadside and adjacent lands are drastically altered. This physical disturbance of the landscape contributes to soil loss and plays a key role in the establishment of weeds. Native vegetation provides greater soil strength and requires less maintenance than weedy competitors. Incorporating native plants into existing roadside maintenance and road construction strategies promotes sustainability and biodiversity while simultaneously improving roadway stability and roadside aesthetics. The EPIC laboratory of the University of Library (PSES), in conjunction with the Idaho Transportation Department and the US Forest Service recently revised and expanded a roadside revegetation booklet for the northwestern U.S. This helpful guide highlights 20 forbs, 12 grasses and 16 shrubs suited for roadside planting in the Northwest. For each species selected, description pages offer tools for identification, along with information about the plant’s preferred habitat/environmental requirements, ecological interactions with other species, historical use by people, as well as propagation techniques including seed collection, scarification, stratification requirements and planting suggestions. Current known distributions of each species are displayed in maps detailed to the county level. In addition, suitable precipitation maps of the Northwest were created for each species’ moisture requirements. The combination of both maps helps users select species that will thrive in their region.

    To request a free copy, please click here.

    The State Weed Biocontrol Coordinator

    The Idaho State Weed Biocontrol Coordinator is a shared position between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA).  Joey Milan is the current Biocontrol Coordinator for the state of Idaho.  For more information on the Idaho State Weed Program click here.

    The Idaho Biocontrol Task Force

    The Idaho Biocontrol Task Force developed a 10 Year Strategic Plan for the Biological Control of Noxious and Invasive Weeds.  The five sections in the plan include: Coordination, Technology Development, Education and Outreach, Capacity Building and Evaluation and Assessment.  To download the 10 Year Strategic Plan, click here.  Like us on Facebook by clicking below:

     

    Nez Pierce Tribe Bio-Control Center

    The Nez Pierce Tribe Bio-Control Center (NPBC) is charged with the mass rearing and distribution of biological control agents. The NPBC is a unique partnership between the University of Idaho, a land grant university, and a tribal center. The EPIC laboratory provides expertise on rearing of currently available and new biocontrol agents to NPBC and the NPBC provides insects for free distribution at technology transfer biocontrol workshops. For more information on the NPBC, click here.