With the long summertime growing season, plant growth can be phenomenal and that is also the case with weeds that can choke out the healthy grasslands in the Rim Country.
Two particular noxious weeds that are trying to get a foothold in the area are the Yellow Starthistle and the Malta Starthistle, which have a very aggressive tap root system that enables it to out-compete and crowd out other plant life.
The Payson district of the Tonto National Forest is trying to eradicate these noxious weeds, which can spring up anywhere by the tiny seeds that are able to float in many directions with the slightest of breezes during the late summer months. This enables these weeds to grow anywhere there is open ground and once they are established the other plants, which are good for wildlife and cattle, are literally squeezed out.
The plan for eradication is led by Bill Barcus, who is the coordinator for the Payson ranger district and he stated, “These weeds are a growing problem in the city limits of Payson and Star Valley as well as many places in the northern section of the Tonto National Forest.
The forest service has purchased a very sophisticated machine called a Raven Injection herbicide spray unit, which can make a difference in fighting this very aggressive noxious weed. A tandem axle trailer was needed to move the unit and make it more effective in controlling the local weed problem.
The Mogollon Sporting Association, which is an all-volunteer fund raising organization in the Payson area, has as one of their major goals improvement of local wildlife habitat. Eliminating the Starthistle will improve the grass and browse plants, which are the feed sources for the deer and elk populations in the area. Longtime Payson resident and charter member of the MSA Gary Barcom initiated the proposal that the Mogollon Sporting Association purchase the $3,000 tandem trailer that will make the spray unit even more mobile for quick use in the fight against the Starthistle. This is another project of improving the local wildlife habitat where the MSA has teamed with a state or federal agency to make a positive impact on the local area. This mobile spray unit will be made available for both municipalities of Star Valley and Payson in the fight against the Starthistle.
Volunteers can make a difference. Thank you, again to the Mogollon Sporting Association for your continual help with wildlife habitat.
This weekend enjoy the outdoors, God’s creation.