From the Director's Desk
Did you know feral hogs are in the Dakotas? Yep they are right over the border and contrary to what hunters may think, we do not want these invaders in Montana. They are terribly destructive, perpetuate weed infestations and from what I hear, they don’t taste near as good as domestic pork (bummer!). So why does the Montana Weed Control Association care about these invasives? Well two fold, these hogs will make our weed problems worse and when we are looking to protect our vistas and landscapes, it is imperative that we hold the health of our ecosystems as a top priority.
The Montana Weed Control Association will be presenting a letter of support to Governor Bullock to form an invasive species council (ISC) for Montana this month. Several other organizations are joining in this effort by drafting resolutions to support the formation of an ISC. We are the last of the states in our region to NOT have an ISC and I am hopeful that the formation of such a council would enable agencies to work more closely and collaboratively. It has been very apparent in the recent years that aquatic invasive species are on the minds of our legislators and terrestrial weeds remain a key focus of invasives for Montana, but as a state, we need to look at all invasives. In my mind, it would be ideal to have one state invasive list with categories or priorities consistent for the invasives listed; and for those who may feel this would take away from terrestrial weed work? Montana has been a leader in the nation regarding noxious terrestrial weeds for the past 50 years and our weed managers can certainly provide advice and leadership when moving forward with an ISC. It is time for Montana to jump on the ISC band wagon.
To that effect the keynote speaker at our annual conference in January will be Steven Ditchkoff from Auburn University and he will be informing us about feral hogs. Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Weed Coordinator Joe Weigand will follow up with the ramifications these invaders would have on Montana. If you haven’t registered yet, please take a moment to look over our agenda (which is nearly complete) and get signed up!
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