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Volunteer Invasives Mapping Project Report

Display Report


First Year of Project
Station: Lost Trail NWR
Region: 6
Contact Person: Lynn Verlanic
Contact Phone Number: 406-858-2286
Date Report Submitted:

List Type and/or Affiliation(s) of Volunteers: Montana Conservation Corps
Total Number of Volunteers Trained to Map: 15
Total Number of Volunteer Hours Spent Mapping: 500

List of Invasives Species Mapped:Common NameScientific Name
  tansy ragwort Senicio jocobaea
meadow hawkweed Hieracium caespitosum, floribundum
orange hawkweed Hieracium aurantiacum
spotted knapweed Centaurea maculosa
houndstongue Cynoglossum officinale
Which, if any, of these Species are Early Detection Species: meadow hawkweed, orange hawkweed
Total Number of Acres Mapped (since project initiation): 3000
Have You Shared Mapping Data with USGS in Ft. Collins? No

Describe Projects Initiated with Follow-Up Funds ($10,000): Since Lost Trail NWR is so isolated, the majority of the projects involve working with the Montana Conservation Corps. We train up to two groups of from 5 to 10 high school students to identify weeds and map them using a gps unit. Some weeds such as tansy ragwort and houndstongue are treated during the mapping efforts. Tansy ragwort heads are clipped, bagged and brought back to the office to be disposed of. The location of the infestation is mapped using gps and the remainder of the plant is hand sprayed. Houndstongue is dug. Plants are bagged if flowering has begun. Our project has consistently been a favorite of the MCC crew participants each year. Part of their training requires environmental education and we have taken them to see bio-control agents at work and they have helped collect and redistribute bio-control agents.
Total Number of Acres Treated with Follow-up Funding: 25
Total Number of Acres Restored with Follow-up Funding: 0
Total Number of Volunteers Engaged in Treatment and/or Restoration: 65


How has this Project Benefited Invasive Species Management Efforts at Your Station? This project has allowed us to map weed infestations and prioritize areas to be treated. Because this project involves from 7 to 12 participants at a time, we are able to systematically cover large areas. We have located new invaders such as the hawkweeds in a timely manner and have been able to respond quickly to control their spread. The crew is also trained on bio-control agents and one crew located the first cinnabar moths on tansy ragwort on the Refuge. Our initial focus of this project was to treat tansy ragwort however, the crews have been so successful that tansy is becoming hard to find on the refuge and we have included additional weeds through the years. As an added benefit to this work, crews have located and mapped additional locations of an endangered plant that inhabits native prairie on the Refuge. We feel this is an excellent project because it utilizes local youth and teaches them about the effects of weeds and how difficult they are to treat. After a week of mapping weeds on the refuge, the teens are able to identify several weeds species. Many of these youth spend a lot of time recreating with family and friends on public lands in western Montana. They now have the knowledge to identify weeds, particularly new invaders and they know who to contact or how to treat individual plants.
What are some of the Lessons Learned and/or Troubleshooting Points that could be Shared with Others Engaged in Similar Activity?
Make sure you download data daily from any gps unit used to map weed infestations.


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