Tribal Youth Weed Mapping and Noxious Weed Control

Publication Year: 
Publication Type: 
Program Highlight
Fort Hall Extension
FRTEP - 1862

Noxious weeds include any plant of foreign origin that can directly or indirectly injure crops, natural resources, livestock, wildlife and/or the general public. Noxious weeds cost the Fort Hall Reservation thousands of dollars every year due to decreased land and forage values, injury to people and animals and degradation of natural resources. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and tribal members derive a majority of their income from tribal land leases and grazing permits. Noxious weeds have decreased
tribal farm and rangeland values, decreased water quality and forage availability for livestock and wildlife and reduced the overall aesthetic value of the Reservation. If nothing is done about this issue, the Reservation could lose thousands of acres to noxious weeds. The financial implications of decreased land lease values, grazing permits and cultural uses of the Reservation has a tremendous impact on the well being of the community. A key solution is to provide public noxious weed education to all tribal members. Mapping existing weed infestations will identify problem areas so control strategies can be implemented. To begin a weed project, trained, knowledgeable people are needed. Tribal youth are in need of employment opportunities, positive experiences and opportunities for skill development. Recruiting and training youth was crucial to the
project because youth are willing to learn and work. They also help teach adults, particularly their parents, through their work experiences and knowledge. Funding was needed to train tribal youth how to identify, GPS, map and control noxious weed
infestations and implement public education about weeds and the effect they have on tribal lands.