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Cooperation brings reward

A group of organizations that worked to eradicate noxious weeds in eastern Utah is has been recognized for its work by the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM Director Bob Abbey said the effort was one of the country's top rangeland stewardship projects in 2009.

The project was a collaboration between several counties along with state and federal agencies. Representatives working in the Skyline Cooperative Weed Management Area received the award during a meeting of the Public Lands Council in Sacramento. The Skyline Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is a group of cooperators who work to control noxious weeds in Carbon & Emery Counties. The Castleland RC&D is an integral part of the Skyline CWMA-providing administrative and organizational support, as well as fiscal management for the group.

Skyline CMWA has been working together for seven years.The group includes the following active partners: Carbon & Emery Weed Departments, BLM, USFS; Utah Forestry, Fire & State Lands, UDAF, USU Extension, UACD; Price River, San Rafael, and Green River Conservation Districts, UDWR, UDOT, NRCS and the Castleland RC&D Council, Inc.

This year Skyline CWMA has completed nine chemical treatment projects, co-sponsored a weed workshop, two bio-control projects, and printed and distributed the educational "Weeds of Utah" calendar.

One chemical treatment project was to re-treat an area where Tamarisk was removed by 362 Boy Scouts last year.

Another chemical treatment was a large infestation of Whitetop on 580 acres.

One bio-control project included the release of 14,500 Poison Hemlock moths, (Agonopterix alstroemeriana), Forest Service crews made the release west of Joe's Valley reservoir. 5,900 Tortoise beetles (Cassida rubiginosa) were released to control Musk Thistle by Emery and Carbon County weed departments, Forestry, Fire and State lands, one landowners association, and several other private landowners.

The Skyline CWMA meets monthly to plan, coordinate, and organize to get the most out of their combined resources.

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