Community Agriculture Alliance: Keeping invaders off your land

Tiffany Carlson
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

In the wake of record property sales in our area, we are welcoming a new generation of property owners into Routt County who may be new to the area or managing acreage for the first time.

A very important component of land management is knowing what vegetation is on your property and how to properly manage invaders so that your desired landscapes can continue to thrive, promoting soil health and conserving water.

Noxious weeds are non-native aggressive invaders that have the potential to decrease your property value, cause severe economic impacts to neighboring agricultural lands and have the potential to cause irreversible harm to surrounding public lands and native ecosystems. Additionally, these invaders are required by law to be properly managed per the Colorado Noxious Weed Act.

If you recently purchased land, hopefully your real estate broker had a discussion with you regarding The Seller’s Property Disclosure approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission and you discussed the section on noxious weeds reviewing the following questions:

• Have any noxious weeds on the property been identified?

• Have there been any weed enforcement actions on the property?

• Has a noxious weed management plan for the property been entered into?

• Have noxious weed management actions been implemented?

• Have herbicides been applied?

These are all crucial questions, and their answers can determine if there are long-term or multigenerational management issues that will need to be addressed with owning a property.

Some weeds such as common mullein produce seeds that are viable in the soil for 90-100 years. Other weeds such as leafy spurge can be nearly impossible to eradicate once they become successfully established and may require costly treatments each and every year to contain them and prevent their further spread.

Some herbicides that have been used on a property may reside in the soil for extended periods of time and can require special consideration if any type of haying operation is to take place, hay is to be sold or moved, animals are to be grazed, or manure on the property is being considered for fertilizing or composting.

If you are a new property owner, land manger, new to the area or just have a general interest in protecting our native landscapes, please join us Thursdays in March for our winter weed class.

We will be covering a wide variety of topics but will be focusing primarily on noxious weed identification and management.

For more information and to register for the winter weed class, go to or contact Tiffany Carlson at or 970-870-5246.

At this time, the classes are anticipated to be held remotely but will transition to a hybridized format if county mitigation efforts allow. We can’t stop the spread of noxious weeds without your help.

Tiffany Carlson is the Noxious Weed Supervisor for Routt County.

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