The Sun River Watershed, like most of Montana, has experienced a steady increase of noxious weed infestation, particularly spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), and houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale). While some areas of Montana have suffered tremendous economic and habitat loss due to noxious weeds, proactive management of noxious weeds in the Sun River Watershed is still cost-effective and physically manageable in most areas. However, chronic weed problems exist along riparian corridors, roadways and access points to public lands. In an ever-growing number of cases, weeds are spreading from stream corridors to adjacent private and public lands. Both formal and informal weed management initiatives in the Sun River Watershed will continue to center around drainages, as landowners tend to organize themselves this way. Additionally, drainages are a conduit for the spread of seeds and control methods are more complex in riparian areas because chemical and vehicle use is more restricted. Fighting weeds in these corridors require a lot of labor and creativity to be successful. Sun River Watershed Group partners have substantially increased weed management on irrigated lands. Finally, by expanding weed management areas by subdrainage, we expect to improve cooperative efforts across a broad area of the Sun River Watershed. The areas that are included in these active efforts are the:
- Sun River Valley Ditch Company
- Fort Shaw Irrigation District
- Greenfields Irrigation District
- Fairfield Bench area
- Broken O Ranch area
- Upper Sun River tributaries
- Sun Canyon
Each summer, the Sun River Watershed Group hosts our Weed Whacker Rodeo. Volunteers spend the morning pulling weeds, followed by a BBQ lunch, awards, and door prizes.
SRWG also partners with the US Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Front Range Round Table, and other partners each year to host several other weed pulls and weed spray days.