Hello from rainy northwest Montana, TMC readers! I hope that the snow is finally melting wherever you are, and maybe you’ve even put some seeds in the ground. This week, we’ve got lots of conservation news for you:
- Is your garden starting awaken? So are the invasive plant pests that are hungry to eat your tender plant babies. That’s why April is Invasive Plant Pest & Disease Awareness Month, also known as “hungry pests”.
- The Missoula Current reports on a recent public meeting about the central Clark Fork Watershed Restoration plan, which is being spearheaded by my partners, including Missoual, Granite, and Mineral CDs as well as our own area resource specialist, Sam Tappenbeck.
- The Montana Invasive Species Council has assembled a scientific advisory council to study the possibility of approving and using a biocontrol agent that has been successful at controlling houndstongue for many years in Canada. We hear this little weevil has quite a taste for houndstongue.
- The Rangeland Analysis Platform is a new web tool that provides a big picture tool of vegetation change over the last 35 years in the west. Are you a fan of maps and data visualizations? Then this is a good black hole to dive down on a Friday.
- Montana Envirothon is next week! And Smithfield Foods has donated $120,000 to the national Envirothon foundation.
- Farmers.gov now has tools to help USDA customers manage their loans online. (welcome to the modern age!)
- The Superfund cleanup has gotten renewed attention, and this time not necessarily in a good way. The EPA has proposed changing the 2006 record of decision (the framework of the cleanup deal). Central to the plan is the proposal to waive some state water quality standards and replace them with (less strict) federal ones.
- Dr. Clain Jones writes in with a companion piece to what was in our last issue. This week, fertilizer adjustments for a wet and cold spring.
- Watercraft inspection stations are opening for the boating season across the state.
- June 30 is the deadline to file on exempt water rights, if you haven’t filed already.
- And finally, NACD has submitted comments on the new WOTUS rule.
Just like your plant babies, the important things are beneath the surface. Read all the details in today’s Montana Conservationist: TMC 2019-04-19