Developing a Handbook for Utilizing Livestock as a Tool in Noxious Weed Control in Nine Western States

2006 Annual Report for EW04-004

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $90,133.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $39,953.00
Region: Western
State: Nevada
Principal Investigator:
Jason Davison
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Developing a Handbook for Utilizing Livestock as a Tool in Noxious Weed Control in Nine Western States


The manual has been completed and undergone a blind review process. The reviewers’ comments have been incorporated and the final manual has received a publication number from the University of Nevada (EB#06-05). It is in the process of being printed with distribution to follow. The manual has been presented in poster and oral formats at appropriate venues in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Wyoming. Attendance at the meetings listed exceeded 2000 individuals. A book chapter was published. A web site is being developed, a scientific paper is being written, and an evaluation survey(s) is being developed..

Objectives/Performance Targets

The objectives of this project are as follows: 1) Develop a list of noxious weed weeds that occur on at least 2 of the noxious weed lists in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, 2) Collect review, and summarize current knowledge about livestock grazing as a control method for the targeted weeds, 3) present the information in a handbook and CD and distribute it to Cooperative Extension (CE) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offices, 4) Develop a web site in support of the manual and publish a scientific paper summarizing the knowledge base, and 5) evaluate the project.

The participants requested and received a 1 year no cost extension for the project in 2006. The extension was needed due to administrative delays, and has allowed the participants time to complete a majority of the tasks.


The manual has been written and a draft copy was submitted to a blind peer review process. The reviewers (6) were from several Western States and knowledgeable in the appropriate fields of study. The reviewers’ comments were incorporated and a final manual was completed. The final manual was submitted to the University of Nevada for permission to publish and was granted a publication number (EB# 06-05) indicating that the manual could be published. The manual is currently in the process of being printed and will be distributed to every CE and NRCS office in the 9 targeted states when the printing is completed. The authors also wrote and published a book chapter incorporating the manual titled “Grazing and Browsing Guidelines for Invasive Rangeland Weeds”. It was published in: “Targeted Grazing: A Natural Approach to Vegetation Management and Landscape Enhancement”. K. Launchbaugh and J. Walker (Editors) by the American Sheep Industry Association. Denver, CO. This handbook was presented at the National Conference on Grazing Lands in St. Louis MO on December 10-13, 2006. It is also available on the ASI website and on the website maintained by Dr. Launchbaugh at the University of Idaho. The manual was presented at the following professional /technical meetings: 1) California Invasive Plant Council annual meeting Sonoma, CA. October 5-7, 2006, 2) Cooperative Weed Management Area/Colorado Section Society for Range Management meeting, Grand Junction, CO December 5-6, 2006, 3) Oregon Vegetation Management Association Conference Pendleton, OR September 26-28, 2006 4) Assoc. of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, Park City, UT May 15-17, 2006, 5) Washington State Weed Conference, Yakima, WA November 1-3, 2006, and the 6) Wyoming Weed Association meeting, Casper, WY November 8-9, 2006. It will be presented at the Society for Range Management annual meeting in Reno, NV February, 9-16, 2007, the Montana Weed Control Association meeting in Helena, MT January 16-18, 2007 and the Idaho Weed Conference in Nampa, ID on January31-Feburary 1, 2007. The total attendance at these meeting was in excess of 1500 individuals interested in managing weeds. The posters and oral presentations provided mass exposure for the manual and have greatly expanded the number of individuals receiving a copy of the manual in a CD format.

The web site is currently being developed following the publication of the livestock grazing manual. A scientific paper summarizing the results of the literature review and survey results is being prepared by the authors with completion anticipated in the spring of 2007. A survey instrument to evaluate the manual at 6 months and 1 year following distribution is also being written.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The manual benefits everyone interested in expanding the number of tools available to manage noxious weeds in the western United States. It provides the most up to date information available concerning the use of livestock to control noxious weeds. It combines rigorous science based information with information from individuals experienced in the actual use of livestock to control weeds in an easy to use package. Individuals using this manual are able to quickly evaluate if livestock grazing is an appropriate tool for the selected weed. If the use of livestock is a viable option, the manual provides valuable recommendations concerning all the factors that contribute to a successful noxious weeds management program using livestock as a tool. .


Ed Smith
Area Natural Resource Specialist
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
1329 Waterloo
Gardnerville, NV 89706
Office Phone: 7757829960
Linda Wilson
Research Scientest, Dept. of Plant, Soil, Ent.
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844
Office Phone: 2088859489