U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Havre Field Office
|Release Date: 08/21/13|
BLM Employee named to the Montana Weed Management Advisory Council
Kenny Keever was recently selected to join the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council as the representative for biological control and research perspectives.
Keever, the invasive plant specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Havre Field Office and Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, takes the place of Jim Story on the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council.
“Jim is a living legend in the world of biological control of noxious weeds,” said Keever.
Biological control of noxious weeds involves identifying insects and plant pathogens from a plant’s native range, ensuring they will only attack the target plant species, and finding ways to establish them in high numbers in problematic areas where the size of infestation or environmental conditions make it impossible or cost prohibitive to address.
“Story spent his career with Montana State University researching insects that attack one of Montana’s most abundant and persistent noxious weeds, spotted knapweed,” Keever elaborated. “The fruits of his lifelong work are now being realized in the huge knapweed population crashes being attributed to the agents he helped introduce to western Montana.”
“It’s truly an honor to be a part of this council,” Keever added.
Keever has served as the chair of the Montana Weed Control Associations Integrated Weed Management Committee and currently serves as the interim chair of the Montana Biological Weed Control Working Group.
Keever’s history with biological control of noxious weeds spans over two decades and began when he was a high school student. In the early 1990’s the BLM partnered with his high school vo-ag program to collect and send out leafy spurge red headed stem borers and flea beetles.
According Keever, the introduction and expansion of invasive plants across the western states is one of the most challenging issues land managers face. “Montana has led the charge against these alien invaders for decades, in part thanks to the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund,” he explained.
As overseer of the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund, the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council is tasked with reviewing applications, hearing applicant testimony, and providing recommendations to the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture for final funding approval.
The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the 1985 Montana Legislature to provide funding for the development and implementation of weed management programs. It also provides for research and development of innovative weed management techniques including biological control, and supports research and education projects.
The grant program is designed to assist counties, local communities, researchers, and educators in their efforts to solve a variety of noxious weed problems in Montana.
The program provides assistance in the form of a 50 percent cost-share, with landowner matching funds, for herbicides and commercial application to participating landowners in a local cooperative weed management area.
Other types of projects involve noxious weed education and research, including non-chemical research and demonstration projects.
Keever stated, “I look forward to seeing the innovative projects and ideas folks from Montana are using in their weed programs and maybe even apply some of that to our public lands in North Central Montana.”
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
Havre Field Office 3990 Highway 2 West Havre, MT 59501
|Last updated: 08-21-2013|
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